Social media is becoming a key communications channel for church leaders across the world. There has never been a time when the western world has been more connected. Are you leveraging for effectively for your church? Here are seven pro-tips for those who want to take their social media presence to a new level and extend their reach.
- Make the Time
Building your platform on social media takes time. Calendarize your engagement time and your scheduling so that you don’t waste time needlessly looking at cat videos.
- Be Yourself
Your audience wants to see you for who you really are. They want to know what you love. What inspires you. About your hobbies and interests. You don’t have it all together and be the plastic pastor. Be real. Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.
- Remember Everything Is Public
There have been far too many scandals of high profile people posting the wrong kind of stuff of social media. Just remember not to over-share. Once it is public, there is no taking it back. Google will index your post. People will take screen shots and re-share on their own networks.
- Engage, Don’t Broadcast
Social media is an engagement channel, not a TV channel. You actually have to engage with people. Reply to questions and comments. Put your point of view across on other people’s posts. Be doing this your audience will connect with you and build an affinity with you. They will be on your team. You will also connect with friends of friends. People who you aren’t already friends with. This is a brilliant way to reach new people.
- Ask for Support
Social media is just like any other communications channel. If you have the communications support, get your team to create some content for you. It may be from your services, graphics, blog posts you want to share. You can also ask for help from social media experts. For example, did you know that you can schedule your posts all in one go for a whole week? You can be incredibly productive (Check out my post on scheduling your social media [http://www.stevefogg.com/2014/10/28/social-media-to-schedule-or-not/].) Scheduling your content is fine as long as you connect with your audience and engage.
- Take Them Back Stage
As I said earlier, your audience wants to see the real you. Give them access ‘back stage.’ As well as the usual posts about your Sunday services, they want to see what makes you tick, inspires you or challenges you. They want to see that you are human. Just like with your sermons, only share what you want to share.
- Be prepared to change
Social media networks are changing all the time. Video is the big new thing on Twitter and Facebook. Next year it will be something else. Being agile and adapting is a key to growing your platform in the long term. Change isn’t a bad thing. It’s part of life. Check out my post here [http://www.stevefogg.com/2015/01/13/top-7-social-media-trends-churches-non-profits/] where I talk about the emerging trends for 2015.
There is no doubt that social media is here to stay. Don’t dismiss it. Jump on board, become a pro and build your platform.