A little more than 2 months ago I released my first book, Social Media Guide for Ministry. It has been such a blessing to hear so many stories from ministry leaders who have been encouraged by the book and implementing the principles discussed. In releasing the book we held a Virtual Book Tour and I’m excited to now share the videos from this tour with you to watch whenever you want with whoever you want. I pray these training videos will be a blessing to you and the ministry that you lead. Check back here at NilsSmith.com every day this week as a new video will be released daily over the next 5 days.
Archives For Social Media
I have been looking forward to sharing this with you all for several weeks now. I have learned so much from Gary V over the years and was a privilege to not only get to have a conversation with him, but to be able to share that conversation with you. Listen in on my phone conversation with the social media expert, Gary Vaynerchuk.
Why you should further invest:
How 3 Social Networks Describe themselves:
Facebook- give people the power to share and make the world more open and connected.
Twitter- the fastest and simplest place to stay close to everything you care about.
YouTube- a forum for people to connect, inform, and inspire others across the globe and acts as a distribution platform for original content creators and advertisers.
Sound like spaces the church should engage in? Fit with your mission/purpose?
Social Media- wikipedia defines as media for social interaction
media being- published text, images, videos that then create a conversation
Why churches don’t engage socially? It’s messy, it’s time consuming, we lose control.
* Social Media won’t make you relevant
People are talking about your church online… the question is whether or not you will be a part of the conversation.
8 Steps to Effectively engage on a Social Network:
1) Setup an account
2) Follow, friend, like a handful of people or organizations
3) Listen to the conversations
4) Listen some more
5) Engage in already ongoing conversations
6) Create a post/share media
7) Engage in the conversations that follow
8) Start over at step 2
*** FAQ- How do you balance your time online?
- Managing your time with Social Media is like anything else. To be effective you must have dedicated time committed to it, and you must also limit your time as it can easily consume your time as well (similar to email)
* Mark Zuckerberg has connected the world, it’s our job to change it
1 billion active users… 800 million login each day!
Personal Use as Ministry Leader
- Profile setup- Make sure to represent yourself well with a good profile picture, well filled out profile information, and banner image.
- Security settings- Decide for yourself how private you want to be and carefully select your security settings (talk about this with your spouse)
- Page or Profile?- Profiles are limited to 5,000 friends and can be converted a page if this number is surpassed
Ministry Pages- I think that this is quickly becoming more important that your church website. Take a look at the Analytics on your church website and the impressions on your page and more people are likely engaging with your page than your website. We often spend a lot of time/money on our website and our facebook page is an afterthought. Both are important, but don’t undervalue this.
Keys to posting effectively
- Be consistent (minimum once a day)
- Post quality content
- Post variety of content (text, images, videos)
Create a posting schedule- Inspiration, Conversation, Information
*** Tip- Call to action (Jesus Daily with 15 million page likes)- ask to Like, Share, Retweet, etc.
Facebook Groups- great for groups under 150 (Youth Groups, Small Groups, Ministry Teams)
- big advantage- users will receive a notification when an update has been made
Facebook Ads- can create much greater value on your efforts at a low cost
- Page Like posts
- Promoted Posts
Twitter- personal vs. organizational
- Good to have a church twitter account and actively use, but most effectively used by individuals as people know who is actually replying to them and they are engaging with. Most actively use as you, not your church.
- Establish a church hashtag (ex. #onlinechurch) which helps you connect with others in your church and for them to connect with each other
- Use search.twitter.com- connect with people in your community
- great evangelism tool and way to get pulse of community
YouTube- searchability and sharability (YouTube #2 search engine)
- uploading to YouTube allows your ministry to go on beyond just a moment (2 years late could minister to someone randomly coming across video)
- YouTube for Nonprofits can broadcast live and customize channel
- YouTubeforchurches.com – Sean Cannell
Google + Growing fast, but I haven’t been able to crack the code. I expect it to continue to grow being tied to Google. Hangouts are awesome, but beyond this it’s hard for me to engage. I would keep an eye on it and if you have time try to engage as I expect it to keep growing.
Pinterest- incredible opportunity for those in Women’s ministry and lots of kids ministry ideas being shared.
Instagram- Youth Pastors should be living in this space.
LinkedIn- beyond a resume sharing site… great place to engage with other ministry leaders as well as connect with those in your congregation in a professional manner
Vine- the next big thing (created by Twitter). Just like Instagram except 8 second videos rather than filtered pictures.
FaithVillage- content source for evangelical Christians with faith based elements
I’m excited to share with you all this interview that I did with the Eric Frisch and Joshua Howey on The Plugged in Church Podcast. I hope you’ll take some time to download the podcast or listen to it right on the their website. Here’s the link: http://www.thepluggedinchurch.com/?p=220.
So I made a 1 character mistake which ended up being a pretty significant mistake. I promised those who purchased my book that I would send them links to view all of the sessions from the Virtual Book Tour On-Demand. This worked great except one of the links had one character missing. I tried to correct the issue as I received many emails about this issue and feel the best way to resolve is to share this session with everyone! I hope this training session on Facebook including my interview with Jason Caston encourages you and is a great resource for you and your ministry. Feel free to watch, share, or use however might be beneficial for you.
Has your church committed to an Easter hashtag?
Hashtags are a great way on Twitter to connect with others around a central event as well as to create curiosity for those who are not yet engaged.
At Community Bible Church our Easter theme is The Cross is Enough so our hashtag will be #thecrossisenough. Our hope is for church members to share there experiences, connect with each other, and create curiosity for others in our community.
I would love to know if your church is planning to use a hashtag and invite you to follow CBC’s Easter experience by following the hashtag #thecrossisenough.
I’m praying that God does a powerful work in and through your church this Easter!
I often get asked how I automate Social Networks because it takes too much time, but I want to get my message out everywhere. There are practical answers to their question, but my recommendation is generally to just not use Social Media if your goal is to figure out how to automate the systems. To be honest, I spend far more time trying to develop systems to remove automation from our strategy in order to make Social Media more SOCIAL.
I must confess I do use several tools to automate my posts such as Buffer, Hootsuite, Facebook Scheduler, and even this blog post is being written and scheduled days before. These are valuable tools to me and I believe can be very valuable tools for you as well if used effectively.
While I schedule these posts out in advance, I also schedule time to respond and interact with various comments, tweets, and other Social Media conversations that have been created through this scheduled content. I do not believe that I can create a conversation and just leave it. This is where I feel that most people miss the mark when it comes to automating Social Media.
I used to have my blog update my Twitter account which I would then have automatically update my LinkedIn and Facebook accounts and would get frustrated that Google wouldn’t allow it to also update my Google+ account. While I wasn’t engaging on most of those platforms I still wanted all of those people to hear what I had to say.
I have since disconnected all of my accounts and do not feel that I should start a conversation that I do not plan to engage in. This takes time and energy which many are not willing to invest. I think you are missing a great opportunity, though.
For those who want to setup automated systems you can Google step by step instructions that will work for you. I can save you some time and let you know that if you aren’t planning on investing in relationships online no one will be listening. Save your energy and don’t waste your time automating anything.
Sorry for the rant. Would love to hear your thoughts!
I have shared about FaithVillage many times here and want to again reiterate how grateful I am to be connected with this incredible ministry. Brad Russell and the team at FaithVillage have an incredible vision for using web technology to grow people in their faith by connecting them with great resources and each other! I’m honored to be a contributor at FaithVillage and hope that if you’re not already an active participant in the community at FaithVillage that you will begin today.
FaithVillage has created some great resources for churches and I hope that if you are a ministry leader you will check those out and see how you can utilize these tools in the life of your church. Take a look at this video:
Questions from Rebecca:
How do I make the church’s website more relevant…more likely to draw people in?
Do you have a good set of questions that have started good conversations? Our church has a FaceBook page already. We are in the process of transformation…
Great questions Rebecca!
First, on the website I recommend 3 things: a good design, a simple structure, and clear communication. You need your website to look good and make a great first impression. The site needs to be easy to navigate and communicate clearly what you want the visitor to see/read. The biggest mistake that I see churches making on websites is not having services times and location on the front page. This is the primary thing that most visitors to a website are searching for. Make this clear and easy to find (and appealing to attend).
On the conversation starters I recommend starting casual and then going deep. Here are some good ones that we have found:
Casual: What’s the best burger in town? or What football team are you cheering on this weekend?
Personal: What one person has impacted your life more than anyone else? or What is your favorite childhood memory?
Spiritual: Type 1 word to describe God or How can we pray for you today?
I would lean on the Spiritual, but don’t hesitate to start casual and then get personal. I don’t think you can ask too many questions on Facebook!