3 Quick Social Media Tips

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Churches are increasingly investing more time into social media.  It can be a great way to connect with members, regular attenders and new folks in a place where people are already hanging out.  Whether you’re just getting started in social media or have been at it for awhile, here are three tips for avoiding a few common mistakes.

Don’t set it and forget it.  Launching a Facebook page or setting up a Twitter account is the easy part.  The challenge comes in keeping it up to date.  If you’re going to commit to social media also commit to sticking with it.  In the beginning, you may not have all the interaction and traction you were hoping for, but most of the time if you stick with it, the people will come.  If you leave it deserted, people will notice.  There’s no motivation for someone to follow you if your page is a ghost town.  If you’re having problems keeping up to date, create a posting calendar to keep you on track and to help you find a posting rhythm.

Not everyone will see what you’re posting.   Just posting something on Facebook or Twitter doesn’t mean all of your followers will see it.  Twitter can be a cluttered stream of information and it’s easy for a single tweet to get lost.  Look for ways to post the same information multiple times throughout the day without directly copying a tweet word for word.

For Facebook, the more people interacting with your post, the better chance more people will see it.  Any time you post something, Facebook computers give it a score and that determines how much priority it will be given in your fans News Feeds.  The more people like, share or comment on your post, the better your score. The better the score, the more people will see it. 

Understand how your social media outlets work with everything else.  It’s a common mistake to just dive into using social media without thinking about how it fits in with your other communication streams.  How does your Facebook page coexist with your website, weekly bulletins, emails, in service announcements, slides on the screens in your sanctuary, etc.?  Not everything you do will be shared on all these platforms.  Like using any communication tool, take time to establish who the audience is and what goals you hope to achieve with it.

Are any of these areas a challenge for you?

Posted in: Church & Web; Blog Photo courtesy of Richard Winchell - http://www.flickr.com/photos/richardwinchell/367608280/in/photostream/ Image: See Credit

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You might have covered this in a  previous post, but I've found Hootsuite to be a great tool for scheduling and keeping up with Facebook and Twitter. There are other social media dashboards that do similar things - sometimes it helps to have it all in one place.

Wendy-while Hootsuite and other interfaces are great to monitoring all of your social media accounts, I recommend posting individually. While this maybe more time consuming, studies have shown significantly decreased interaction when posting from 3rd party interfaces like Hootsuite.

Interesting - although, when one is managing multiple accounts, and time is  limited, is it better to be able to post through Hootsuite vs. not at all? I've not noticed that posting through Hootsuite produces less engagement, although I did notice that Networked Blogs was awful.

I would definitely say posting through a 3rd party is better than not posting at all! 

Jerod,

 

To your point about posting the same information several times a day... is there concern with overkill especially if the tweet or fb post is more directed to church members (i.e church potluck this Sunday afternoon at 3).  If the church sent out an e-mail reminder about the same event I think doing that more than once would be too much.  Would the same advice apply to social media as it does to e-mail.

Yes, overkill is a concern.  That's why it's always inportant to look at your overall communications plan to see how things like your website, email and social media all work together.  Maybe you don't promote something on every outlet you have.

The multiple posting in one day really is more of a Twitter thing.  A single tweet can easily get lost.

You're right, the last thing you want to do is bombard people.  

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