We push social media a lot at our church. I’ve noticed that our strategy has begun to develop into a pretty fine art that I thought I’d share with you. Before becoming pastor at Highland Park, I was on staff with the Southern Baptists of Texas Convention where one of my responsibilities was serving as social media strategist. I hope this post helps your church to more effectively engage people so you can fulfill your mission.
Here are some things you should note about developing a social media strategy for your church: It is important, pick which social networks you’ll use, post clearly and often (but not too often), and reply to people.
It is Important
- 56% of Americans have a profile on a social networking site.
- 55% of Americans 45-54 have a profile on a social networking site.
- 22% of Americans use social networking sites several times per day.
- 47% of people say Facebook has the greatest impact on their purchase behavior. Surely this also effects their church-choosing behavior, too.
- 23% of Facebook’s users check their account five or more times EVERY DAY.[i]
- 77% of buyers say they are more likely to buy from a company whose CEO uses social media.[ii]
- 82% of employees say they trust a company more when the CEO and leadership team communicate via social media.[iii]
- Facebook is the leading source of referred social media traffic to websites, at 26%.
- 34% of marketers have generated leads using Twitter, and 20% have closed deals.[iv]
Pick What Social Networks You’ll Use
There are a lot from which to pick.[v] At Highland Park, we use twitter, facebook, and vimeo.
Post Clearly and Often
The key to posting information clearly and often is to use a scheduling strategy for posting information. I use Hootsuite. If someone were to just look at my usage of social networking, they’d think I was online way more than I actually am. Every Monday, I schedule tweets and facebook posts for the church to release on different days at different times. My goal is 3-5 posts per day for the church’s social networking pages.
Sometimes I post events the church is holding. Other times I post Bible verses that pertain to what our church is studying. I build excitement about our church’s vision and direction on the social networking sites, too.
As I finish my sermon preparation on Tuesdays, I use Hootsuite to schedule tweets Tuesday through Sunday that pertain to the topic or text I am preaching. I simply copy/paste quotes from my sermon manuscript into Hootsuite and those quotes post at their scheduled times throughout the week.
For example, this Sunday I am preaching about generous giving. On Tuesday, I scheduled a bunch of tweets with stats pertaining to giving, statements I’ll make in the upcoming Sunday morning message, and other various tidbits I think need to be shared.
Whenever you post information, don’t beat people down with the same announcements over and over ad infinitum. 52% of consumers say they have stopped following a brand because the information it posted had become “too repetitive and boring.”[vi]
Reply to People
I find it interesting that 95% of Facebook wall posts are not answered by brands.[vii] If you put the effort into typing the post, you should put the effort into replying to people. Not replying to a person on a social networking is the same thing as not replying to an email or a phone call. You’re basically telling someone you don’t care about them when you don’t reply to them.
Well, those are my thoughts on how to develop a social media strategy for your church. Have any additional thoughts? Share in the comments!
[i] This stat and all of the ones above are from this site: http://www.convinceandconvert.com/the-social-habit/11-shocking-new-social-media-statistics-in-america/
[v] Choose from a plethora of social networking sites here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_social_networking_websites