It’s all about MORE. Like it or not, when an organization decides to use social media, it’s to see an increase in something—money, attendees, sales, happiness.
Social media is an investment, which is why social media return on investment/ROI is the keyword we all love and know.
Recently, I was doing some online digging into social media ROI. The top result was an old post from my blog and it forced me to see how I haven’t been bringing up this side of social media enough recently, especially when it comes to my church friends and clients.
It’s a crucial discussion that churches need to be having, and it starts with the question:
“How do we determine if we are being successful with our social media efforts?”
Inevitably, what happens is that a church will try social media; they might sign up for a Twitter account or put some stuff up on Facebook and give it a go for a little while.
Time and again, however, they won’t follow through. The social high will wear off and engagement stops; it will be determined that social media is not effective for churches.
Why? Because they aren’t seeing immediate results. The problem is they’ve never defined “results” in the first place.
Defining social media results.
When social media is abandoned, one of two things happens:
1. Ghost towns.
Either the social accounts become ghost towns, where they are abandoned and no one looks at them or pushes content to them. No one is actively engaging on those channels from the church’s perspective and so it further drives them down the road of inefficacy.
2. Bulletin boards.
The other option is that social becomes a distribution channel where content is consistent but its only purpose is to self-promote. When this occurs, what we have is a digital bulletin board.
Neither of these options utilize the helpful functions of social media.
At its core, social has two components: sharing and interaction. You can share content, but then you also have to interact and engage with an online community that gravitates toward your content.
You will see a return on the effort you put into social; both components must be in play, or the ROI you see will be detrimental.
Social media can shut down your church.
The reality is that social media has the power to close businesses and churches.
Here’s why: Whenever you start dealing with social media, you are essentially talking about communications. Effective communication has to have an overarching vision to unite all of the communication channels.
Diving into social media always leads to organizational visioning questions, and that’s because the dynamic at play in social media is communications.
Effective communications have to have the foundation of a compelling vision. If the compelling vision isn’t there, there is no way that social media can be effective. Social media will inevitably become scattered and inconsistent without a unified starting point; without the vision to guide it.