As you will know if you are a frequent reader on this blog, how social media is used by the Church has been on my heart for a while. I follow different churches social media feeds to learn and grow. There are some however that I follow that aren’t doing so well. Unfortunately if they were a patient I would say they are on life support and the nurse has just called ‘code blue’. They are more woe than whoa.
The paradox here is that a church’s social media presence is one of the key ‘front facing’ touch-points that any church can have. Wouldn’t we all want it to be the best that it can be? Below are seven tips that I hope help churches that need to kick-start their social media presence:
#1 Use your imagination – It’s free!
Churches are full of life. People, groups, communities, causes. There are so many imaginative ways you can tell the story of what is going on in your church community beyond pushing out bible quotes and church announcements. All you need is your smart phone linked to your social media accounts and off you go! It can be that simple.
#2 Strategy first, tactics second
Think strategically first, then dive down into tactics. Figure out the ‘why’ before the ‘how’. Ask yourself success looks like. If you don’t know, how can you measure it? So often I see ‘blah blah’ random posts that don’t really say anything or don’t engage the audience where they are at. Before you type. Ask yourself – why should they care about this?
#3 Be A Social Leader
One of the biggest myths going around is that social is the comm’s teams role. Your leaders need to be social. It’s not just the comm’s team job. There is nothing more powerful than when a leader shares something rather than your church’s social media channel. It shows ownership and passion for what they are doing.
#4 Learn from others
One of the most delightful aspects of being a blogger are the people I’ve met, more importantly it’s what I’ve learnt from them about social media engagement. Some who I have learnt from include Kem Meyer, Phil Cooke, Justin Wise, Tim Schraeder and Richenda Vermeulen. Thank you so much for teaching me and influencing me. You will never know how you have made me try to be better at what I do. There are so many things that I wish I knew before I started using social media for my church. You all helped me through that awkward pimply teenage social period. Thanks!
#5 Don’t be a Lone Ranger
There are plenty of people already doing social media in churches. Join the global community of social on Twitter #chsocm who have a weekly tweetchat and talk about church and social media (Check out this nifty infographic about how churches use social media)
Contrary to popular belief, Social media isn’t free. But, you can start really small on a shoe string budget. But please start. You can have spectacular results if you are prepared to put some money where your social mouth is. I dipped my toe in the $ water last year and saw a massive response in engagement and reach.
#6 Engage, don’t just broadcast
This is one of the most common mistakes I see churches make. Usually in the form of sporadic announcements that don’t have a clickable action. Here are some simple ways to increase engagement you can do right now. (If you are looking to see how NOT to do it, check this post out).
#7 Repeat steps 1 through 6
Seriously. Try and try again. Never stop thinking, learning, listening, trying, failing, succeeding, sharing, investing. I am continually looking for ideas to help me improve my experience in social media.
Share your tips
As I said, I don’t claim to know it all. Do you have any social media tips you would like to share? Please comment below.