It has been a year since I started joining YouTube—significantly investing time on putting out weekly content on social media, new technology, and leadership. In the past, I thought it was just a platform where people go to consume videos, but I realized there’s more to YouTube than that! Here are my key takeaways that might help you as you think about investing on the platform.
There are lots of options for churches when it comes to creating content for YouTube. Naturally using sermon content posting clips of sermons or capturing interviews with your Pastor can do very well on YouTube. I believe the best content on this platform though, is content specifically made for YouTube.
Creating content specifically made for YouTube is understanding the significance of this being the #2 Search Engine in the world. With this understanding think about who you want to reach and what they might be searching on YouTube. Based on that search term create a Video Title that is that Search Term exactly. Then create a highly engaging video that relates to the title and brings clarity to the search that the viewer just made.
For instance, at Community Bible Church in San Antonio we want to reach people in our community and become a central place for people to go when they are searching for God. I don’t think many people search “Searching for God in San Antonio.” People do likely search for things like “Fun things to do in San Antonio.” So, as a church we can create a video called “Fun Things to Do in San Antonio.” We wouldn’t bait and switch, but rather create the best video of fun things to do in San Antonio and as a part of that video we would include a fun invite to join as at Community Bible Church.
This strategy could be used for things like “Best Restaurants in San Antonio” or “Favorite things to do in San Antonio.” You can go deeper though and try terms like “Feeling Hopeless” or “Considering Suicide” and share direct messages of hope and encouragement. The ministry opportunities are unlimited if we are strategic and creative.
When it comes to Twitter it is important to look back at the origins of this platform. This was kind of an accidental social network originally created for people to send mass text messages. 140 characters was the original length of a text and when you followed people you would get their text updates that sent out to all of their “followers.”
Just as text messaging is so much more involved with images, videos and audio messages, Twitter has also matured as a social network. While you can still subscribe via SMS messages the focus is still on the short messages that we call Tweets. These tweets are still limited to 140 characters, but also can include external links, images and even videos.
As you consider what information you want to share on Twitter I would encourage you to think about what you would want to group text out to all of your friends. You wouldn’t want to waste their time with wasted words or messages, but you would want to send them the most important information, highly inspirational messages or ask them a question in order to get direct feedback.
You then have to figure out how to get those messages into 140 characters or less.
Want to know the secret in how to most effectively do this? Just do it. The best way to get better and shortening messages to 140 characters is to just do it and it becomes more and more natural every time. There are tricks like shortening words like “because” to “bcs” or “and” to “&” or making sure not to use two spaces after periods (if you even use periods at all). Just doing it and using trial and error is the best way though and overtime you will get the hang of it!