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!