As a leader in the Church I have come to value social media in ways I never thought I would. Social media has given me avenues to share helpful content, connect with others, and ultimately point others to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. These social media wins are just from the last 6 months. I didn’t always think I could win on social media. In fact, I started out posting a few pictures on Instagram and dropping a few thoughts on Twitter every so often. I treated it like I was catapulting a bunch of random words over a wall hoping someone would read it and be changed forever.
My efforts on social media were simply to impart information and that was it. Over time I gave up believing that nothing of true substance could happen on social media.
Let’s just say I’ve learned a lot since then and thought I would share some ways you as a leader in your church can win on social media!
- Post relevant content that is meaningful for your target audience. I know you’re probably laughing, but unfortunately many church leaders inundate their audience with content that isn’t relevant or not meaningful.
- Tell your audience you’re on social media. Far too often church leaders are on social media and never tell people they are. Don’t be afraid to put your social media handles in your email signature or even on your church bio.
- Follow back the people from your congregation. Take time to search out people you believe are on social media and or just follow back those that follow you.
- Purposefully engage others on social media. This is when you start to experience community. It’s often said that people come for the content, but stay for the community. I think that is very true. Take time to scroll through your tweets, feeds, or home page and like, repost, and comment on other’s posts.
- Retweet, repost, and celebrate posts. This is a great way to show those that follow you that you value what they’re posting. Also, it’s very encouraging to see a notification pop up saying you’ve been retweeted, liked, or your post has a comment.
- Post pictures of volunteers, celebrating the time they give. Highlight their role as a volunteer, share something fun about them, and just thank them on social media! It helps to build a culture that your church celebrates and cherishes its volunteers.
- Post a picture from the service with the main point and scripture. Give people a way to reengage with what you just shared with them. Repetition, repetition, etc…
- Give your volunteer teams the go ahead to post upcoming series graphics, events, and whatever else your church is communicating. You can’t expect your team to just know what to do. Create a culture on social media where you and your team share the cool stuff that’s going on at your church. Give them the go ahead and encourage it!
- Share posts from other leaders at your church or other churches. Build unity by highlighting and celebrating what other leaders at your church are sharing on social media. Let your congregation see that you are excited about what is happening with other leaders and that you are aware of what it going on in other ministries. Also, be that leader that bridges the gap between your church and other churches. Sharing a post here or there on Facebook, Twitter, or even LinkedIn creates a sense of unity. It’s a small bridge, but sometimes that’s all it takes.
- Schedule posts ahead of time but don’t forge to live in the moment! It’s super productive and efficient to schedule posts days and even weeks ahead of time. However, there needs to be a balance between scheduling and posting in real time. Your followers will pick up over time that you’re not really involved.
- Create a strategy for how your congregants can interact with your church’s content. Really dig into the age demographic of your church and decide which social media platform is best for you and your congregants. Some people take the route of utilizing every social media platform known to man. This might work for you, but it most likely won’t. Spend some time understanding what social media your congregants are on. A great idea that was told to me was to survey everyone asking them what their top 3 social media platforms. After you identify the top 3, work on creating helpful content and sharing it on a consistent basis.
Hopefully this all helps you rack up some wins on social media.
Remember, people come for the content but they stay for the community. As you interact on social media, don’t forget to pursue community through each of these.