Monthly Archives: July 2010

Performance Measures and Ministry

How do you measure the effectiveness of your ministry’s social media efforts? How can you know if your efforts are being successful?  What is your ROI – return on investment?

Social media is all about using blogs, videos, podcasts, Facebook, and Twitter to connect with people, create content, and engage with others online. But how do you put numeric values on human interactions and conversations?

First, you have to pick the hard data points or metrics that will best help you track your objectives. Objectives might include:

  • Increasing website/ blog traffic
  • Improving the search engine ranking of your ministry’s blog or website
  • Supporting members/ users
  • Increasing church/ Bible study attendance
  • Sharing the Gospel
  • Increasing online donations
  • Increasing social media mentions of your ministry

Next, you have to select the best tools, such as Google Alerts or Google Analytics, that allow you to track your metrics through specific keywords, topics, or phrases to measure your social media impact. Metrics might include the number of:

  • Page views
  • Unique visitors
  • New members after 30/60/90 days
  • Posts of podcasts, videos, blog articles
  • Comments
  • Link backs/track backs
  • Social media mentions/week/month/year
  • New groups established (networks/forums)/month
  • New Facebook friends/fans per day/week/month
  • Support issues resolved
  • Church/ Bible study attendance

Finally, you have to harvest the significant insights from your hard data and qualitative data to improve your social media strategy, as well as your ministry’s overall effectiveness.

It is important to look at trend movements and changes overtime, not just static numbers. Definitely, examine more than just a single metric. Evaluate your strategy performance from multiple dimensions to get a more global view of how you are doing!

BTW, you can pickup very interesting points on web metrics at the Google Analytics Blog.

How are you using performance metrics to improve your ministry’s effectiveness?

(Many thanks to Beth Kanter, and Rachel Happe for contributing some of the information cited in this post.)

Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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Filed under blog, christian, Faith Based Media, marketing, ministry tools, networking, podcast, search engine marketing (SEM), social media

Leading An Online Community

“Where there is no vision, the people perish…” Proverbs 29:18

With the advent of the Internet, and the emergence of social media platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, et al) online Christian groups and communities are springing up everyday! And effective leaders are needed to guide and manage these online networks.

Leading and managing online communities require three basic skill sets:

  • The ability to cast a vision.
  • The ability to nurture, listen to, and grow the community.
  • The ability to inspire the community.

The vision is key to any successful online community. Vision defines the desired or intended future state of that community in terms of its fundamental objective and/or strategic direction.  Without a vision, the online community has no objective or direction. It’s just out there, drifting aimlessly about, with no destination or goal. Plain and simple, without a vision the people perish! Proverbs 29:18.

A healthy online community is characterized by an active membership united by a shared purpose, with a passionate leader/facilitator, engaged in interlinking relationships between a significant percentage of its members.

The leader/facilitator is the face of the online community and should:

  • Engage the community.
  • Deliver a blog/ or media platform that’s useful to the community.
  • Create, gather, and share exceptional and relevant content (podcasts, videos, blogs, etc.).
  • Build relationships, especially with influencers.
  • Generate buzz.
  • Be passionate about the community.
  • Empower listening ability (e.g., using such tools as Google Alerts and Twitter Search) to ascertain the mood, needs and desires of the community.
  • Facilitate learning and education.
  • Grow the community.
  • Be an ambassador for the community.
  • Facilitate communications between members through comment sections, forums, chat, etc.
  • Be the guardian of the community.
  • Harvest insights and disseminate feedback from the community members.
  • Build actionable reports employing relevant metrics to measure success.
  • Keep the vision before the community.
  • Be real: authentic and transparent/ someone others can trust and relate to on a human level!

The online leader should be a good shepherd, constantly seeking guidance and direction from the Lord. 

What is your vision of an effective online community leader?

(Many thanks to Chris BroganRachel HappeMaria Ogneva , and Seth Godin in his book Tribes for some of the information and ideas cited in this post.)

Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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Filed under blog, christian social media, Faith Based Media, networking, podcast, social media, uncategorized

It’s Decision Time

We all face critical decision points in our lives. Choosing wisely is key to  success or failure! Check out this podcast.

It’s Decision Time!

Choose ye today whom you will serve! Joshua 24:15

Who will you serve?

Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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Filed under Faith Based Media, podcast, web 2.0

Social Media and the Great Commission

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,  and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:19-20

Matthew 28:19-20 is known as the Great Commission. Social media platforms (such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, et al) are great vehicles for sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ! Why social media?

  • Facebook has nearly 500,000,000 users.
  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the third largest in the world, following only China and India.
  • One-third of women 18-34 check Facebook when they first wake up.
  • YouTube is serving well over a billion views a day. That’s at least 11,574 views per second, 694,444 views per minute, and 41,666,667 views per hour.
  • The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 year old females.
  • YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world.
  • In less than five minutes over 100 hours of video will be uploaded to YouTube.
  • There are nearly 80 million users on Twitter.
  • iPod application downloads hit 1 billion in 9 months
  • There are over 200,000,000 blogs.
  • 80% of companies use social media.
  • 95% of these companies use the social network, LinkedIn.
  • Generation Y and Z consider e-mail passe.
  • Some universities have stopped distributing e-mail accounts. Instead they are distributing eReaders, iPads, and tablets.
  • Kindle eBooks outsold hardcover books last Christmas.
  • 24 out of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation.
  • 60 million updates happen on Facebook daily.
  • Terrestrial radio is fading, with zero annual revenue growth and a downward trend.
  • Physical book publishing is growing at a sluggish 3% rate and the industry trend is down.
  • Contrast this with e-book publishing which is growing at an annualized rate of 65%.
  • Through 2010, it’s predicted that newspapers will decline an additional 10.6%.
  • Yet blogs, including religious blogs, are doubling every few months.
  • Over 20% of online teenagers now maintain their own blog sites.
  • Nearly 60% of teens have created Internet content.
  • Podcasting and vlogging is growing so fast that demographers cannot keep up.
  • 1 out of 8 couples met via social media networks.
  • 96% of Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) have joined a social network.
  • Facebook tops Google for weekly traffic in the U.S.
  • 50% of the mobile Internet traffic in the UK is for Facebook.

Social media is, definitely, not just a fad. It is a game changer for the way we communicate. And that includes how we communicate the Gospel, and how we carry out the Great Commission!

How are you using social media to share the Gospel?

(Source of data Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business, Erik Qualman; “Surfing the Liminal Domains”, John La Grou; Masahable, and TechCrunch.) 

 Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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Filed under blog, christian, christian social media, Faith Based Media, information, ministry tools, networking, social media

Making e-Giving Safe and Easy

You’d be amazed at how many people, if given the option, would prefer to give to your ministry online, if they were assured that it was easy and totally secure! With more and more people choosing to use plastic rather than cash or checks, e-giving is becoming an increasingly attractive alternative to dropping money in the collection plate.

A recent study by 2008  DonorCentrics revealed that online giving increased by 39% from 2007 to 2008.

Granger Community Church in Granger, IN has over 5000 people in average attendance and millions of dollars in donations a year. It has seen online giving increase from 18 to 27%. People like having options. And online giving is a convenient option which works well for many people when it comes to tithes and offerings.

Here are some keys to launching a successful online giving strategy for your ministry:

  • Choose a reliable, easy-to-use online system which 1) allows you to  track and measure your success, and 2) provides very good CRM support. Fellowship One is an example of a company which offers just this kind of system.
  • Add an online giving page to your church’s website. See Granger Community Church’ s page. Make e-giving easy by linking other pages to the online giving page.
  • Church leadership must, definitely, promote online giving, and lead by example. People follow leadership they trust!

What are your recommendations for an improved online giving strategy?

(Many thanks to the Christian Post Blog Pastor’s Toolbox excellent article on online giving for some of the information used in this post.)

Until next time, remember, you can do all things thru Christ Jesus!

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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Filed under christian social media, Faith Based Media, innovation, ministry tools, online giving, social media