Making Social Media More “Social”
Where did the social go in social media?
Every church, business, or organization struggle with engagement. We can never get enough, and we always want more. Engagement is a true measurement of how effective the media you’re putting out there really is. If someone feels strongly enough about something to make them leave a comment, like, share, or react in a positive way then chances are it’s a great piece of content. If you’re anything like most churches, you struggle with engagement on your social media.
There are literally tons of videos on Youtube right now about how social media can make you sad, or how it’s ruining our lives. I don’t believe the issue isn that social media is inherently bad (or good), or causes us to feel any certain thing or to react any certain way. The issue lies in how we’re using it.
So many churches and organization focus on reach and views and how many seconds a video was watched before someone clicked past. But social media is supposed to be about being social. The whole point of this massive experiment is to shrink the gaps between people. Here are 5 ways you can be more SOCIAL on social media.
LEAVE A COMMENT!
Leaving a comment on a video or post is a great conversation starter. If we’re talking Facebook pages, your church can leave a comment on other pages. It’s a great way to build a sense of community. Try commenting on a local businesses page or a local charity or other nonprofit. Commenting is not the same thing as endorsing and can lead to great conversations and important community connections. For Twitter, try retweeting some of your members posts. Highlight important moments in church members lives and share that in a community atmosphere. Leave comments on pictures of important life moments of your members on Instagram when you can as well. Being the first to leave a comment invites others to begin a conversation as well. That unspoken invitation can have huge implications on your community and your engagement.
Don’t be afraid to share things! Here’s a social media golden rule that every church, business, and organization can follow: at least 75% of what you post, should be shared content. We need to be sharing content from our community. The tendency we have is to lean towards creating content and then focusing only on what we’ve created. When we do that, however, we create a stagnant and self-focused atmosphere that leaves very little room for engagement. We start focusing on the quantity of what we’re sharing rather than the quality of what we’re sharing. Instead, set up specific times of the day to be interactive and share the other content that is relevant to your audience. It helps spread the love and it shows that you are outwardly focused.
SEND A MESSAGE!
No one likes it when they get an automated message on twitter within seconds of following someone back. But people do enjoy it when they receive personalized messages that show a real interest in them! Sending an encouraging message to someone is great way to make them feel engaged and cared for and prompts them to open up a real conversation.
ASK A QUESTION!
Don’t just post another story, ask for a response! Starting a conversation can be as simple as asking a question that people can relate to. Post a graphic from this Sunday’s sermon and ask a question relating to the message. You’ll find that people will start conversations more readily when they’re given a specific topic to focus on. This can build a wealth of engagement and strengthen your community as people come together to share thoughts, ideas, and passions.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
It’s not how much stuff you’re posting, it’s about the depth and quality of what you have to say. Don’t focus on sharing just another graphic, instead make it matter. My biggest challenge for churches when they start sharing on social media is always “Go Deep” on at least one post a week. Really challenge yourself to dig deep down and share some genuine truth or communicate a real passion or principle that your is central to your church. Instead of trying to fill a social media post queue this week, focus on sharing something that has great quality.
Being social and creating community starts with you. How deep, how engaged, how focused do you want your community to be? Making those first steps into being social on social media again really is a key factor in creating a more connected community and adding value to people’s lives. I hope you can implement some of these into your social media strategy and really increase your engagement.