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?