Category Archives: marketing

Leadership and Social Media Ministry

One of the primary roles of social media, as applied to faith, is to support and develop strong and healthy ministries that make a real difference in the lives of people.

One of the most pressing problems facing social media ministry is not staying on top of the latest technological developments, nor mastering the hottest, new social media platforms. It is leadership! It is developing a Christ-led vision for the effective application of digital technology in general, and social media in particular, to ministry and influencing others to embrace and implement it to God’s glory.

We live in a digital era of unprecedented opportunity and plentiful resources. If the church loses significant influence relative to other institutions in society it will primarily be due to a  lack of leadership. Church expert George Barna has noted that the Christian church in America is declining numerically. He stated, “the primary reason is the lack of leadership…Nothing is more important than leadership.”*

God is the Ultimate Leader and He calls every believer to lead others. “The LORD will make you the head, and not the tail…” Deuteronomy 28:13. This leadership role is clearly modeled in the Bible by Christ as the Servant Leader (Matthew 20:25-28). In social media ministry, the gift of leadership (Romans 12:6-8) can be applied to:

  • Creatively and effectively sharing the gospel, both locally and globally.
  • Advancing the development and distribution of mobile technologies to communicate the faith and to add value to others.
  • Facilitating the movement from monologue to dialogue, enabling engagement, interaction, contribution, and participation in the church.
  • Enabling others to discover and employ their spiritual and personal gifts.
  • Providing ministries with the digital tools and expertise to help build robust communities of believers, both online and in person.
  • Creating authentic relationships that promote true fellowship and service modeled on the example of the life of Jesus.

“Management is doing things right. Leadership is doing the right things.” ~ Peter Drucker. Leadership is about more than marketing, SEO, church branding, or promoting yourself or your ministry. It is more than having a “leadership position”. Leadership is about being the salt and light as Jesus mandated in Matthew 5:13-16!

The following links provide additional insights into the key dynamic of effective leadership:

How are you applying the leadership dynamic to social media ministry?

* George Barna is quoted from the Introduction of “The Maxwell Leadership Bible, Lessons in Leadership from the Word of God” by John C. Maxwell, Thomas Nelson Publisher.

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

Be Blessed,

Kenneth Lillard

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Filed under blog, blogging, christian, christian social media, digital, Faith Based Media, marketing, ministry tools, networking, social media

Creating Your Personal Website

The personal website is a new form of personal and professional expression. It is different from the company website or the church web page.  This  website provides a more personal connection to your audience and allows more of your personality and creativity to shine through! 

Many individuals online maintain a presence at a number of different social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. It can be helpful to create a convenient, single destination to direct all your contacts: a personal website! Some refer to this as their homebase, or personal online headquarters. For example, my personal website is Kennethlillard.com.

A personal website provides the following benefits:

  • Provides a platform from which you can clearly communicate your message directly to your target audience
  • Allows your biographical information, resume(s), personal videos, and blog posts to be displayed
  • Great for brand marketing of your ministry events and products, including books, dvd’s, speaking engagements, etc.
  • Accessible 24/7 to everyone in the world who has an Internet connection
  • Provides a location for a great Splash Page!  (A page mostly or entirely taken up by a single image or panel.)
  • Provides links to all your other web locations
  • Allows you to creatively express yourself and your ministry’s message! 

There are free personal webpages available at social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. However, for more personalized websites check out the following:

How has your personal website benefited your ministry?

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

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Smart Guide To Self Publishing

One of the most effective ways of sharing the Gospel is via the written word. Many of the Apostles, including Matthew, John and Paul, had very powerful writing ministries. Today, with the advent of the Internet and digital technologies, it is easier than ever to self publish. In fact, if you can use a computer you can publish your own book!  

Self publishing provides the following benefits:

  • Gives authors more control over their work.
  • Digital books and print-on-demand (POD) technology allow authors to self-publish with little or no upfront costs.
  • Books get to the press quicker by avoiding the lengthy publication process involved with traditional publishers.
  • Digital books allow for electronic distribution via the Internet and the potential for reaching a much wider audience.
  • Many print-on-demand firms use digital technology to reduce costs and publish high quality products at economical, fixed prices.
  • E-books providing interactive features (such as audio, video, and connectivity to reading groups) are becoming a big part of today’s self publishing revolution!
  • E-readers like the iPad, Kindle, and Nook are creating an increasing demand for e-books and other digital content, especially Faith Based material.  Btw, have you noticed how many people are now reading digital books, including the Bible, on their cell phones?
  • Finally, you can also self publish other digital media including music, videos, and ringtones!

So how do you get started with self publishing? I definitely recommend you check out the following:

How has self publishing benefited your ministry?

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

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Planning A Christmas Service, Part 1

This year Christmas arrives on a Saturday! Can you believe there are only 22 days left until Christmas Day?

A question some are asking is: Is it too late for a church to begin planning a Christmas service? No, absolutely not!

However, there are some key things to keep in mind:

  • You only have 2-3 weeks to work with. Don’t try to pull off a big spectacular that you don’t have the time or resources to produce!
  • Decide on an appropriate theme, for example “A Family Christmas” (the model being Jesus, Mary and Joseph), “The Joy of Christmas!”, etc.
  • Advertise your Christmas service on your church’s website highlighting your theme.
  • Invite your friends and followers to your Christmas service from your Facebook and Twitter pages!
  • Create a video promo or post a video on YouTube extending an invitation to your Christmas service.
  • Mail out Christmas cards inviting the community to your Christmas service!
  • Think inside the box. Maximize the resources you do have and don’t worry about what you don’t have!
  • Be creative with your Christmas service! However, it’s also OK to go traditional  with Christmas carols and candles.
  • A traditional Christmas service can be held on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day,  or the Sunday nearest Christmas.
  • Remember your Christmas guests! Make them feel welcome, and give them a reason to return!
  • Finally, tell the Christmas story of the birth of Jesus! He is the reason for the season! Relate the story from the Gospel of Luke 2:1-20!

And let me be the first to wish all of my loyal readers a Blessed and Very Merry Christmas!!!

What type of Christmas service have you planned this year?

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

Be Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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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

Global Day of Prayer 2010

Today, Pentecost Sunday, May 23, 2010, is the Global Day of Prayer. Ten years ago, in July 2000, a dream to begin a Day of Prayer was born in Africa. Today, that dream has become a reality and spread across the planet!

Social media networking continues to play a vital role in spreading the Gospel. The message of the Global Day of Prayer is prayer really makes a difference. Prayer, definitely, changes situations and circumstances. What better time to join our voices with other believers around the world in praying for the healing of our world!

Click the following link to checkout the Global Day of Prayer 2010:

http://www.gdopusa.com/

For more information on Pentecost see the following excellent article by Mark D. Roberts on beliefnet:

http://blog.beliefnet.com/markdroberts/2010/05/pentecost-faq-what-is-the-christian-celebration-of-pentecost-all-about.html

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

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard 

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Social Media and Your Church’s Brand

Did you know people are talking about your church? Yes, people inside and outside your church are on their iPhones, Blackberries, on Facebook, and YouTube. And what exactly are they saying about your ministry? What is the image of your church in the public’s eye? Is it good, bad, or indifferent? Rightly or wrongly, for many, your church’s public image constitutes, to a large extent, its brand. How is that brand being communicated?

Social media employing web 2.0 technologies, definitely, play an increasing role  in exactly how your ministry is perceived and rated. And that perception and rating, in turn, influence how many people respond to your ministry. Facebook now has an interactive  My Church app available free to all its users http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRi87JS1-SQ.

The following resources can help to begin this very important branding conversation that every ministry should have:

Center for Church Communication’s Church Marketing Directory http://directory.cfcclabs.org/

Arvell Craig’s ChurchMarketing.tv http://www.churchmarketing.tv/

http://www.artistrymarketing.com/branddevelopment-process

Church Marketing 101, Richard Reising  http://www.richardreising.com/index.cfm/pageID/1241/

Until next time, remember, you can do all things through Christ Jesus.

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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