2.5 Year Review: Social Media Ministry Sept. 15, 2009 to March 5, 2012 Presented by June Herold, March 7, 2011 June@JuneHerold.com 1
Sept. 15, 2009 to Sept. 15, 2011: Two Full Church Years Overview • Summation of Social Ministry Performance • Significance For UUCAVA: What The Numbers Tell Us • Reflections & Recommendations 2
Sept. 15, 2009 to Sept. 15, 2011: Two Full Church Years *Who Has Visited Our Social Ministry @ uucava.org? • 81,600 unique individuals visited our site • 44,000 of them were repeat visitors • 175,900 total visits = How many times all visitors came • 3+ pages per visit were viewed by visitors • From where are the visitors? The 175,900 total visits come from: – USA: 166,500, or 95% – Canada: 1,700, about 1% – UK: 1,200 – India: 479 – Germany, Philippines, Australia, Ireland, China, France, Netherlands, Poland, Pakistan Singapore, Brazil, Senegal, Mexico, Romania, Spain, South Africa, Italy, Switzerland, Turkey, Cote d’Ivoire • From which US locales? The 166,500 US visits came from: – 36,500 or 22%: Arlington, VA (36,500/166,500 USA total visits) – 29,700 or 18%: Fort Meyer, VA(military base) – 14,250 or 8.5%: Wash DC and other towns in NOVA and as faraway as Richmond – 11,900, or 7%: Falls Church, VA (this is in addition to the 14,250 for DC and NOVA towns) – 4,970, or 3%: New York City – 3,000, or 1.8%: Maryland (Montgomery, Baltimore and Prince Georges counties) 3 * Source: Google Analytics. All numbers are rounded
Sept. 15, 2009 to Sept. 15, 2011: Two Full Church Years Put Another Way: The reach of our UU ministry = 37 x more than what you think it is! • What really is the size of our church? – 44,000 repeat visitors in our congregation? • Based on # of unique individuals who come to our site for our social ministry repeatedly divided by the number of people on the church roster, or: • 44,000/1,200 = 37 x larger than what we assume • Where did our traffic come from? Of the 175,900 visits: – 70,700 direct inputting of our url or clicking on a bookmark of it – 60,000 from Google searches – 9,500 from clicking on uucava.org urls inside of emails – 3,000 from facebook promotions of our content (primarily from our UUCAVA facebook page) – 2,650 from mentions on the UUA’s site 4
Sept. 15, 2009 to Sept. 15, 2011: Two Full Church Years We are a ministry way beyond our physical congregation. We are probably the largest practicing community in the UU movement. (CLF = 2,000 registered online users) We have followers who view us and repeatedly visit us as a meaningful outpost of liberal faith. Why? Because our content is compelling. • Our online church is the collective content of our character. So, who is “we”? • Members, friends, Ifs (aka inquiring friends) and our social media ministry followers and participants.
Sept. 15, 2009 to Sept. 15, 2011: Two Full Church Years But what is the site doing for our physical members? What are the 1,200 in-the-flesh church participants doing? • Google analytics tells us that only our *signed-in users have: – Looked at 12,000 group pages – Looked at 47,000 blog pages, plus 15,000 more pages devoted to the writing and editing process – Looked at 3,700 pages of the Members Section; – Edited their page and privacy settings 4,100 times (change email address, change viewing rights of their activity, change profile photo; customize profile or My Page) – Made 1,000 friend requests • What did everybody -- local congregants and digital users - look at? – Services & Schedule page: 21,200 views – Locations & Directions: 7,000 views – What is UUism Content: 8,000 views, not including videos watched – Sermons: 5,800 views – Programs and Activities: 5,600 views – Photos: 5,100 Visits to Pages in The Photo Gallery – Visitors & New Members: 5,100 – Videos: 2,000 individuals Watched 3,100 Times *Only people who are on the church roster are currently allowed to sign in. 98% of our content, however, is viewable to the general public. Only signed in users can create content and comment.
Jan. 1, 2012 to March 5, 2012 Jan.-March 2012: Increased Usage So Far • Total visitors are up by about 2%; visitors are looking at 6% more content and spending 16% more time on the site. • *Why? The Facebook Effect: Sharing content and activity published first on uucava.org has increased visits to 890, up 167% from 333 visits during Jan.-March 5, 2011 • Significance: The church has improved how it serves our members who primarily live in facebook and do not normally go to our site. They will use what we deliver online but need to be told about it where they are at. – Social Media Ministry is a vital retention tool; not just an acquisition tool. • Experiment: Starting Sunday, March 11, we will have a week of facebook sharing going on by volunteers who will share/post to their profiles and news feeds content from uucava.org. – Update: After one day of the test, traffic to uucava.org from facebook increased more than 7 fold. * Currently, we do not use twitter enough for it to contribute in a meaningful way. Viewers have watched videos on our YouTube channel 13,700 times.
2012: We Are Formalizing The Practice of Social Ministry• Social Ministry Working Group Established – Purpose: To create a operations infrastructure – Priorities for 2012/13 church year: • Working on congregation guidelines for social media ministry • Integrating social media ministry into every aspect of the church – Probably requires a paradigm shift for nearly every aspect of how we function to maximize the power of our true size. • Begin working to attract the 36,500 unique Arlington County digital users from the past two years into the physical church • New Ways to Engage: Live Broadcasts of Sermons & Events – April 15 sermon for a JPD event – Proposed: Emma’s Revolution pop-folk concert on May 15. Hopefully we will sell tickets for the online presentation of it as well. Goal to aggressively market to ER’s fans internet-wide. 8
Significance to Stewardship, Capital Campaign, and Finances• What about mining the treasure of our online-only community? – Possibility: Provide content for a suggested nominal fee to non-UUCAVA small group ministries – Online paid-events to mirror for-pay in-person events • Examples: auctions; plays; concerts; fundraising• Current costs of Social Media Ministry: Are they really a Capital Cost? – Yes. For development purposes, uucava.org is an asset, regardless of accounting practices – Current costs: $600 total for platform (the “ground” on which the digital church stands) and hosting (the buildings in which social ministry occurs). YouTube channel; facebook; twitter etc.: free – Compared to $5M+ for physical improvements, ignoring the potential of what is absurdly low cost, is unwise.• Converting site visitors into flesh & blood congregants. – Recommendation: Spend some money for an engagement (marketing) plan to objectively figure how to realize the potential of uucava.org 9
What it all means? Some thoughts• Does our size matter? Among congregations, we are probably the largest producer of UU-relateddigital content, apart from the UUA. Why does content matter? – Lots of quality content that refreshes regularly is what makes us compelling – That content reflects who we are: We are compelling and dynamic – Compelling content produces traffic: Google crawls our pages. The more quality pages we have the easier it is to find us, not just for driving directions, but for what we are saying about particular issues and faith• Our role in UUism? This would suggest we play an important role in the UU Movement that Rev.Peter Morales has identified in his vision of Religion Beyond Belief and in his whitepaper,Congregations & Beyond.• Do we care? Do we consider this role important enough to find resources to grow our Social MediaMinistry? – What role does social ministry play in the calling of our next minister? Does it become a qualification and commitment we require? Same goes for our next church admin? 10
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