Social media is about connecting with people relationally. Sometimes we think about social media as a way to advertise events, functions and projects. But social media platforms are not advertising platforms, they are relational platforms. It’s important for us to keep this in mind.
- Relationship comes before promotion. A lot of churches treat social media as an extended version of a Sunday morning bulletin or pulpit announcement. Yes, it’s OK to make announcements, but social media is inherently social. Post content that invites engagement.
- Relevant content is the key to success! Think about what kinds of content will encourage your followers to grow spiritually, connect with each other and God, and respond in some way. Mix it up. Content includes Images, video, and text. Infographics are also popular. Links can be a great way of helping people find relevant information on spiritual growth, parenting, and life in general.
- Keep the main thing the main thing. This has to do with your purpose which in some way or another is connecting people to God and to a local church/organization. People don’t care what you ate for lunch. They want to know what God is doing and how they can get in on it.
- Always keep your target audience in mind. There are usually one or two audiences tuning in all the time. Make a profile of the Jane or John you’re trying to encourage and or reach. Then deliver content and encouragement that will change their lives.
- Serve your audience, not yourself. The last thing we need is more self-centered pages and people. Social media, particularly for a ministry, isn’t about being seen, it’s about serving. In order to serve, you have to be seen, but make sure you keep things in the right order.
- If in doubt, don’t do it! Keep it positive. When posting always remember that the character of your organization and your mission is at stake. Never post controversial, negative, and or contentious content. If you are addressing social concerns it may be better to have a separate page that engages that particular need and audience.
- Do it! Social media should be an ongoing ministry of the church, not just an occasional visit. Set up a content calendar and post daily.
- Let people know you are listening. If someone comments on a post, respond. Don’t leave people hanging. Thank them for commenting and comment back with appropriate.
- Promote. Yes, relationship is king, but it’s important to boost content and advertise when appropriate. Only a small portion of your audience sees your content. All content has a lifespan and sometimes it disappears before your audience sees it. In addition, platforms like Facebook only deliver your content to a portion of your followers. For a small cost, you can boost posts and advertise virtually guaranteeing a high level of engagement. Some content deserves to be seen and it’s well worth the investment to increase it’s visability!