We live in the social age where we have so many social choices. Because of the multitude of choices, one question I get from churches, non-profits and businesses is ‘Where should I start?’ Good question. It’s not the same for everyone, and here’s why.

I was recently speaking to a friend, Kris who is starting up a small boutique gourmet pre-packaged deli and cafe in a nearby suburb. I mentioned that the posts that people engage with me most on social media the most are actually about the food that I cook. I love cooking.

And I love sharing, well almost. I love sharing pictures.

My online friends love them and go crazy commenting about them. For my friend Kris who is starting out, social media is a great way to spread her products and service via digital word of salivating mouth. For free. People love good food and they love seeing it well presented. All Kris needs to do is pop a link in there somewhere and watch them walk through the door. Sure it’s not the only marketing Kris will need to do, but it’s a very cheap and effective start for a new business.

Twitter wouldn’t be the best place for Kris to start, although it has recently introduced opened up pictures. But Instagram and Facebook would be brilliant. Pinterest may be a good longer term approach if recipes could be written for online. On a personal level Kris can use her own personal social networks to help kickstart her business. For example she could share her Facebook page posts with her friends who will engage with the posts. Her husband could do the same on his social networks. She could also invite her friends to like her new Facebook page. It’s a great way to start and get going.

Just like with any new business, it can be the same for new or existing churches getting started. Before you get started you need to ask yourself these questions.

Who is our audience?

Create a profile of who you are trying to reach. Give them names, describe their habits, what they like, don’t like. Hobbies. Build a personal profile of them.

Where is our audience?

Is your audience on Pinterest, Facebook, Instagram? Like with my friend Kris, you have to start somewhere so start. I can tell you for example. I know that most of our audience here at Crossway is on Facebook, some are on Instagram and a few are on Pinterest. So if like mine yours is on Facebook, start there.

What is engaging for your audience?

If you are trying to reach people like you then the high probability is that they engage with social content like you. What do you like? What kind of content do you like to engage with?

It’s a party, invite everyone!

On both Instagram and Facebook you can invite all of your personal friends to like your new pages. It is a great way to start the longer road building your critical social mass.

(This is another great post that will help anyone who is starting out about social media: 10 Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Start Your Social Media Strategy.)

Your turn

Where did you start on social media? And why? What advice would you give to others? Comment below.