Feeling like it’s time you jump into the swell of Church Social Media? Ready to take the leap of faith and go for it?  Awesome!   Now is a great time!

Let’s get you started with some basic tips & suggestions to help ensure your church social media efforts succeed!

1. Pray. Invite Jesus into your work. Ask him to lead, guide, direct and bless your efforts. Your ministry is to honor him.   He will help you know what to do.

2. Create a team of volunteers, led by an invested and interested staff member. Work together to make a plan and strategy.   Plans and strategy include knowing which social media platforms you want to use, whether it’s Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, or all of the above! Knowing your purpose and your audience will help you know which platforms to use.

3. Create a schedule. Post regularly, with intention and direction. Poorly maintained social media sites are a terrible testament. Jesus is faithful and you should also be. Always Remember this:  Consistency is key!

4. Create strong content. Use pictures…more than 80% of most shared posts on Facebook have photos, and tweets that include pictures are retweeted 35% more often than text only tweets.  You don’t need to post TONS of information, you just need to post relevant, encouraging, helpful and hopeful information. If you can’t create effective content on your own, then dig for it on the Internet. There are all kinds of resources and sources available to help you!

5. Be you. Be true to the culture of your church, the personality of your people and your own voice.   Don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Don’t highlight a church community & culture that doesn’t exist. Highlight your authentic selves.

6. Listen. Pay attention to what your members are saying….what they are commenting on and reacting to, and then RESPOND! Engage with them. Let them know you care and that your reason for utilizing social media is in part to bring them closer together, closer to their church community and closer to Christ.

7. Be aware. Know who is talking about you and what they are saying. If you discover someone has a gripe or complaint about your church community or your social media ministry, consider gently reaching out to them and inviting them to explore options to reconnect in positive and encouraging ways. Reconciliation is a powerful possibility.

8. Review. Revise. Regroup.   Meet regularly with your team to review your progress, success and yes…even your failures. (Failure isn’t fatal….but doing the same wrong thing over and over again is!) Revise your plan. Fix what isn’t working, strengthen what is. Regroup and go again! The hardest part might be getting started…everything else is commitment and tenacity.

It’s an exciting time for you. You are launching into a new mission field and embracing the opportunity to grow your church ministry! Good things are happening, so be excited and get going!

This post provides just a quick overview of ways to get started and some strategies to incorporate when launching your church social media plan. For more information and more specific strategies and instructions, please check out some of these resources:

Books:

The Social Media Gospel, by Meredith Gould

Getting Started in Church Communication, Copy, Web & Jobs by Kevin Hendricks

Websites:

http://www.churchmarketingsucks.com/

http://churchsocmed.blogspot.com/

http://socialchurch.co/

Conversations:

Twitter Chat each Tuesday evening at 9:00 Eastern #chsocm

www.twitter.com/#chsocm

Twitter Chat each Thursday evening 9:00 Eastern #cmschat

www.twitter.com/#cmschat

 

 

 

 

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