One of the biggest keys to a win with social media is communicating what a success looks like with the metrics you use and then using the right online metrics and analytics to show that you have or have not hit that goal. But if marketing were solely about the numbers, anyone could do it. For those in ministry and business, what we do online has direct impact to our offline life too and we need to be able to see the bigger picture.
The reality is that social media is still a bit of an unknown. There are big businesses out there as well as entertainment companies that are getting it right. Jimmy Fallon, the new host of Late Night, and his crew completely gets social media. They have reoccurring bits of using hashtags to crowdsource funny stories for a 5-10 minute segment. They also do web exclusives on YouTube not shown anywhere on television. It could be easy for the social media manager to spout some stats, show off how the hashtag becomes a worldwide trending topic, and call it a success. But if the brand of Jimmy Fallon and the network’s views do not go up and therefore NBC cannot charge more for advertisements (or at least sustain what they have), then the high numbers could actually be worded as a failure instead.
Tweeting the Church
There is no better picture of this than within ministry. The goal should never be Facebook likes, reach, retweets, or +1s. If that is what you define success as, then you are missing the boat and doing your ministry a disservice. We have very tangible and eternal implications in what we do. We must push for success beyond our Facebook pages and church blogs, towards people that hear the Gospel, connect with discipleship, and getting people invested into their faith and the church. If this is something you would love to better define, we would love to help!
- What if social media strategy had goals of salvation and discipleship instead of Facebook likes?
- Could we support an online ministry that had goals of financially giving levels for Compassion International instead of retweeting a post so many times?
- How would you feel if our approach to online marketing focused on putting people into ministry sites first and worried about advertising ROI second?
Trust me, analytics and online marketing best practices are vital to effectively using the tools and maximizing our impact. But if our target is for numbers and not the eternal nature of it all, then why are we doing it? What are your thoughts and how can we make better use of social media and online marketing?