Mark MacDonald outlines how your church can stay in touch with congregants throughout the week with social media posts that extend the reach of your ministry by building an audience and a relevant brand following.
It’s difficult to believe we’ve had social media for almost two decades. We once wondered if it would have staying power — and now we question if we use it too much! It’s become the “normal” way we keep in touch and the best way to build a following outside of our physical world.
You do want to stay in touch with your congregation, don’t you? They’re on social media platforms. Your posts can help extend ministry-reach throughout the week (not just on Sunday). But I hope your church is also trying to build a relevant and needed brand following, too! Let’s do it well! Here are seven building blocks for social media success:
1. Build an audience.
Seek a following above all. Your congregation is the easiest to have follow you. Ask them regularly and, more importantly, give them a great reason to follow you. (You do have a reason, don’t you?) Also, use hashtags to make your content easy to find by the community you would like to attract. You can also pay to have posts broadcast to a targeted greater audience to gain brand new followers.
2. Entertain more than inform.
Social media is a way we pass time. What things will stand out from your social feeds? Things that entertain, interest, and engage. If you’re only promoting or informing, you’re creating content that will be mostly ignored. Plus, the channel’s algorithms will stop delivering your posts to people that don’t slow down on them.
3. Keep it short.
Most people prefer edited material. They believe a page’s author knows his or her content and knows what most people need, and they want what the author considers the bare minimum. Just enough. Rather than expecting readers to wade through a lot, do the heavy lifting of editing content.
4. Use images or videos.
They’re worth 1,000-plus words, right?! Plus, the algorithms will love you. Just ensure they tell or extend a compelling story. Oh, and keep videos short (less than three minutes).
5. Build a brand thread.
Your followers have a reason they want you in their feeds: you’re really good at solving something in their lives! Or helping them achieve goals. It doesn’t have to be spiritual, but it should lead to spiritual things since you’re a church. That thread of content is what your church should be known for. And that’s your brand. Keep building it with every post!
6. Engage and they’ll engage.
We want sharing, commenting, and liking of our posts. How do you achieve that? Make shareable and likable content that demands a comment. Then, follow, like, share, and comment on other posts that have great content within your followers and within your brand thread. Be social!
7. Create a schedule.
Just as a TV show arrives on a regular schedule, you want your content to be there when the audience subconsciously expects it. Create a regular, sustainable, schedule. Consider when your audience is bored and deliver the content around that time. Want to do this effectively? You’ll need to schedule posts through an app like Buffer or Hootsuite.
This article appeared originally on BeKnownForSomething. Used by permission.
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- The Theology of Social Media by Thomas G. James