Your church might already have a presence on social media, but is it doing enough to attract and engage worshippers? Below are ways to strengthen your ministry through social media.
WHY USE SOCIAL MEDIA?
Even the most active church cannot reach all its members all the time. Social media gives churches the opportunity to engage with members all day, every day, and to provide information that they might otherwise miss.
"Social" gives you a way to interact with your members in a more relaxed and informal manner than weekly services.
Plus, people thinking of joining the community, particularly younger people, are likely to check out the church on social media before making up their minds.
CHOOSE YOUR SPOTS
Many churches don’t have the resources to be on every form of social media: Facebook, Twitter, Vine, YouTube, Instagram etc. That’s OK. It’s better to do a good job on a few than to spread yourself too thin.
So, with so many options, how do you choose which ones to focus on?
Find out where your community already is — it’s easier to join the audience where it is than to try to attract people to an unfamiliar platform.
Play to your strengths and avoid your weaknesses. Got a knack for short, pithy messages? Try Twitter. If you’re not comfortable taking pictures, stay off Instagram.
The internet is clogged with abandoned blogs, moribund Facebook pages and inactive Twitter accounts, all started by people who had every intention of keeping them up, but who ran out of time, energy or ideas.
Believers who go to their church’s Facebook page and find it hasn’t been updated in weeks are not likely to return.
Nothing kills a social media account faster than a lack of activity. Look to volunteers for help and create an editorial calendar that includes regular updates.
ENGAGE WITH THE AUDIENCE
At its most effective, social media is a conversation between those posting content and the audience. It’s not the place for sermons and pronouncements.
If you post a YouTube video, encourage comments on it. Use Facebook to ask your congregants what subject they would like to see covered in next week’s sermon. And be a follower as well as a leader. Become Facebook friends with your leading members and follow people on Instagram — show that you’re interested in listening to your community as well as talking to them.
Using social media is a wonderful way for a church to expand the reach of its ministry beyond its walls and affect the lives of more people.