10 Fatal Social Media Mistake Your Church Should Avoid
Society is waking up to the reality that social media is THE medium in which we interact with one another. If you want to sell a product, broadcast a message, or spread an idea; you better have at least a Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and the like.
If you want your church’s ministry to be as successful as it can possibly be, then establishing your church on social media is a must. To help shepherd you through the pitfalls of the world wide web, here are 10 Fatal Social Media Mistake Your Church Should Avoid:
1) Failing to have a purpose
Every church needs a clear purpose, and that extends to the church’s social media. Too many churches are have no idea what they to do with social media; they just know they need something. Think about the message you’re putting out. What are you trying to say? What is your goal? How do you plan on achieving that goal? You and your congregation need to ask yourselves these kinds of question; and before you move forward, you’ll need to have an answer.
2) Not a clear leader
A church without its pastor is like a flock without its shepherd. Any organization with purpose needs to have someone driving that purpose; and ultimately someone to take responsibility for its results. Many churches make the mistake of making social media everyone’s responsibility; creating confusion and ultimately leading to neglect. Appoint at least one person to be responsible for the church’s social media, and charge them with completing the church’s goal.
3) Appointing an inadequate social media manager
Some churches make the mistake of not taking their social media seriously, and usually wind up appointing someone who has no idea what they’re doing to manage their social media. Don’t ever do this. Social media is the best way to communicate with your congregation and potentially new members; don’t spoil the medium by allowing just anyone handle your social media page. It’s not rocket science, but you should still look for an individual that is capable of complete the task at hand.
4) Misleading your audience
If you’re the pastor of a small church, it’s easy to look at those mega churches and feel a little inadequate. Some churches even feel so bad about themselves that they take misleading photos of their church, edit it Instagram or Photoshop, and put it on their social media. It may be tempting to make your church seem newer and cooler than it may be, but don’t do it First of all, lying is a sin; and second of all, the surest way to turn off potential members is to start lying to them.
5) Using your social media solely as a news ticker
Church news and announcements are great things to share on your social media, but make sure to share more than that. Remember that social media is a fusion of advertising and conversation. You actually have to converse with your audience. Reply to comments, share links that members post, have something on your page besides church news. Remember, this is SOCIAL media; so be social!
6) Buying likes or followers
You can buy pretty much anything on the internet; and that includes Likes, Pluses, and Followers on social media. It might be tempting to fluff up your numbers with a few fake profiles, but do not do it. Anyone who spends more than 5 minutes on your page will be able to tell that you bought your followers; remember: lying is wrong and an ineffective way of building your online presence.
7) Getting too political
This world would be a sad place if we didn’t stand up for what’s right; but on the other hand there is a time and place for everything. In this increasingly secular world, there are many hot-button issues out there that have a direct and indirect effect on the church; but many people get turned off by churches that talk politics. Avoid being overly political; it’s ok to take a stand once in a while, but remember that your church’s social media page isn’t always the right place for it.
8) Not tracking your progress
If you wanted to know how well your social media page is doing, how would you find out? Sadly, many congregations don’t even consider that question, much less have an answer. There are many websites and services out there that can help you track your social media performance, and help you improve your metrics. Some places like Facebook over very basic social media analysis for free, with more complex version requiring a subscription. For third party services heck out Sprout Social, it is one of the most popular social media tracking websites. There is a monthly fee, but it’s worth the price.
9) Sharing too much or too little
How often do you think social media page should post content. Once a day? Once a week? Every day? If you post every hour on the hour, people are likely to stop caring about your content and stop following you. If you almost never update your social media, people will forget about you and ignore future updates. Find that happy medium between too much and too little. You can use social media analyzing services to help you determine the optimum post time and frequency.
10) Inadequate call to action
All great social media involves stirring your audience to do something; a call to action if you will. If you don’t get your audience engaged and involved with your social media page, they are less likely to care about your updates as much. Ask questions, create messages that ask people to like or share if they agree, start a conversation, etc. The more involved the people are in your page, the better success your social media will have.