Category Archives: social media marketing

Planning A Christmas Service, Part 2

In my last post, Planning A Christmas Service, Part 1, I discussed the role of Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in the Christmas planning process. No, it’s not too late for your church to begin planning a Christmas service!

Social media is a great way to reach out and connect with people, both inside and outside the church, to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Paul Steinbrueck at Christian Web Trends develops this theme of incorporating social media in your Christmas planning with his excellent post, 25 Ways To Promote Your Church’s Christmas Service In Social Media at http://blog.ourchurch.com/

How is your church/ministry using Social Media in its Christmas planning process?

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

Be Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY – A New Guide To Social Networking

 

“May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans 15:5-6

Loyal readers, I’m excited to announce today the publication of my new book, SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY Sharing The Gospel In The Digital Age!

It has been said that a picture is worth a thousand words. The cover of the new book shows people connecting from north, south, east, and west forming a cross!

Social media is all about connecting with people and building relationships. Being a  follower of Jesus Christ is also about relationships – a life-changing, personal relationship with Jesus Christ, and with others in love, service, and humility!

SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY Sharing The Gospel In The Digital Age explores the broad impact of social media. It is a guide which provides practical information on how ministries, pastors and others can use Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to increase influence. It is a handbook for putting digital technology to the service of the Great Commission (see Matthew 28:18-20) in the Digital Age!

To preview this new book or to purchase it go to Lulu.com.

Thank you for your encouragement and support!

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

Be Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Online Outposts

Online outposts are key to a successful social media strategy. Outposts (also known as satellites or embassies) are places on the web where you maintain a presence beyond your home base, i.e., your own website, blog, or online community.

Some of the most notable outposts are Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Flickr, Ning, Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Posterous, Tumblr, FriendFeed, online forums, and even the comment sections of other blogs.

Outposts are great places to grow your ministry’s online presence, and build trust, credibility, and relationships. They can generate ideas, traffic, resources, partnerships, and community. Outposts are ideal locations to engage and interact with persons who might not know of, or visit your home base. 

At outposts you can add content, test ideas, and set up listening posts (e.g., using Twitter Search) to harvest insights. You can use these insights to inform ministry decisions and actions, as well as, share with your home base. Just as your home base feeds your outposts, outposts can also feed your home base!

Maintaining a presence at online outposts can drive traffic back to your home base. It can also build the influence of your ministry online. Activity at outposts can even take on a life of its own where community can emerge outside of your home base.

Outposts are different things to different people. From a ministry perspective, they can be seen as missionary fields on which to engage in Kingdom building!

(Many thanks to Chris Brogan at ChrisBrogan.com, Darren Rowse at Problogger.net, and Cody McKibben at Socialmediamarketing.com for some of the ideas used in this post.)

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

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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Nailing A Successful Social Media Strategy

Just as any successful team needs an effective strategy to win, any ministry which wishes to successfully employ social media needs an effective strategy! Here are some basic strategic ideas for getting started. 

  • Establish a Vision – What is your purpose for using social media? Winning souls? Increasing church membership? Sharing information? Tightening group communications? The idea is to birth your strategy through the vision you have created.
  • Identify Your Audience – Who is your target audience? Youth? The Unchurched? Current church members?
  • Integrate – How does social media support other components of your ministry’s Internet strategy?  It should harmonize with the objectives of your website and other outbound communications efforts (e.g., email marketing, CRM, and SEO).
  • Culture Change –  How do you get your organization to own the social media strategy? How well does your ministry tolerate change?
  • Capacity – Who will implement the strategy? How much time each week can you allocate to implementation?
  • Tactics and Tools — What will be your home base? Will it be a website or blog? Dialog: This is about creating a conversation, i.e., engaging your audience. Maybe Advocacy is your goal: spreading information about your ministry via your social media platforms. Select the platforms that will work best for your vision, strategy, and  go where your target audience is.  I suggest you include, at a minimum, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and a Blog (e.g. WordPress). And don’t forget to listen and learn from other online outposts. Harvest insights!
  • Measure Your Effectiveness – What hard data points or metrics will you use to track your effectiveness (# of event attendees, new members, or blog subscribers?)
  • Experiment – Pilot low-risk experiments to learn what works and what doesn’t!

Wishing you the very best in implementing your ministry’s social media strategy!

(Many thanks to Beth Kanter, blogger, Gary Hayes, Laurel Papworth, and Forrester – the POST Method for great ideas included in this post.)

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

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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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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BlogTalk Ministry

You can create your own online radio ministry broadcast at BlogTalkRadio. Launched in August 2006 by Alan Levy, BlogTalkRadio is the audio version of the internet blog. It is one of the newest vehicles of Faith Based Media 2.0, where social media Web 2.0 tools meet ministry.  BlogTalkRadio is a web-based platform which allows users to host a live call-in internet broadcast using a telephone and a computer. The host logs onto a webpage, types in the time when the show will air, and dials into a specified number.  The computer screen displays the phone numbers of guests or listeners calling in. The host can put several callers on the air at once by clicking a mouse.  Shows stream directly from the host page during “live” broadcasts. The shows are then archived as podcasts. Listeners can download a podcast version of the broadcast later. The best thing about BlogTalkRadio is, due to the fact that the service is advertising-supported, there is no cost!

For more information on BlogTalkRadio go to

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/

http://blog.blogtalkradio.com/

Until next time, remember, you can do all things through 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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The Facebook Connection

One of the most effective and amazing ways to build ministry communities online is through Facebook. Why Facebook? For starters, Facebook has over 350 million active users worldwide. It is reported that 45% of Facebook users return to the site each day. In addition, Facebook is viral, i.e., messages and material posted there spread like wildfire. For many,  private messaging on social networking sites like Facebook, is quickly replacing email. Increasing numbers of Christians are now on Facebook, and more are establishing accounts everyday! No question, Facebook is a great vehicle that can help us to fulfill the Great Commission given in Matthew 28:19 – 20.

It is smart, easy, and free to set up a Facebook page or group for your church or ministry/small group, e.g., youth ministry, men’s ministry, Bible Study group, etc. Your Facebook page or group allows you to share information, ideas, pictures, videos,  announcements, etc. with your friends and members.  Facebook can be used for crowdsourcing. In addition, you can post ministry events and send out RSVP invitations. Facebook‘s private messaging can facilitate counseling and prayer. In essence, your Facebook page/group is an easy hub of communication that allows you to stay connected throughout the week. In fact, the effective and creative things you can do on Facebook to expand your ministry are virtually unlimited. 

A great example of how Facebook can  help jumpstart your ministry is provided in this excellent video  seminar from Henderson Hills Baptist Church http://www.livestream.com/hendersonhills/video?clipId=pla_8876138541585985541

Chris Forbes of MinistryMarketingCoach.com has written an outstanding, free e-book,  Facebook for Pastors. You can find it at   http://ministrymarketingcoach.com/2008/04/22/downloads-the-facebook-for-pastors-free-e-book/.

For “All Things Facebook” checkout the Mashable Social Media Guide’s indispensible Facebook Guide at http://mashable.com/guidebook/facebook/ .

You are now ready to make that Facebook Connection!

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

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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Social Media 101 – Crowdsourcing: The Wisdom of Crowds

This is one in a series of articles that seeks a better understanding of the basic elements of social media and social networking. Social media and networking are having an increasing impact on the church today. Pastors, leaders, and members are stepping up their games to include social media as a means of expanding and enhancing their ministries. Crowdsourcing is one of the newer elements in the social media conversation that definitely cannot be ignored.

What is crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing is act of taking tasks traditionally performed by an employee or contractor, and presenting them to a large group of people online, called a crowd, through an “open call”  asking for “contributions”.   Crowdsourcing has been successfully used by companies such as Ely Lilly, Boeing, and Proctor and Gamble to solve, often complex problems, that the companies were unable to solve themselves. Opening up these problems to “crowds” allows for more innovative, creative, “out of the box” thinking, and, as a result, for quicker solutions. It takes advantage of the wisdom found in crowds to solve problems. One hundred heads are better than one. The term has become popular with businesses, authors, and journalists as a shorthand for the trend of leveraging the mass collaboration enabled by Web 2.0 technologies to achieve business goals. 

An in-depth presentation on crowdsourcing (including some of its more controversial elements) is provided in the following video by Daren Brabham:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D7g0xlJ1eig 

An example of a crowdsourcing website is Innocentive :

http://www.innocentive.com/

For more information on crowdsourcing see the following article:

http://compassioninpolitics.wordpress.com/2008/10/01/top-crowdsourcing-websites-and-resources/

http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/crowdsourcing_million_heads.php

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

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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Social Media 101 – Internet Forums

Welcome back readers! Did you notice our virtual snow stopped falling on the site yesterday? I kinda miss it. : ) Hope you had a wonderful Christmas Holiday Season. I had a great time with family, friends, and loved ones, and hope you did, too. God is good all the time, and all the time He is good. As we enter the new year, we will continue our series,  Social Media 101, by taking a look at Internet Forums.

The Internet has been called the world’s largest meeting place. It’s also a global forum where people are generally free to get up on their soapboxes and discuss whatever is  on their  minds. Whatever the topic or interest there is usually a website out there on which  a discussion about it is going on. Sites where these discussions are hosted are called internet forums. They are also sometimes known as message boards, bulletin boards, discussion groups, or web forums. Internet forums are web applications in which user generated content is shared and managed. They differ from a web log, called a blog (such as the one you’re reading now), in that a blog is written by one user (or a team), and usually, only allows others to comment on or respond to the material posted on the blog. An internet forum, on the other hand,  usually allows all members to post  material and start new topics. Read Wikipedia’s excellent article on internet forums here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internet_forum

Internet forums usually have guidelines and rules that members are expected to follow. Examples of Internet forums can be found at http://hostboard.com  and http://www.craigslist.org/about/sites. Never post hateful, harmful, or ungodly material on internet forums. The Christian Community can certainly avail itself of more creative, and effective use of social media, including internet forums.

Until next time, God Bless. Kenneth Lillard

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