Small Groups and Social Media
Social media isn’t just a hip trend that has millenials hooked; it’s the direction that technology and society are continually developing together. Small groups and social media can be powerfully connected.
Small group point people know and champion that community is an essential part of life—so it shouldn’t surprise us that media has become social! Every person in this world desires to be deeply connected with others, and social media is simply society’s attempt at making that happen.
Even though as Christ-followers we know that social media does NOT fulfill the deep longing of a person to be known and loved, it should still be one of the tools we use to connect more people to life-giving community.
So here are four easy ways to amplify your message and grow your groups using social media!
- Get real people’s stories in front of more people.
Social media is incredibly visual. If it’s not a video or image, it gets lost in someone’s feed. And when it comes to Instagram and Snapchat, it HAS to be an image or video! Plain text isn’t even an option!
Luckily, our greatest advertising tool for joining a group is the story of a changed life—real people that have had real hope because of their experience in Christian community. And since almost everyone that we’re trying to reach is already scrolling through their news feed, we need to put those stories in the middle of it!
THE IDEA: Shoot a video of someone’s 60-second story and share it on Instagram, Facebook or Snapchat.
- You can record it on a phone! Some of the most successful videos on these platforms are unpolished and shot by amateurs, not professionals with expensive cameras. Check out this article for some pointers on shooting a great social video on a phone.
- Bonus Points: Include information about a next step a person would take to get into a group of their own.
- Celebrate leaders in a loud way.
Social media is your voice, amplified across your entire network of connections. What better place to honor someone than in front of everyone you know?
We all know that if we want to see great things repeated, we need to intentionally celebrate them when they happen. Social media should be our natural choice for celebrating a group’s story, a leader who did something awesome, or the success of a connection event. We want to amplify the most important stories that carry our core values, and social media is the most amplified medium we’ve got.
THE IDEA: Pick a few leaders that are doing an incredible job. One at a time, share a picture of you and them with a caption telling everyone why they’re amazing and how they’re making a difference in people’s lives!
- Bonus Points: Share it from your church’s handle, or share it on your own and make sure your church’s account shares your post! Amplify it even more!
- Spark discussion and let everyone benefit.
Ever have a great conversation with someone and immediately think of 10 other people that’d benefit from the same conversation? Or 10 other people that you would have loved to weigh in and share their wisdom? Enter social media! We are all used to social media being a battleground of competing ideas—but that same power can be used for good!
THE IDEA: Publicly share a dilemma, obstacle or need for a creative idea, and ask for your leaders to weigh in! People will benefit from each other’s ideas, and you get to raise up your best leaders’ voices when they share! (Facebook is a great forum for this!)
- Bonus Points: Mention some of your leaders (@theirname) and ask them to respond in the comments, or just tell them you wanted to them to see this! The more conversation, the more it will show up in other people’s feeds as well!
- Help groups continue the conversation throughout the week.
Social media isn’t just the “public” venue that we often think of. Social media extends to all the “messaging” apps that many people interact with on a daily basis. Messaging apps are meant to be rich conversational experiences that help people connect in meaningful ways. Let’s face it… email is not a “conversational” experience, and that’s often our standard communication tool!
Help your groups continue their group’s conversation in their everyday lives by suggesting their group use a messaging app. Normal SMS group texts only allow for up to 10 people, so as soon as a group is larger than that, a group text won’t even cut it! Help them create a space for everyday dialogue, questions, prayer requests, plans, etc. to happen…create the space, and it usually gets filled!
THE IDEA: Research Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, GroupMe, WeChat and Google Allo to see what you can learn about each! And there are many more!
- Bonus Points: Do this with YOUR group first, so you’ve got personal experience to draw from!
Social Media is yet another tool we have at our disposal as small group point people to amplify our message and grow our groups. So, take some simple steps this week to utilize it in a new way, and watch what happens as a result!
This article originally appeared here.