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Is There Anything Pastors and Ministry Leaders Should be Concerned about using Social Media?

When I did my Q&A video on my Facebook page last Friday one of the questions people asked was if I had any areas of concern about pastors or ministry leaders using social media. It’s worth exploring with a little more depth. I’m a big fan of using the tools of social media in your overall communications strategy. But if there are any concerns the top three would be:

1. Are you in control of your ‘brand’?
Social media really is “social” so forums, blogs, Facebook groups or even Twitter hash-tags can be used to complain about an organization. So get in there and take control of your brand. One of the best ways is to make sure the people in your organization are telling the same story online so you have a unified communication stream.

2. Listen. Take the time to engage those who tweet/comment or post on your Facebook wall. Remember, it’s “social” media, not a one way broadcast where you post a message or tweet and just watch people comment. You’re simply not doing “social media” unless it’s a two way conversation.

3. Have a plan.
Brian Boyd said that a CEO friend told him his social media “ROI” wasn’t working, even though he told his sales people to “start tweeting”. You need a plan. Just like an architect uses plans before hitting that first nail, you need a plan before executing a social media strategy.

At Cooke Pictures, we’re committed to social media, as a vital part of your overall media strategy. If you’re thinking of jumping into the stream, we’d love to help you learn what it’s all about and how to create a successful plan.

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Phil Cooke is the founder and CEO of Cooke Media Group in Los Angeles (CookeMediaGroup.com) where his team helps church, ministry, and nonprofit organizations engage the culture more effectively through media. He's a filmmaker, media consultant, and author of "Unique: Telling Your Story in the Age of Brands and Social Media."