Social media isn’t going anywhere and it’s constantly changing. Even for those of us who love social media using it in a ministry context can be overwhelming. We often struggle with the question: “How should we use it?”
The answer to that question depends on who you are trying to reach, what you are trying to accomplish and what platforms you decide to use. No matter how you use it it’s important to be intentional about it and:
GET ON THE SAME PAGE WITH LEADERSHIP
Your pastor and diocese will have an opinion on how to use social media. While you might disagree with how they might use it, it’s important to be on the same page.
Don’t be afraid to bring up the topic in conversation. Discuss what you are learning and observing. Make sure you keep them in the loop what you would like to do and gain their blessing.
By getting on the same page with leadership you’ll build trust. They’ll be more likely to let you try things out if they feel like the communication is clear.
CLARIFY GUIDELINES AND BEST PRACTICES
Every social media platform has best practices. A couple of resources I’ve used to help me learn best practices are:
- Amy Porterfield: http://www.amyporterfield.com/
- Sprout Social: http://sproutsocial.com/insights/
- Mari Smith: https://www.marismith.com/
- iParent.tv: http://iparent.tv/
Educate yourself on what works when it comes to advertising your ministry or creating community. Don’t react to social media, get ahead by knowing what medium does what.
CREATE A CULTURE OF LEARNING
On top of using it yourself you should be promoting best practices amongst parents, teens and volunteers. Create a culture of learning by:
- Bringing in an expert to speak on the benefits and negatives of social media.
- Teach your teens healthy relational and communication skills that transcend any platform.
- Keep the conversation flowing about what people are learning when it comes to best practices.
The more you keep the conversation going the more you will stay up on what’s going on. The worst thing is to ignore the change because it will come back to bite you.
To handle multiple social media platforms is a challenge. To help you reach your audiences and create quality content don’t be afraid to build a team or use third party platforms like:
- Sprout Social (I currently use this one)
Some of them have paid features and others you can use for free. No matter which platform you use it’s important to gain margin by passing on the responsibilities that come with social media.
Communication is important to reaching the next generation. If you don’t put together a plan you’ll fall behind. Make sure social media is a part of that plan because you can’t afford to fall behind.
Question: What social media platforms are you currently using? Which best practices would you suggest? You can leave a comment by clicking here.