Tag Archives: LinkedIn

Pinterest and Faith – A New Way to Connect

There’s absolutely no question that Pinterest is 2012’s hottest, new player on the social media scene. It’s everywhere! Pinterest is the wildly popular, visual social network that people are using to share virtual pinboards of their favorite photos, videos, and links.

So, what exactly is Pinterest anyway? Think digital scrapbook. Think a new way to visually share your vision online. Pinterest is a digital bookmarking network designed to connect people through sharing their common interests. What makes Pinterest different, and so interesting, is that it is a visual social network, with emphasis on “visual”, that is easy to use and taps into one of social media’s newest trends – the interest graph.

Here are just a few facts about this breakout, new social network:

  • Unique visitors to Pinterest grew 400% from September to December 2011.
  • Pinterest drives more visitors to third-party websites than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn. 
  • Launched in 2010, Pinterest already has over 10.4 million members. 
  • Pinterest gives faith communities a creative, new way to connect with people and share the Gospel. 

How can churches and ministries use Pinterest to help carry out the Great Commission? I’m glad you asked! Here a just a few examples:

  • Pin photos on Pinterest of people in your ministry serving others.
  • Create a digital scrapbook of your church’s daily life.
  • Use strong visuals to talk about Jesus.
  • Highlight events, sermon series, books, video, film, and music.
  • Small groups (youth, singles, women, et al) can create their own boards.
  • Highlight ministry missions.
  • Pinterest boards can be set up around twitter #hashtags inviting people to share images, photos, and blogs posts which can be pinned on Pinterest.
  • Boards can be set up around themes and seasons such as Lent and Easter.
  • Boards can be set up around faith topics and classes.

Pinterest is unique in that it appeals to the creative side of people. Many people are fed by the visual arts, and inspired to deeper engagement with God  by the things of beauty He has created.  Pinterest provides a creative way to showcase your ministry’s personality and aesthetic in a fresh manner. In addition, it is a fantastic way to share visual devotional resources. Pinterest definitely challenges you to think more deeply about visual design when sharing content via this new social networking platform.  We give Pinterest two thumbs up!

For more information on and examples of Pinterest check out the following:

Pinterest: A Beginner’s Guide to the Hot New Social Network – Mashable

Pinterest: Tutorial [VIDEO] – YouTube

Why Pinterest is 2012’s Hottest Website – cnn.com

Churches Reaching Out With Pinterest – Tim Schraeder

How to Use Pinterest for Your Ministry – Ministry Best Practices

Mars Hill Church on Pinterest

Faith board on Pinterest – Sami Price

The Ultimate Guide to Pinterest – Slideshare

10 Non-Profits Leveraging Pinterest for Social Good – Mashable

How is your ministry leveraging Pinterest to connect in new and exciting ways?

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

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Faith And Social Media 2012 – The Year Ahead!

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Welcome to 2012! It’s slated to be an exciting, eventful year – what with the Summer Olympics in London, and presidential elections in France and the United States, just to mention a few! And it’s also expected to be an exciting year for social media and faith, as well!

As you begin the journey into the new year, it’s critically important to know where you’re going, and to have a good roadmap or GPS to help get you there.  Advanced planning is vital for social media success in 2012! 

Do you have your new Facebook Timeline profile ready or activated? What is your social media strategy for this year? How does it differ from last year’s? Do you have  LinkedIn or Google+ strategies for your ministry or church? Have you established daily, weekly, and monthly social media schedules? What are your S. M.A. R. T. social media goals for the year ahead? 

Right out the gate, here are some of the major trends to look for in 2012: 1) An increased usage of mobile devices, especially smart phones and tablet computers (like the iPad 2) – Make sure your website is mobile friendly! ;  2) Social networking will remain huge – Can you believe Facebook will surpass one billion (with a “b”) registered users this year?; 3) Expect to see increased usage of short videos; 4) Social media will continue to play a major role in social and political mobilizations and movements; 5) Trust, transparency, and respect will become even more important;  and 6) Look for an increased adoption of social media by non-profits, churches and other faith based organizations. 

As you engage your social networks in 2012 remember to listen to and learn from them. They have a lot to teach you! Harvest insights and share them.  Use smart metrics to measure your social media effectiveness (ROI). Always seek to be helpful and to add value to the individuals in your networks. Your vision is your compass. And remember, your focus should always be on Jesus! The challenge is adapting digital technology and social media to share the Gospel more creatively and effectively, both locally and globally!  And finally, don’t neglect in person fellowship!

The following are examples, suggestions, tips, and tools that, hopefully, you’ll find helpful on the social media and faith journey ahead:

What are your social media goals for the next twelve months? 

We’re wishing you success, prosperity, and all the very best in 2012!

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

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Best of Technology and the Web 2011

It’s already that time of the year for the Faith Based Media 2.0 annual roundup of what’s hot and what’s not in technology and on the web for 2011! It seems that every time you blink your eyes new innovations appear in the ever evolving world of technology and social media. The challenge is how the people of faith can creatively adapt these new technologies to more effectively share the Gospel in our Digital Age!

The winds of change have blown through the digital world in 2011 leaving a radically changed landscape in its wake. The links below help tell the story of some of the major technological players, innovations, and ideas that affected the web in 2011, primarily from a faith perspective. We’d love to get your take on this year’s picks! 

5 Major Twitter Changes Coming to a Computer Screen Near You – BlogWorld

10 Apps You Should Download for iPad2 – Wired

10 Biggest Web News Stories of 2011 – ReadWriteWeb

2011 Christianity Today Book Awards – Christianity Today

2012 Web Predictions – ReadWriteWeb

Best and Worst of Everything in 2011: A Meta, Mega Mashup – Fast Company

Best Big Internet Company of 2011 – ReadWtiteWeb

Best Christian Blog of the Week – Blogspot

Book Interactions in 2011 – Ed Stetzer

Church App – Subsplash

f8 2011 Facebook Changes Full Guide – SlashGear

Faith Based Media 2.0 – Faith, Technology, and Social Media Blog ~Kenneth Lillard

Joel Osteen Ministries

John Maxwell On Leadership – Blog of Leadership Expert, John Maxwell

LinkedIn Changes Social Ads – Mashable

My Favorite Technologies of 2011 – Dan Zax,  MIT Technology Review

Potter’s House – Bishop T. D. Jakes

So You Got a Kindle Fire? Try Our First-Timer Guide – Mashable

Streaming Faith – Online Christian Broadcasting Portal

State of the Blogosphere 2011 – Technorati

Top 5 Internet Devices of 2011 – ReadWriteWeb

Top 10 Christian Blogs – blogs.com

Top 10 Enterprise Cloud Apps and Services 0f 2011 – ReadWrite Web

Top 10 Gadgets You Should Have In Your Go Bag – Lifehacker

Top 10 Posts of November 2011 – Tony Morgan Live

Top 10 Social Web Products of 2011 – ReadWriteWeb

Top 10 Startups of 2011 – ReadWriteWeb

Top 10 Tech Concepts You Always Wanted to Learn About – Lifehacker

Top 10 Web Products of 2011 – ReadWriteWeb

Top 11 Features of 2011 – ChurchLeaders.com

Top 200 Church Blogs – Churchrelevance.com

Top Trends of 2011: Content Shifting – ReadWriteWeb

World Vision – A Christian Humanitarian Organization

WOW Gospel 2011 – iTunes

YouVersion – Online Bible, reading plans, and community

Which of the above would make your list? How have they impacted you and/or your ministry in 2011? How might they increase your influence in 2012?

To all of my wonderful FBM 2.0 readers, “Wishing you a Happy, Blessed, and Prosperous 2012!”

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

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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Ministry And The New Media

The new media today are all online. And they are all social! Google+, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Foursquare, blogs, and podcasts are all part of today’s communications revolution known as social media!

The millions of people on these social networks have one thing in common – they’re all connected to others on the Internet. And increasing numbers are connecting through mobile devices like smart phones and iPads. Facebook alone has over 700 million users making it larger than most nations in world today!

The new media allow us to connect with online communities in entirely new and exciting ways! They empower individuals to not only engage with others through Web 2.0 technologies, but also enable them to create and share original content.  This has vast implications, especially for ministry!

Social media provide those in ministry with a whole new set of tools with which to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ in creative, unprecedented ways!  Here are a few examples of how to get social with the new media:

  • Write a blog to connect with others and share your message – You’re reading my blog now, Faith Based Media 2.o, all about faith, social media, and technology!  
  • Create a personal website to define your online identity – For example, mine is Kennethlillard.com. It can be your online homebase. Connect it with all your other online presences.
  • Build an online community, or join a social network like FB or Twitter to engage and share the Gospel, encourage others, share scriptures, fellowship, collaborate, and organize. I’m on FB, LinkedIn, and Google+ at Kenneth Lillard, and Twitter @revkenlillard.  
  • Establish a church website – Expand the reach of your church’s ministry beyond the four walls of the building. Let your website be a virtual door into your church. Connect with others in your local community and around the world! 
  • Serve others online – For example, on your mobile phone you can text FOOD to UNICEF to donate $10 to feed starving children in the Horn of Africa.
  •  Use social media platforms as  interactive digital channels to share your ministry’s vision and message. Create an interesting mix of  text, photos, audio, and video to increase impact.
  • Curate helpful and interesting posts, articles, and links and share them with your network.
  • Use new media to tighten your network’s internal communications, and keep it informed
  • Answer questions and solve problems through polls, crowdsourcing, and surveys.

In our 24/7, digitally connected world, I’m excited about the great potential for ministry to use social media to help increase influence for Christ in the world! 

How is your ministry using social media to share the Gospel!  

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

Stay Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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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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New Bonus Material – SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY

I’m happy to bring to you the second installment of Bonus Material for the readers of SOCIAL MEDIA AND MINISTRY Sharing The Gospel In The Digital Age (available at amazon.com, barnesandnoble.com, and lulu.com). 

My goal is to spoil my readers by providing them additional value,  as well as updating and upgradinging them with the latest information and best thinking in the field of Social Media and Ministry!

The bonus material below is provided to add fresh context to the chapter entitled  “Social Media 101”:

My hope is that this new bonus material will increase your knowledge of today’s social media and add to your reading enjoyment! Your thoughts and comments are always welcome!  

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

Be Blessed!

Kenneth Lillard

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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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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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Building An Online Home Base

A successful social media strategy should include at least two elements: 1) an online home base, and 2) outposts elsewhere on the web.

The home base is your online home. It is your own website, blog, or hosted online community. Your home base is the central focus of your online presence. For example, Faith Based Media 2.0 is my home base.

Outposts (also called satellites or embassies) are other places on the web where you maintain a presence. My outposts include Facebook, Twitter, Digg, and LinkedIn. Outposts allow you to grow your online presence by  building relationships, adding content,  listening, testing  ideas, and just trying to be helpful to others. BTW, outposts can also drive traffic back to your home base!

Your home base is the place from which you establish online credibility. It enables you to directly engage your target audience, to listen to them, and to describe the benefits of  your ministry or organization. Your home base gives you a personal voice online. It feeds your outposts. Your home base allows you to direct conversations around your ministry, and influences how others perceive and interact with it.

It is a good idea to establish goals for your home base. For example, your goal may be to share information and resources, tighten internal communications, keep your community updated, or gain insight into the community’s needs and desires through their comments and feedback. Your home base’s goals will determine its structure and direction.

Examples of effective home bases include Northland Church, T.D. Jakes, 10 Thousand Doors, and The Purpose Driven Connection.

Building an effective home base, definitely, requires planning, commitment, and a message worth sharing. And Lord knows we have the greatest message in the world: the Good News of Jesus Christ!

What are your ideas for building an effective, online home base?

(Many thanks to Chris Brogan at ChrisBrogan.com, and Darren Rowse at Problogger.net 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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Social Media 101 – LinkedIn

We are continuing our series on understanding the basics of social media.  This session will highlight LinkedIn.

LinkedIn is a social networking site that is focused on business. Founded in 2002, it is mainly a vehicle for professional networking. It has over 50 million registered users and spans more than 200 countries.

View the video below to get started with LinkedIn.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQs1P547vlU

Always use LinkedIn in love, and to glorify God.

Know who you are and whose you are. You were born for greatness. There is no limit to what you can do through Christ Jesus!

God Bless,

Kenneth Lillard

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