After months of careful thought and planning, I have decided to create a Facebook group that promotes member-missionary efforts through social media advertizing. The new group is called Go Ye Into All The World and the Facebook page can be found here. The purpose of this page is to promote efforts to bring the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ to all the world, particularly locations with no LDS presence. This can be done through ordinary Latter-day Saints using Facebook's ad campaigns.
I conducted my first ad campaign for Arochukwu, Nigeria from December 14th-19th. I targeted Arochukwu from December 14th-19th with an
advertisement on the Book of Mormon. Arochukwu has no known LDS presence
but is nearby several cities where wards and branches operate. It is one of the most populous cities in southeastern Nigeria without an LDS presence. Consequently I believed that this effort may contribute to the Church ultimately establishing a presence in Arochukwu. This
effort reached 1,889 people and resulted in 54 website clicks to read
the Book of Mormon page on mormon.org. Remarkably this ad cost only $5.
The opportunities for missionary work through social media advertizing are astounding. There are over two billion registered users on Facebook. Church leaders, full-time missionaries, and regular church members can invest small amounts of money into ads that reach tens of thousands within a short period of time. Advertisements can also be adapted to the culture and society of individual locations to enhance receptivity. A mission president may use social media to prime local populations prior to the assignment of full-time missionaries. Church members in the United States can target their own city or zip code to reach thousands with only a few dollars. Less productive areas of the world can use social media advertizing to find investigators. Area presidencies can use social media advertizing as part of opening additional countries to missionary work.
I am planning on creating a grassroots initiative to systematic reach countries and cities lesser-reached or unreached by the Church. However, I am going to advise those who want to participate to avoid targeting countries where proselytism is illegal or where conversion to Christianity carries significant negative consequences. If you are interested, join the group!