Nothing is quite as humbling as attending a social media conference with the best of the best in Christian nonprofit and ministry communications. Yet that is where I found myself this past week, and I left with the conviction that every church that wants to move forward in the digital age must have an impactful online presence. This is the second part on the importance of messaging.
Let me start by stating that I am not a social media genius; in fact, I rarely have the time to monitor my personal Facebook page let alone tweet. But after last week, I have made a commitment to board the train before it is so far ahead I will never catch up. If you’ve also put it off, I hope to encourage you to climb aboard as well.
Though we often think that the word “social” is synonymous with “spontaneous”, nothing is further from the truth. For social media to be effective, it must have a strategy, and the most impactful strategy is to share your story.
The Power of Storytelling
We all know the power of a story. In fact, much of history was recorded this way, whether it was scenes etched in a rock wall or oral traditions that eventually took written form. Whatever the method, storytelling inspires and connects. The same is true today; it’s just includes words and pictures in digital form. (Make sure all your communication reinforces your ministry’s core messaging; see last week’s post “What’s Your Message?”).
If you’re not sure where to begin among the myriad of options available, there are two specific places where your story should be shared to reach your audience. First, make sure your website is inviting and inspiring. This is typically the connection point to those who are checking out your church or are new to your church.
Second, utilize the popularity and influence of Facebook. With approximately 700 million users worldwide, this is the place you connect with existing church members. The power of storytelling takes place here as well since you can post articles, photos and even live video via Facebook Live. It’s designed to encourage engagement and conversation. Just make sure to monitor the comments since it is also public.
These simple steps (crafting your message and sharing your message through storytelling) allow you to communicate your calling, passion and vision. With consistency and great content, you’ll build a vibrant online presence that extends to your congregants and your community.
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