3 Social Media Questions For Focus + Growth
Social media provides you a way to reach, engage, and retain people as a part of your church community. It’s a versatile tool in your discipleship toolbox. Most questions we hear about social media are about scheduling tools, how to create content, or knowing what numbers matter. What if we told you this: keep going further. Press on to the underlying questions that will naturally point you in the right direction.
Answering these questions will set you up with a framework to see the relationship side of social media. And you’ll know how Facebook, Instagram, or others work as a part of your church’s mission.
How does this content serve my audience?
Getting to know and understanding your audience allows you to better serve and minister to them through social media. Be OBSESSED with getting to know them. Yes, that’s a strong word. But remember, this is about developing relationships – it’s not a following of 100 or 1000 people who like your account. It’s a mass of individuals, who all have different habits, behaviors, and preferences.
Know where your audience spends their time on social media. Is a particular group more of a Facebook or Instagram crowd? It’s not just about reaching your audience – it’s about your finite time and resources!
Know their content style.
Let’s say you are trying to reach parents. Do they want all of the details? Video or text? Or do they want quick, snackable highlights? While video content is popular, is it the best? The only type of content that’s BEST is the kind that connects.
Know how this will help them.
Will it make your audience laugh? Think? Remind them to sign-up? Have a reason behind what you are sharing and posting, and be sure to have someone ready to respond and engage with your audience when they take action. Which leads us to….
Know what result you want – and tell them.
Do you want your audience to engage with comments? Click on a link to sign-up? Tag and share with friends because the content is so good/funny/insightful? Even an encouraging post can have a call to action of sharing the message with a friend or tagging someone they know that might need a kind word.
How will I measure success for this account?
Yup, this social media questions can be a tough one! It’s easy to look at follower count and either feel great because it’s grown by leaps and bounds – or deflated because it’s only grown a smidge. I have been there! Scripture helps us to keep our eyes on forward progress – even with social media goals when we use it for God’s glory!
Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Give careful thought to the paths for your feet and be steadfast in all your ways.
Know or develop a goal for each account. Be able to say, yes, this account is doing well because we’ve seen XYZ happen. Knowing the progress to that goal gives a sense of satisfaction for the work you are doing. Plus, it also illustrates the power of social media to those not as close to it.
Let’s look at some examples to show you what we’re talking about here:
- A church that wants to impact its community uses it’s social accounts to follow, engage, and share content from other local community organizations and partners. Measurements: reach and engagement.
- Wanting to reach the lost, a pastor creates videos that answer life’s tough questions head-on and creates a space for dialogue – both online and in person.
Measurements: engagement and video view time.
- The small group director who wants to support discipleship throughout the week. She creates Facebook groups with leaders trained on how to use the tools available to engage and minister to people.
Measurements: engagement, virtual class attendance, individuals getting involved in other church activities.
There are a lot of right answers here. There are no “wrong” answers. Well, except perhaps, “I don’t know, I just know we’re supposed to have an account here.” And if that’s the case, let’s take a breath. You aren’t alone in this realization. That alone can be a gift. A chance to switch gears and refocus. Which leads to the final question.
The big social media question: How does this align with my church’s broader mission?
While this post ends here, really, this question lies at the heart of all you’ll do as a church communicator and leader. Knowing who your church has a heart to seek out and disciple will help you focus on your audience. Knowing that audience will help determine both content and where you place it.
Above all, keep your church’s mission in mind as you make your strategic decisions. A simple post could be someone’s first step in their journey.
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You have a vision, but are you overwhelmed with how to bring it to life? Maybe you're second-guessing the tactics. Or simply don't know what you don't know.
Firm Foundations Marketing helps churches cut through the clutter to develop effective messaging strategies that help your church reach, engage, and retain people for the gospel.