“If the website is the front door to the church, social media is the welcome mat.”
The church must be present on social media as an opportunity to connect and communicate with people. It’s more than a side thing – it’s the premiere way for you to connect and communicate with people you otherwise may never meet in your community. It must be utilized as one of the avenues for ministry and mission.
Social media is something that can be easily delegated to someone in the congregation or staff. Much like you would have someone serving as a Sunday School Teacher or a greeter or usher, this person’s volunteer role would be social media. There are ways to develop a strategy for the ministry, but it doesn’t have to start big!
People spend 2.6 hours on one of the big three (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter) every day! If we want to go where the people are, we must be here for sure.
I listened to an interview Carey Nieuwhof did with Dave Adamson, Northpoint’s Social Media Director. I made some quick notes from that podcast (Thanks, guys for offering it!) and planned to send these notes to some of our church volunteers who help in social media ministry. Then I thought it might be helpful to others, so I decided to share it on the blog. You can always subscribe to Carey’s podcast here. He’s got some great stuff each week!
Here are my notes from the podcast:
SOCIAL MEDIA MINISTRY CONCEPTS
THE BIG THREE: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
- Facebook is still the best at engaging conversation
- Facebook is great for outsiders – post things that church people would want to share.
- Instagram is for Insiders in the church.
- Twitter: A mix – and it’s just a good connection with people.
- Churches need to be present in all on three of these.
VOLUNTEERS IN SOCIAL MEDIA MINISTRY
- Instead of teaching a class or ushering, the volunteer is serving in a role on social media.
- Two people per service – taking pictures, responding to people who connect, post the “bottom line” of the morning message (this would just be done once).
- Develop a team to get the place where you can respond with five minutes 100% of the time.
- The goal for the ministry of Social Media: To be more of a telephone than a megaphone. Don’t just broadcast info and invitations to attend things, talk with people.
- Get in the habit of engaging with people as they reach out. Say something back.
- Social media is an incarnational, outreach, go where the people are kind of ministry.
- The Average American spends 2.6 hours per day on of the big three!
- Give, Give, Give, Ask: There should be three helpful things for everything you ask for your people. Three helping or inspiring pictures or helpful articles before posting an inviting to worship or other events, etc.
- Be helpful – If you’re helpful to people, they will stay connected to you.
- Post frequency “No more than three times per day and no less than four times per week. “
- “Less Megaphone, More Telephone”
- “Don’t Try to Impress People, Include People”
- “High Touch, Not Just High Tech”
- “Website is the front door to the church; Social media is the welcome mat to the front door.”
It’s amazing that each of these avenues are totally free! If your church doesn’t have a presence on social media, figure out a way to begin today! If your church does have a presence, it might be a good time to begin to become more intentional with a strategy.
If you’re interested, here are our social media accounts for our church and for Harvest Ministry… We’re still learning!