Social media takes every element of what it means to “be social”, amplifies it and expands it to accommodate a vast majority of a population who seek similar interests. It also reaches out and motivates those who don’t seek similar interests. For a church, this means social media is used to build interior relationships, and also as a tool to spread the good word. It’s a way for congregations to be effectual “fishers of men”.
Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest…
Each of the social media “big three” have had immense impact on how churches function and grow as messengers of God’s Word. Say for instance, a church’s bulletin or weekly sermon is posted on Facebook by 50 of its members. If each have about 200 — 300 friends or followers, then they could potentially reach about 12,500 other friends. That is 12,500 potential church members or people in need of the church message.
At the advent of social media, I (and many others) never thought social media would turn into something other than a way to communicate and re-acquaint with long lost friends, let alone an effectual tool for churches.
Christian Social Media and Creative Marketing
A term that didn’t even exist at the time, “inbound marketing”, is used to describe how organizations gain attention and response by simply providing valuable and easy to find resources. In other words, this is done through social media, blogs, web content, and search engine optimization. This differs from more customary or “outbound” marketing strategies which are formulated through traditional means of broadcasting a message (TV or radio commercials, websites, billboards, magazine articles).
Outbound strategies are passive and interruptive to the modern public. Not to mention, it’s still very costly. Inbound strategies are neither, and they create a much closer relationship with the audience. Hence through social media, churches effectively convey up to date material. Church social media does what church websites cannot, they give each of their followers a chance at discipleship.
Not Just on Sunday
Social media is simple, inexpensive, and a valuable creative marketing strategy for churches. However, it’s a whole lot more than that. True significance lies with the fact that social media is 24/7 information. The church message no longer ends on Sunday. Sermons, events, missions, can be communicated each day through fellow members. And what about congregational relationships? Well, it’s much easier to become acquainted with those who you normally would not have.
Social media gives you the time and place to get to know each person individually. You’re not constantly guessing the name of the person sitting in the front row. If you’ve ever been new to a church and were only able to recognize the “familiar faces”, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Making the Commitment
Nevertheless, some churches today could benefit from more social media training and advice. Some thought, effort, and time is needed to get a strategic social media program going, not to mention some creativity. By utilizing these elements of social media, churches can grow both in effectiveness and unity.
The ineffective or inappropriate use of social media is something we refer to as being socially awkward. If you’d like more information that can provide social media training, social strategy, and the social media help your organization needs, let’s talk.