How to Use Social Media Platforms to Create a Lasting Experience

Communication today is real time, all the time. Thanks to the continuing innovations in technology and the rapid rate of adaption, events that occur around the world – or across the street – are now capable of being seen by millions of individuals. And it’s not just the “viewing” that is important – it’s what effect those views have on the individual watching them.

The social media platforms that exist today, as well as those which are being developed and will be the next big thing, can have a far-reaching impact on the ministries of your church.

Are you taking advantage of them? Or, do you feel like they take advantage of you? Is social media creating communication traction? Or is it becoming a constant distraction?

THE QUICK SUMMARY – The Art of Social Media, by Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick

By now it’s clear that whether you’re promoting a business, a product, or yourself, social media is near the top of what determines your success or failure. And there are countless pundits, authors, and consultants eager to advise you.

But there’s no one quite like Guy Kawasaki, the legendary former chief evangelist for Apple and one of the pioneers of business blogging, tweeting, Facebooking, Tumbling, and much, much more. Now Guy has teamed up with Peg Fitzpatrick, who he says is the best social-media person he’s ever met, to offer The Art of Social Media—the one essential guide you need to get the most bang for your time, effort, and money.

With over one hundred practical tips, tricks, and insights, Guy and Peg present a bottom-up strategy to produce a focused, thorough, and compelling presence on the most popular social-media platforms. They guide you through steps to build your foundation, amass your digital assets, optimize your profile, attract more followers, and effectively integrate social media and blogging.

For beginners overwhelmed by too many choices as well as seasoned professionals eager to improve their game, The Art of Social Media is full of tactics that have been proven to work in the real world. Or as Guy puts it, “great stuff, no fluff.”

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

In the not-too-distant past, promotion of an upcoming event focused primarily on print media – think newspaper ads, or poster, or the like. If you were lucky enough to have the resources, you might have even ventured into radio or television advertising.

Why those methods are still in use – and might be very beneficial for some of your activities – there is another, more powerful, and certainly more timely method – social media platforms.

You have something critically important to your ministry happening every weekend – your worship experiences. Maybe you have an annual event that attracts thousands of people to your campus.

How are you taking advantage of social media platforms to not just promote the event prior to its actual happening, but connect real-time with participants in the room – or “participants” around the world?

Most organizations do not use social media to increase the visibility and value of events. Instead, they focus on pre-event promotions and do little, if anything, with social media at the event itself. 

Here are several ways you can rock an event with social media.

Pick a short, evergreen hashtag – the goal is to choose a hashtag that’s trending and constantly in people’s faces.

Integrate the hashtag into everything – use the hashtag the moment you start promoting the event. That means it’s on your website, in all your advertising, and in your e-mail signature. All print materials and video slides should include the hashtag. Every team member, speaker, vendor, and guest should know what the hashtag is.

Ask everyone to use it – it’s not enough to tell people the hashtag; you also need to ask them to use it.

Reach beyond the event – the audience for an event is anyone in the world who’s interested in your organization, not only the people at the event.

Dedicate a person – to truly socialize an event, at least one person should focus exclusively on social media activities. The person will have plenty to do:

  • Before: share promotional posts to drive awareness and attendance.
  • During: Tweet what’s happening and take pictures of speakers and guests. Upload these pictures during breaks and reshare other people’s posts.
  • After: Share articles about the event, as well as more pictures and videos. Encourage attendees to share their pictures.

Stream live coverage – don’t obsess about the possibility of reducing event attendance.

Provide real-time updates – If you can’t do live streaming video, use Twitter and Instagram to provide in-the-moment updates.

Put your leaders to work – make sure your leaders are available for and encouraging to pose for photos with attendees. Encourage them to post photos with the hashtag.

Guy Kawasaki and Peg Fitzpatrick, The Art of Social Media

A NEXT STEP

Pick a future event that you want to raise the quality of experience around – before, during, and after – via social media platforms. With your leadership team, brainstorm what kinds of actions need to take place to make that happen.

Pull together an action team composed of individuals representing the event and individuals responsible for social media. Outline to the team what your leadership team has discussed, and ask them to review the initial brainstorm list, add to and/or revise, and then implement. Work with the team to create an evergreen hashtag, as the authors above describe.

Ask this team to also develop sharing measures for each of the three stages – before, during, and after – so that you will be able to gauge the effectiveness of sharing. Provide resources to this team so they will be able to carry through with their plans.

At the conclusion of the event, ask this team to report to your leadership team the results of the experiment. Decide what was effective, and plan to implement with future events. If something worked but needs revision, ask the team to develop plans for that. If something clearly didn’t work, and can’t be revised, scrap it.

After you have used the sharing plan for four events, make additional revisions as needed, and then implement for all events as needed.

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 78-3, released October 2017.


 

Part of a weekly series on 27gen, entitled Wednesday Weekly Reader

Regular daily reading of books is an important part of my life. It even extends to my vocation, where as Vision Room Curator for Auxano I am responsible for publishing SUMS Remix, a biweekly book “excerpt” for church leaders. Each Wednesday on 27gen I will be taking a look back at previous issues of SUMS Remix and publishing an excerpt.

>>Purchase SUMS Remix here<<

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How Are You Using Social Media to Tell a Bigger Story?

Communication today is real-time, all the time. Thanks to the continuing innovations in technology and the rapid rate of adaption, events that occur around the world – or across the street – are now capable of being seen by millions of individuals. And it’s not just the “viewing” that is important – it’s what effect those views have on the individual watching them.

The social media platforms that exist today, as well as those which are being developed and will be the next big thing, can have a far-reaching impact on the ministries of your church.

Are you taking advantage of them? Or, do you feel like they take advantage of you? Is social media creating communication traction? Or is it becoming a constant distraction?

THE QUICK SUMMARY – Trending Up, edited by Mark Forrester

Every church has a story that can change the course of people’s lives but how do you share that story beyond your four walls?

Throughout these pages, you’ll find simple strategies for creating powerful content that can connect your church to the people who need the life-changing story of Christ. Leading church communications specialists break down complex social media themes, providing accessible, practical answers to questions that all churches face, such as:

  • What should I be posting based on my goals?
  • How do I use social media as a tool to foster community?
  • How do I get the people I’m trying to reach with social media?

With this book, your church will be ready to reach one of the biggest missions fields today: the billions of active users on social media. Topics include:

  • Why Social Media?
  • Content Strategy
  • Story: Your Church’s Story & God’s Story
  • Connecting with Your Church
  • Reaching Your Community

The book includes recommended books, websites, blogs, and other tools to help you develop your social media presence.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

The power of story to captivate people and move them to action has been used by leaders for thousands of years. From the earliest oral traditions passed from generation to generation to cat memes that have a lifespan only as long as it takes to view them, stories can be a powerful communication tool.

The platform of social media can take the power of story and communicate it instantly to hundreds or thousands of people. With it, you can connect with people at work, at home, in the car, at the store – literally almost anywhere.

However, that same platform can turn off hundreds or thousands of people if it is not used in a way that aligns with the rest of your church’s story.

Your social media strategy should fit into everything your church communicates, which means it must fit into a bigger story.

The best way to bring social media into a bigger story is to use it to help tell the three bigger stories already happening around you: your church’s bigger story, your community’s bigger story, and God’s bigger story. Identifying each one is the first step in understanding how social media can complement – and not compete with – everything you do.

Connect to Your Church’s Bigger Story

There’s a good chance your church has boiled down its work into one simple mission statement. Everything you do as an organization – from program and marketing to human resources – should fit into this concise statement. That includes social media.

Every picture and video, post, and reply is aimed at furthering your mission,

Connect to Your Community’s Bigger Story

If you look long and hard at the community you live in, there’s a good chance you’ll see groups of people gathered around certain ideas. Your community is crawling with bigger stories.

Knowing your city’s DNA can help you use your social media efforts to tell your community’s bigger story. Find one or two of those stories and engage your social media efforts to tell it.

Connect to God’s Bigger Story

If your church incorporates Christian doctrine into everything you do, why shouldn’t you include social media? If we meet, pray, and serve because the Bible tells us to, may Scripture offers direction can be guided as well.

It might seem a bit trite, but the more you can connect your social media strategy to the words God has given us through Scripture, the better. Simply put, obeying God’s bigger story can help your social media to tell a bigger story.

Mark Forrester, Editor, Trending Up

A NEXT STEP

Make a chart tablet sheet for each of the three “bigger stories” listed above. Draw a vertical line down the middle of each chart tablet under the title.

In a team meeting, ask your team to review each of the three chart tablets and list social media actions that you are currently doing for that topic. Complete each of the three chart tablets in a similar manner.

Next, evaluate the lists. Are these actions effective? How do you know? How are you measuring effectiveness? Is there something you could be doing, but are not, to make the action more effective? If so, assign responsibility for someone on the team to ensure that is done.

Next, ask your team to review each of the three chart tablets and list social media actions that you should be doing for that topic. Complete each of the three chart tablets in a similar manner.

On another chart tablet, pull out the actions you should be doing, and group them under similar headings. For example, all actions under “Instagram” will be written under that heading. After you have grouped the actions by category, discuss as a team which are the most important for you to accomplish first.

Pull out the top three items, and assign responsibility, a timeline, and checkpoints for each. At a future meeting, discuss the status of each.

After the top three have been accomplished, measure their effectiveness, and review with the team how they need to be revised, left as is, or scrapped.

Follow the same process with all items on the list, three at a time, until all have been implemented.

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 78-1, issued October 2017.


 

Part of a weekly series on 27gen, entitled Wednesday Weekly Reader

Regular daily reading of books is an important part of my life. It even extends to my vocation, where as Vision Room Curator for Auxano I am responsible for publishing SUMS Remix, a biweekly book “excerpt” for church leaders. Each Wednesday on 27gen I will be taking a look back at previous issues of SUMS Remix and publishing an excerpt.

> >Purchase SUMS Remix here<<