While social media may be the it thing, church social media use generally leaves something to be desired. I’m not exactly sure why that is, but I imagine it has something to do with generally overworked staff & clergy and reliance on over committed volunteers. There are some churches and church organizations that use social media quite well. These are usually churches that have staff with social media somewhere in their job description or who take it to be there. But for many churches good or even decent social media use remains a challenge. There are some easy things you can do however to start making effective use of social media.
The first thing to do is to find a service you like for scheduling posts. There are more and more of these becoming available all the time. Some of the more popular ones are TweetDeck, HootSuite* & Buffer. Personally I use both HootSuite and Buffer to manage my social media networks. Being able to schedule updates is invaluable in your effort to stay relevant with social media and stay sane.
Once you’ve selected your scheduling service, you can start entering upcoming events and notices to be posted to the various social networks your church uses. This lets you sit down once a week and schedule out your updates and have them posted at the appropriate times. You can also use this to schedule news about updates you’ve made to your website, like new sermons or blog postings.
Another easy thing you can do to improve your church social media use is re-post other relevant content whether that’s sharing or liking on Facebook or re-tweeting on twitter or similar actions on other social networks. This lets you share good content with your followers and stay on their radar without too much effort on your part. Combine re-posting with pre-scheduling and your church social media accounts should be pretty active.
There are many people who think the above is not good enough and some who think if you only use social media like advertising, you’re missing the point and shouldn’t be using it all. While I understand where these people are coming from and there are more and better ways to use social media, in my opinion, this is a good way to get started using social media in a manageable way. Just remember to stay open to conversations, and ask the occasional question as well. That’s when church social media starts to be more fun.
What do you think? Is having pre-scheduled event notices and re-posts enough to make social media worthwhile? What are other easy ways to keep your network active?
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