It is essential for churches in today’s world to have an effective social media strategy. However, often times our ideas for social media can go horribly wrong.
If your church or brand has simply opened a twitter account and is sending out random announcement tweets, you are doing it wrong! Here is a list of 11 mistakes that churches make on social media. By avoiding these mistakes you can begin to turn your social media accounts into a true asset for your church.
1. Sharing content that sucks
People that choose to follow your church are inundated with content nearly all the time. A recent study by business insider, found that The average American spends around 3 hours a day on various social media. That is a huge amount of content. Your content must add value to others. Your followers must feel like you care about them and can really make a difference in their life.
2. Not Using Images
There is a bunch of stuff happening in our churches. Take pictures of it! Use these pictures when posting to social media. Your post is 57% more likely to be read if there is an image attached.
3. Forgetting your church is not full of Robots
Your church is full of real live people (At least I hope.) Don’t forget that you are a person when posting to social media. Treat your fans and followers on social media in the same way you would if they were walking through the doors on Sunday Morning.
4. Being Inconsistent
If you are using social media to extend your church’s read into the community, you have to build a certain level of trust. Don’t only post when you want people to “come” to an event or service. Post throughout the week and get involved in the conversations.
5. Not Sharing
Your church may be good… but you’re not that good. Don’t forget that others around you have come up with some pretty cool stuff. Don’t be afraid to share what others are talking about on your timeline. Maybe a church member is headed to small group – Retweet it. Maybe someone listening to your podcast shares it with friends – Repost it. Whatever you do don’t forget to share the love!
6. Inconsistent Design
As a designer this one drives me crazy. Make sure that your church branding is recognizable across all your social platforms. Use the same design for all your profile images and try to make everything look like YOU!
7. Posting To Much
This goes hand in hand with posting crappy content. If you don’t have anything going on or can’t contribute to a conversation you are better off not posting anything. Don’t just grab a random Bible verse and post it daily to your twitter stream. Have something good to say. (Side Note – I ask my pastor every week for a copy of his personal sermon notes and use it throughout the week to post GOOD stuff our church is talking about)
8. Ignoring Mentions and Comments
If you don’t have some way to be notified when you are mentioned on twitter or a comment is posted on Facebook you are doing it wrong. The faster that you can respond the better. Remember the people on social media might be the ones walking through your doors this weekend.
9. Not being strategic about when to post
Whoever is managing your social networks needs to know WHEN people are on those networks. You will never succeed if you are posting about your Wednesday night service on Tuesday at 11PM. There are so many tools out there like “statigram” or “socialbro” that can help you determine when the best time to post is.
10. Playing the short-game
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but being successful on social media takes time and effort. To many times I stumble upon a church’s twitter account that has given up. They started off strong but when it got tough to get followers, they gave up. If you want to be successful you have to commit long term and make it an everyday part of your marketing strategy.
11. Not measuring impact
The best way to know if your church is doing social media right is to know what is working. Facebook has tons of insights and stats about which types of posts people are reading. Sign up for twitter business and you can get the same type of stats for your twitter. If people like posts with images from your service… then post more. If they like inspirational quotes from the pastor… then do that more. Find the pulse of your community and you will be successful.
What mistakes has your church made in social media?