Social Media In the Church

You can't deny the power of social media in todays culture.  The majority of people in our churches are using at least one form of social media.  Since social media is taking precedence in the church we need to approach it strategically.  It is easy to respond to the noise of social media by creating a page in Facebook or a church twitter account.  Before you start, ask yourself some basic questions to help direct your efforts.  We consult churches with their social media efforts and have an intensive process to ensure everything is aligned, but you can do a quick self discovery to point everything in the right direction. 

Before you start your church's social media ask your self some basic questions.  First, who is your audience and how are they currently using social media?  Second, what are you planning to use each social media platform for? Thirdly, what is your voice and frequency?  Normally we take anywhere from 5-30 hours to discover, create strategy, design and launch a social media plan, s don't be afraid to give your church social media some real thought.  If you need help in this process drop us an email

How to use Social Media in the Church

This blog post is in response to @JohnUpChurch request. I hope this blog post is a springboard to the conversation around Social Median in the church.

Creating a Social Media plan for a church wanting to reach thier twenty somethings. So fun to work with a church willing to lead the way!

 

@sheepishdesign I hope you'll blog about that. I'd love to see some of the thought that comes out (whatever can be shared).

 

Currently, we are developing a plan to create the strategy for reaching "Twenty Somethings" at a church in Minnesota.  To start I am very excited to work with a group that is aggressive in their thinking when it comes to leveraging Social Media.  Many churches are overwhelmed with the idea of Social Media or do not see the value in it.  Both of these areas can be addressed if the right questions are asked and metrics put in place to measure success. 

In asking the right questions you can create a clear picture of what Social Media engagement looks like for your organization or church.  It is important to take the time on the front end and bring clarity to your objectives and definition of success. 

The following is a list of areas you should think through when using Social Media in your Church or organization. We have multiple subsets of questions for each group that can take up to 37 hours in meetings and research, but even two hours of developing these areas will help you go the distance. 

Social Media Strategy Development

  1. Set and Understand your Objectives.
  2. Do Market Research and Surveys to get a better picture. 
  3. Create a Campaign Strategy. 
  4. Establish your Listening and Monitoring guidelines. 
  5. Develop Response and Engagement Strategy. 
  6. Architect the Campaign Delivery and Workflow. 
  7. Create a Social Media Policy and Guidelines document for your team. 

These are a few of the areas you should focus on when creating a plan for using Social Media in your church.  Each of these areas has multiple approaches for developing strategy and action items.  Try not to get overwhelmed by the process but allow it to develop your focus.  PS- We recommend having someone walk you through this process.  If you need help contact us. 

How to connect Facebook to your Church Website

How to Connect your church website to facebookThere are a couple ways to connect your church website to Facebook. The one I want to address is posting your blog entries onto the wall. There are applications on Facebook which pull your RSS feed and automatically update your status but I highly recommend you don't use this method. Even though it is the easiest way to update your Facebook community it can become white noise. If people see Blog titles and a link continually they will begin to categorize you with bulk emails, and we all know what that means!

To avoid this I recommend taking the extra 40 seconds and writing a personal note/teaser and copy the url manually. This keeps your updates in the category of personal updates, which people can not get enough of! The extra 40 secs will keep you in the "friend update category" and out of the "email blast category."

Social communities like Facebook and Twitter are permission based groups. This means you are apart of their exclusive online friends. Since this relationship is based off permission you need to approach it as such. Inauthentic wall posts can break this trust quickly if done regularly, even if your blog post are authentic. Keeping the trust means content engagement, and this is why you wrote the blog in the fist place.

Does Social Media matter with Church Websites

Social Media for the ChurchSocial Media is quickly becoming the platform which information is passed along.  Before, you would search the topic on Google or other search engines.  Today, people still do this but they are also relying heavily upon their social community to provide this information.  People prefer referred information because it comes with a social contract of guaranteed and quality.  We trust our friends to share information which is relevant and quality in nature.  This is were Social Media steps in and provides an avenue of connection.  Your church website is an absolute must, but you need to communicate your communities culture, values, events and connection through an environment which already connects your church.  Facebook, twitter and the like already exist and allow for this transfer of connection and information. 

It is important your church website connects with social media.  The more your church web design allows for this the more you can leverage the power of social media.