Case Study: Pivoting in a Pandemic


Central St. Matthew came to Online Optimism looking to fill their pews, choosing to reach new people through social media. However, the world shut down as their campaign was preparing to launch.

Woman uses laptop showing Central St. Matthew's New Worship Landing Page


The leadership at Central St. Matthew United Church of Christ was looking to reach younger families to grow their congregation, and knew that social media was the place to do it. A plan was made to reach their audience through Facebook and Instagram—but then right when the onboarding process began, COVID-19 shut everything down.

Churches were no longer permitted to open their doors for in-person services, and Central St. Matthew questioned if marketing was still relevant to their needs. However, the Online Optimism team knew that social media was the most relevant place to be as everyone transitioned to staying at home.


With less than two weeks until launch, the Online Optimism Social Media department pivoted the strategy and campaign for Central St. Matthew’s plan. A new page on their website was created to inform potential parishioners about their church and livestream services. Ads directed users through a funnel, with a final conversion to “attend” church on Facebook Live.

As Central St. Matthew wanted to push users to think and encourage safe behaviors, the posting strategy was re-assessed. Relevant posts about COVID-safe behaviors, the value of still attending church online, and reassuring messages about isolation and distancing became the focus of their pages.


At the end of the 9-month campaign,

Impressions were generated
Clicks sent users to the website
Chart displaying audiences reached by this campaign, including 31.4% of 21–34-year-olds and 33% men, 66% women, and 1% nonbinary/unspecified people
Accurately reached target audience

From the Client

The Online Optimism team was quick and capable in transitioning our goals and campaign at the drop of a hat. With their help, we were able to stay relevant in an unprecedented situation and reach current and potential members. Online Optimism helped us better understand our online community and adjusted to meet our adapting needs in an ever-changing world.

Reverend Philip Brockett
Central St. Matthew United Church of Christ
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