Sector: Faith Communities Project: KHHC: Social Media Management
Social media for synagogues and other faith organizations can be challenging because congregations have a wealth of programming and events, but limited staff bandwidth. Our first four months with KHHC bolstered internal resources and helped drive High Holidays registration, while boosting their awareness by 500% and engagements and traffic over 300%.
Kol Hadash Humanistic Congregation (KHHC) is a thriving synagogue community located on the Chicago North Shore. Social media for synagogues and other faith organizations can be challenging because congregations have a wealth of programming and events, but limited staff and volunteer bandwidth. Engaging with current and prospective members online became even more critical during the COVID-19 pandemic. We partnered with KHHC to provide guidance and management assistance to strengthen their digital presence and effectiveness, while bolstering internal resources.
KHHC's decisions about programming, education, and events are guided by the advancement of Humanistic Judaism. Their inclusive B Mitzvah program uses gender-neutral terminology and enables students to select their readings and study; their membership model enables people to join at whatever financial level works for them; and High Holidays are open to everyone in the community (including virtually during the pandemic).
KHHC reached out to us to discuss the creation and implementation of a social media strategy for their most prominent channels. Initial goals for our work together included:
Broadening awareness of the congregation, and how their commitment to Humanistic Judaism makes them different from other synagogues;
Growing the audience of young families participating in Sunday School, the B Mitzvah program, and other family-themed programming;
Increasing attendance at High Holidays and other key events;
Keeping current congregation members engaged and communicating on social media more frequently;
Sharing highlights from congregational life—such as celebrations, social gatherings, and Rabbi Adam Chalom's teachings—with a broader audience; and
Providing existing and potential members opportunities to learn, grow, advocate, and gather—particularly through online offerings during COVID lockdown protocols.
We were engaged to manage the synagogue's Facebook and Instagram social media channels, planning content in collaboration with a combination of staff and volunteer members on a monthly basis. We craft posts twice per week, and are using our FEEL THINK DO model to ultimately help expand KHHC's loyal base of followers and members.
Using this framework, we have focused on creating content that supports three essential steps on the journey to joining:
AWARENESS & ENGAGEMENT
These steps translate to metrics that can help us track our results in relation to KHHC's goals. In the first four months of our work together, we saw outstanding results linked to each of these efforts.
We saw a 500% increase in awareness via impressions tracked on Facebook and Instagram.
Engagements on social media increased 371% using organic strategies, including boosted posts.
Traffic driven by social media increased by 327%, yielding both an increase in website traffic and mailing list growth.
In addition, we were able to track the impact of our social media management on event attendance, with 18% of all High Holidays registration traffic coming from Facebook and Instagram.
Website traffic and mailing list growth increased as well, with 22.9% of traffic to the website coming from social media. Jeremy Owens, KHHC's Administrator, reported "an increase of email from people wanting to be added to the weekly [newsletter] and adult education list."
"A colleague said to me, 'You're creating FOMO with your social posts! Instead of telling people: Here's why you should become a member - you've got people seeing all those smiling faces and activities and asking themselves: Why wouldn't I become a member?' That was great to hear. I'm impressed with the professionalism of the people at SBS. They really know their stuff; they are easy to work with; and their streamlined process means minimal time and effort on our part. The quality of their work is consistently top notch."