Using social media well is more than setting up an account and pushing out information about yourself or organization. By nature it’s relational. Unlike other forms of communication we’ve used in the past, social media forces us to be more relational and less authoritative. Whether you’re new to social media, or someone who’s been doing it for years, here are five things to consider that could make your online relationships stronger.
Less broadcasting. Social media is not just about you. Talking about yourself, or constantly promoting what’s happening at your church, is easy content to post, but it does little to foster community online. It’s okay to promote. In fact people will expect it when they follow you. But make sure it’s not the majority of your content.
Better service. Often times it’s good to listen more than you post. Get a feel for who your followers are. What do they care about? How can you add value to their lives? How can you serve them best? Social media isn’t about forcing your agenda, but being a part of a community.
Think of what your members can share with friends. This is one of the biggest points I try to make when talking with church leaders on how social media can be beneficial for them. When a member or attender shares something about your church on social media, it shows up in their friend’s feeds. It opens the door for conversations in a much less intrusive way that walking up to a co-worker, with a postcard in hand, giving a sales pitch for your church.
Create shorter, image driven content. Most statistics I’ve seen, especially for Facebook and Twitter, show there is a better chance of getting interaction on posts that are short and include an image (or a link to one). Like all aspects of media, people don’t want to sift through a lot of text. Even in short formats, like Twitter, posts shorter than the maximum 140 characters can help get more interaction.
Consistent posting. There are two good reasons to post consistently. First, when you’re regularly posting, you’re staying in the steam of information your users are consuming. They don’t forget about you and they know they can depend on you. Secondly, especially when it comes to Facebook, frequency in posting helps get you more exposure in your friends’ News Feed. Based on the Insights analytics for the Church Juice Page, it’s easy to see the influence of posting regularly. When we don’t post multiple times in a week, we reach less people and as we start posting more consistently, we reach more people.