The story depicted in Part 1 of this blog post has become commonplace. Social media at one time was the darling of the church. It provided a helpful way to communicate with our church family and even allowed us to reach outside of the church community.
Countless churches have benefited a great deal from social media, seeing improved communication and reduced costs. Social media is simple and in most cases free, hence the reason why just about every evangelical church in America uses it.
So how do we ensure that social media continues to add value to the churches we serve and minimize the potential negative impact? It ultimately comes down to clearly articulating your social media strategy. Here are 5 simple steps to help your church to develop a Social Media Strategy.
- What does your church want to achieve by using Social Media?
- Get some of your key leaders in a room with a whiteboard and spend 45 minutes going over what you want to see social media do for your ministry. Write everything down! Then distill that list down to 3-5 items.
- “We never want to see this!”
- With those same leaders in the room, talk about what you don’t want to see on your social media pages. To get your mind going, think of what you have seen on other pages that was divisive or unhelpful. Write it down! What you don’t want will help get you closer to what you do want.
- Who currently has password access to Social Media at your church?
- Take inventory of what team members are currently posting to your social media platforms. You may be surprised how many team members have logins and post sporadically. If possible, keep the number limited to no more than two. Less is more and helps you to stay consistent and on message. Change your password if necessary!
- Expect unintended consequences.
- For example, if you have agreed as a team not to use social media to post on hot topic issues such as Politics & Social Issues, many will be disappointed. Be patient with those who may not agree. Ensure they know you realize these topics are important and your church is committed to addressing them in different ways. Still, you need to learn how to say no to a lot of requests.
- Get Started
- Your social media strategy can change but you must get started. If you continue your ministry without a plan for social media you will likely pay a price. Again, get started!
Sample Social Media Strategy
- We use Social Media to achieve the following 3 things:
- Inform and communicate: what is going on in the church, upcoming events, dates, times, addresses, etc.
- Celebrate wins: baptisms, pictures of women’s events, etc.
- Paid advertisements which promote our church or events
Next Week’s Blog:
Social Media Strategy and Expectations for Key Leaders