Calling all social media managers and church communicators. I wonder if we are worried about the wrong things. While this includes not wanting to go after vanity metrics such as likes and hearts, it is so much more than that.
This thought process actually came from a recent Reddit thread that highlights this very idea. (Yes, Reddit is the worst. Yes, I do subscribe to different subreddits. No, I’m not a terrible person.) The image below came from the /r/oldpeoplefacebook subreddit that essentially mocks bad social media and people who are trying way too hard.
After seeing this one, isolated blog article, it kind of makes sense right? Who honestly cares what the new profile picture is?
I wonder if we do this with more of our social media. Not, “look what’s coming next” but emphasize the wrong thing. Here are two examples I think churches need to rethink doing on social media.
With each of these examples, I’m going to ask the question, “what’s the end game with this” and guess what? It probably does not line up with your social media strategy.
1. Sharing Pastor Quotes
You have taken the best quotes from your pastor’s sermon, put them into Photoshop with some image that you downloaded from Unsplash hoping that people will like, share, and comment on your post.
Clearly, your goal is to raise awareness of sin, the need to tithe or increase engagement on Facebook. No? Is your goal to get more people to come to church? So how many people came to church because you posted the quote?
I mean, I get it. It’s an easy kind of post and you don’t have any other content to share this week. In fact, you are probably on autopilot for the last three weeks or three months. But what does that image actually change? It gets you a couple of vanity metrics including more likes, but nobody is coming to your church because of it, no one was saved because of that image, and no one is tithing extra (even though the quote was about tithing).
2. Posting Your Announcements
These are the same exact announcements you posted in your church on Sunday morning. But we want people to come right? They (whoever this “they” is) say you need to see something at least seven times before you do it, so you post the announcements again as a Facebook video. Of course, people like it, but this does not necessarily increase visibility online, especially when people do not watch it all the way through. People may comment on it, but you did not create a Facebook event with event details because you are solely relying on the video to do all the explaining. There are no links on the post, though you tell the viewer to go to a certain page on your church site (and Facebook doesn’t want you leaving their site, so that’s probably hurting your metrics.)
If we are saying that last one is autopilot kind of posting, then this one is pure laziness. We talk about repurposing your content for different platforms, but this post simply is copy/paste type of posting. You didn’t think about how the audience interacts with your posts differently. You ignored this is dynamic content where you can provide links to signup forms or even the wonderful event tools Facebook or that a whole group of people may be in your community but do not actually attend your church.
By no means is the limit, but I’m getting pretty punchy. Honestly, we need to be more intentional about our posts, not allowing “convenience” or “it worked for them” to be the reason we post stuff.