In the last post, A Brand Worth Talking About, we addressed the importance of creating brand ambassadors and equipping them with print resources to spread your message.
But, with 90% of online Americans being engaged in social media, we know that branding must also happen in social media (All Things D).
The question is no longer, “Should I use social media to build my brand?” but rather, “What is the most effective way to build my brand through social media?”
Presidential candidates have had to rearrange their thinking on this as well.
“The number of items posted on Twitter on Election Day 2008 is equal to about six minutes worth of tweets today, the social media company recently wrote on its blog. The dramatic changes in social media have required both parties to almost start from scratch in developing strategies for incorporating Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Flickr into their conventions.” – Fox News
Just like these candidates are taking advantage of social media channels to connect with their supporters and reach new people, your organization should be utilizing these channels to engage your members and reach out to your community.
Each piece of marketing and branding should fit together into a perfect puzzle. Your website and promotional materials should tell the same story and convey the same message as your social media, to give you one cohesive brand image.
5 Tips to Build Your Brand through Social Media
1. All social media should point to your site or blog, which acts as your campaign headquarters and is the hub of information about the church. And, likewise, your website should integrate social media icons and feeds to encourage interaction.
2. Decide on your target audience first, and then engage. One of the most important stages is deciding which social networks to focus on. It is unlikely that a successful presidential candidate ever said, “Let’s target EVERYONE.” Check out this Infographic for stats on social network usage based on demographic.
3. Choose your words wisely. Your audience wants to engage in particular kinds of content. If you’re just throwing your content out there without regard to what they want to engage in, it could be a waste of your time.
- Create engaging, funny, inspirational, conversation starting content
- Provide a resource for helpful information
- Start a community hub to post jobs, outreach opportunities, volunteer requests, food/clothing drives, kids programs, pregnancy programs
- Monitor conversations in your community to respond to needs
- Promote sermons (through audio and video)
- Be responsive
- Respond to positive & negative feedback
- Build relationships
- Be authentic
4. Track your success. Social media analytics can be the difference between growing your network and destroying it. If a political candidate just touted all day long about how horrible the other guy is, then most likely people would be tired of all the negativity.
- Track responses, likes, and comments weekly to see what gets the most engagement
- Build on the most well-liked pieces to foster more relationship and more interaction
- Check to see which posts turn viral the quickest and build your content around that
5. Continue learning. Social media keeps growing and changing. Just two years ago, Pinterest didn’t exist. Don’t let this amazing tool go to waste by failing to utilize it in the most relevant, effective way. In fact, check out this eBook for effective ways to attract visitors and engage members, Social Media and Your Church.
While our goal may not be to gather votes and convince someone of our political platform, we should value social media interaction with the same intensity.
Disciples World sums it all up with this truth, “Social media is nothing more than a place where people are gathering to share their lives with each other. I, for one, can think of no better place for a church to be than where people are gathering.”