While we’re at Worship Week 2015 at Ridgecrest Conference Center, we have more than 70 classes being taught on pretty much every subject related to worship. Over the next few weeks (and months), we’ll use WorshipLife.com to share with you a few of the topics discussed.
First up… from our class titled, “Let’s Get Socialable,” are the Top 5 Rules of Social Media (for Churches) as taught by our very own Marketing Strategist, Chasity Phillips. Please keep in mind, this is the very shortened version of this class. If you’d like to discuss more, Chasity’s contact information is below.
But before we get started, it’s important to realize a few things… there are 15 social networking sites with over 30 million unique visitors. If your church does not have a social media presence (or even a presence, but no strategy), then you are doing three things:
1) You are ignoring members expectations. Gasp! Yes, your members are on social media.
2) It can cost you potential visitors and members. Wow! Statistics show more people get their information and make decisions based off of social media than any other source… you’re missing out on reaching people in your community.
3) It can tarnish your church — by “being not in the know” or “not up-to-date.” Woah! This is a tough one to swallow, but oh so true. No need to elaborate.
So, without further ado… here’s the Top 5 Rules of Social Media (for Chuches):
1) Be Intentional — Being intentional means having a plan in place. Decide what your plan is (what sites you want and how often you will update) and then commit to it. You don’t have to start out at 90 miles to nothing. The turtle wins the race. But you do have to commit. And be consistent. Oh, and don’t forget the guardrails (guidelines).
2) Be the Expert — Think about all the knowledge of those in your church. Don’t be afraid to showcase their knowledge. From the pastor and worship pastor to the children’s minister and youth leader, your church is filled with people that are experts in their field. Use this as a way to communicate with your community. Use quotes from sermons. Start a blog site as a way to communicate outside of just one hour per week. Give tips. The list is endless.
3) Be Human — We are all human. Even those of us that serve the Church. Show the “behind the scenes” of everyday life working in a church. Be funny. Be real. Be informative. This Sisters video is a great example of being human: They showcased their human side; they showcased their knowledge; they showcased their expertise.
4) Be Boxers — Ever heard the phrase, “Jab. Jab. Punch”? This applies to social media, not just boxing. When I say Jab. Jab. Punch., it means… give your visitors a variety of information, but then make sure you follow that with something meaningful. Show photos of a baby shower – Jab. Give a quote from Sunday’s service – Jab. Link to your pastor’s blog showcasing expert topics – Punch. If everything is the same, eventually, you will loose visitors. Change it up.
5) Be Your Own Church — Your church has a brand. Whether you know it or not. Your church has a culture. Whether you know it or not. Figure out what it is. If you like it. Own it. If you don’t like it. Come up with a plan to change it. And own it. But make sure, you’re not trying to be another church other than your own. It’s ok to R&D (Ripoff and Duplicate) something cool you see another church doing on social media, but first make sure it fits with your church. Being different is always better than being good. But make sure you’re at least true to who your church is everyday.
Bottom line: Be intentional. Be the expert. Be human. Be boxers, Be your own church. Because… what happens today is on Facebook tomorrow!
Chasity Phillips is the Marketing Strategist for LifeWay Worship. She’s also a choir member at Brentwood Baptist Church AND an EVERY Sunday nursery worker. She loves being creative. Her “Happy Place”: Worship Music + Creativity (add a palm tree, and that’s how she imagines Heaven). She also loves social media… so BEWARE, you might find yourself on the pages of LifeWay Worship’s FB page or Twitter feed. Outside of LifeWay and Church, she can be found at a baseball field somewhere…watching her three baseball-loving boys (husband, Brent and two boys, Peyton & Palmer) play baseball OR cheering on her Alma Mater, The Florida State University Seminoles. Psalm 143:8. You can contact her at Chasity.Phillips@LifeWay.com.