What Your Church Should Measure on Social Media

In the Facebook and Twitter social circles, adding more ‘friends’ or ‘followers’ is a popular and accepted measurement of reach. It is assumed that the greater the reach, the greater the influence. However, social media often produces “false positives” based on numbers alone, so what should a church or ministry measure when engaging in social media?


A simple rule of thumb about your church and ministry Facebook Fan Pages:

‘Likes’ are good. ‘Comments’ are better. ‘Shares’ are best.”

  • When someone ’likes’ your page, it means your wall content can show up in their News feed. This means you have a chance of them seeing what you’re sharing without them coming directly to your Facebook page.
  • When a person ‘comments’ on your page, it means they have chosen to verbally respond and engage in dialogue. Note: it’s a good idea to respond to their comment by name if a response is warranted.
  • When someone ‘shares’ your wall post, they’ve found enough value that they believe what you shared is worth sharing with their friends, too. This is the beginning of something ‘going viral’ (gaining momentum) in social media, and increases your reach to include those not in your ‘friends’ list to those in your friend’s friends list.


This 140-character, short status update service has put a lot of emphasis on the number of ‘followers’ you have. Early on (and still to this day), it was easy to gain thousands of followers by simply following people and hope they follow you back out of consideration or obligation. In fact, there are services that will allow you to mass-follow people by the tens of thousands. Some people have auto-follow features that reciprocate your follow, while others feel the obligation of courtesy to follow-back. What you end up with is a whole lot of followers, but very few people you actually influence.

Without a relationship of value, having a zillion followers on Twitter is insignificant.

When people choose to follow you, they find what you share to have value, which means you have some level of influence in their lives.


These social media truths beg the question: What should churches measure with social media? The answer is simple, but gaining the answer is highly intentional and somewhat complex:

Your metrics should only consist of that which you value and track.

Good metrics are measurements against your goals. Any other kind of measurement is potentially true, but irrelevant. Build social media metrics from existing references of data. In other words, find a correlation & track it because the metrics you gather are only as useful as the insights you can apply from them. Metrics are indicators; over time, they reveal trends.

Obviously, this means that each local church will track and measure different aspects of their social media activities because the context of their church, vision and ministry is unique. No two churches should measure the same things for the same reason in the same order of priority. 

How is your church measuring your effectiveness and Return On Ministry in the social stratosphere? What values and goals match your church’s unique vision that you find valuable to track, measure and evaluate? Based on these truths, what will you begin to measure differently?

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Anthony Coppedge

Anthony Coppedge

On the team at Auxano. Lover of Jesus, my wife and my kids. Unapologetic Apple fanboy. Slightly addicted to MindMaps, but in a good way.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
— Glenna Hendricks
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
— winston
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
— Russ Wright

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