This isn’t a 5 step program, or a guaranteed successful way to increase your church twitter followers or your ensure your church folk join Twitter. What it is is a way to try and explain to people in your congregation and community why they should give Twitter a try. It goes like this:
“You don’t have to Tweet”
This was crystallized for me in a recent post I read about Twitter’s future, but I think it is incredibly applicable to churches.
Here’s how I see things.
How to Explain Why to Join Twitter
For people who have never used Twitter it can be hard to get their head around it. “No one cares about what I had for breakfast” & “How do you say anything in 140 characters” being common complaints. This is where you introduce the “you don’t have to tweet” line. When people look confused, or ask what’s the point then, you have the perfect opening to explain how great it is to be able to follow interesting people and get the information straight from them.
The Game Plan
They don’t have to follow everyone and look at pictures of their supper, they can choose to follow whoever they want. I’d actually suggest that to start they follow 5 or 6 people at most. Their siblings or kids, if they get on well; An organization they may be interested in like @Y2Y_Initiative or @ReformedComunio; A famous person or politician like @jianghomeshi or @BanffMayor; A reporter like @snolen; And of course you and your congregation. That’s probably enough to start*. Have them promise to check it once or twice a day for a week, and see what they think.
Make Sure Not to Follow People Who Tweet Poorly
Provided they pick appropriate people who aren’t horrible tweeters, there shouldn’t be too much they find annoying, but a reasonable amount of stuff they find interesting. It’s like a newspaper filled with items from people they’re into. Ignoring all the problems with being able to create your own news bubble by excluding things that can challenge your thinking, and the problems with that, I think this is something that lots of people will find useful. It’s also not intrusive They can check it whenever they feel like it, or not, and the news is straight from the source. I only suggest asking them to check regularly to start so they get a in a bit of the habit and get an understanding of what Twitter is about.
There you have it a reasonably good way to try and increase your church twitter following, if not double it. Plus you help enlighten people as to the wonders of Twitter. They also get to see everything you and others post without a filter like on Facebook. Which is a good reason you want them there.
*I also won’t complain if you suggest they follow me @AllanBuckingham : )