By: Rachel Cross
As a church, it’s tempting to jump into the world of social media because…well…everyone’s doing it. Before you commit to a social presence, here are three questions you should ask yourself:
1. What are your goals for being on social media? For example, are you hoping to attract new visitors/attendees? Or, do you want a way to communicate with your existing members? What level of engagement do you want to see from any fans or followers? Do you want people to be able to engage in open discussion with each other, or do you want it to be more of a controlled conversation? Make sure these goals are clearly defined before launching your networks.
2. What social channels are you planning on launching? The goals you define for your channels should drive the answer to this question. For example, if your goal is to attract non-attenders to your Sunday service, then you might want to consider a Facebook Page* where you can build a presence that shares your mission, heart and personality with people who otherwise don’t engage with you. If your goal is to be able to communicate in new ways to your existing members, then you might consider creating a Facebook Group instead. If your main goal is to have people share photos from your events, then Instagram might be the way to go. Of course, multiple channels can accomplish similar goals, but make sure you are using each channel in a way that maximizes its potential. (*Facebook Pages require resources – see #3.)
3. Do you have the resources to properly engage with social media? At a minimum, I recommend having someone spend 10-15 hours a week creating and managing content and graphics specifically for social media. Some of the content can be used across multiple channels, but the point is that it is time consuming if you want your presence to be professional and engaging. If you don’t have a volunteer ready to invest this kind of time, or are not ready to pay someone to do it for you, then publically-facing social media channels might not be something you should engage with right now.
If these questions make you uncomfortable, then you might need to spend more time on your social media strategy before diving in headfirst.
Image credit: www.modernworkers.com
Rachel Cross is a marketing sherpa for churches, nonprofits and small businesses. She considers herself a sherpa because she enjoys the challenge of guiding her clients to where they want to go while helping to “carry their packs.” Plus, sherpas get to wear warm, fuzzy hats! Learn more at rachelkgroup.com.