Mistakes in Social Media

One of the biggest mistakes churches & ministries make within social media is the fact that some look at Facebook and Twitter as a quick marketing fix to growing their congregations.  While it is a great resource and way to reach out and let others know about your organization, it isn’t an instant fix.  Social media is just that...it’s social.  It’s about building relationship and establishing trust, just like in any friendship. Let’s say you and I were to run into each other on the street and one of the first things that I said to you was, “Hey! My name is Jenn. I have a company called Mixtus Media and this is what we can do for you.” You would more than likely be turned off, right? You don’t know me, nor if you can trust me, if anyone has had a good experience working with me, etc.  The same goes with social media. You have to build trust. How do you build trust within social media outlets? By spending time with them!

So how do you spend time with people on social media outlets like Twitter and Facebook? Here are a few tips:

1.) TIME: Yep, you need to spend time on these sites and tend to them.  Much like a garden you can’t just plant the seeds and leave it.  You have to water it, weed it, and tend to it daily.  Just having a Facebook or Twitter page won’t make people come in droves.  Leaving status updates, commenting on other pages, posting pictures and videos, and spending some time on these sites is the best way to grow your friends and “likes”. It doesn’t need to be hours and hours per day. Set aside a few minutes a day to check in, do a little digging and get your hands dirty.

2.) CHECK OUT OTHER PAGES: Who are people you know, trust and respect following on Twitter? Check out their list and follow people they follow.  Who are your friends friends with on Facebook? Check out their list and send out some requests.

3.) DON’T SELL, SELL, SELL: Personally speaking, if someone is just looking at me as someone to sell a product to or woo me, I’m probably going to hit the “ignore” button.  People want to be a part of movements that they believe in, they want to be a part of something, be personally connected.  Ask questions, interact with your Facebook followers, engage with them and build their trust.

4.) SHARE: Pictures and video are fantastic ways to engage and develop community within Facebook.  Take pictures at events and have people tag themselves in the picture or tag them yourself.  Did your youth group make a fun video? Post it! Look at the events you hold at your church and use them to engage your Facebook page.

5.) COMMUNITY: Be sure to post upcoming events on Facebook to let others know what is going on within your church or ministry.  Create a special event for Facebook users like a potluck or mixer to get everyone face to face.

There are so many fun and creative ways to use Facebook to not only minister to those within your congregation but to draw others in and create a special extended community online.  Just remember, it takes time!