So…Social Media is huge and powerful. The conversation is going on right now!Go through points…
Facebook and Twitter can be useful ministry tools but they won’t necessarily be helpful to everyone in every situation. Or you may find that while Facebook is right up your alley, Twitter doesn’t work with your communication/lifestyle … or that Flickr is really where it’s at for you!Bottom Line: Facebook, Twitter & other forms of SM can be helpful ministry tools depending on how they’re used, and how you feel most comfortable communicating. Some missionaries may find them to be great, and others find them to be a waste of time! And that’s okay.Are you intentionally not using Facebook because it’s not the best tool for you? Or are you just unfamiliar with it and don’t want to learn more about it?
Staying Connected with SupportersSupporters will have a greater sense of being connected with you through more frequent communication than a weekly prayer letter. At the very least, an update in a Facebook News Feed from a missionary is a great reminder to your supporters that you still exist! Build New Connections for MinistryBy following-up with connections on FB/Twitter, you can connect with people you’ve met (on furlough, etc.) and you give them a convienent way to connect with you. (consider using Facebook Lists for easy organization)Increased Awareness for your MinistryInteraction with other MissionariesConnect with those who have walked in your shoes, or share wisdom from your own experiences. Keep up with current Missions Issues
Meet Danny and Ranette Foster, Wycliffe Canada missionaries working in Uganda and Tanzania with sons Josiah and Isaac. Danny is Director of Training and Development for the Uganda-Tanzania Branch of SIL International, and Ranette manages training finances and logistics.For years, Danny Foster managed a Web site about his family’s work, but he grew frustrated when the site received only 25 to 50 visits in a good month. Earlier this year, Foster began searching for a better way to communicate his family’s work.“I finally realized what the answer was when I found out my niece had a baby — one week after the fact! I was furious with my family, but they said she had communicated to everyone on Facebook AND Twitter! It was like I was behind the times.”Now, Foster spends about five hours a week using social media, mostly on his iPhone. He uses Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook. Foster’s blog now gets more than 150 visits a month, and Wycliffe UK has re-blogged one of his posts. On Twitter, he entertains his followers with tweets like this one: “1 motorcycle + 14 hours + 969 Tanzanian klms = a VERY sore backside!”
FB Groups are a great resource for secure missionaries who desire to communicate in a private environment. Within a FB group, the members can post the same content they might on a page or profile, but with the addition of being able to post documents. FB groups are also set up with a group email address that will contact all members of the group.
Create Events on your page or profile or group to share relevant conferences, prayer needs, events, with supporters. Upon creating an event, a News Feed story with event info will post to your Page (profile or group), and your audience can RSVP. You can increase RSVPs by posting status updates leading up to the Event, emailing lists, and linking from your website/blog.
Sarcastic, but fun!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jGbLWQYJ6iMHashtags allow you to search topics like #missions, #missionary, #churchplanting and see what others are saying about these topics. You, in turn, can post your thoughts on the same topics by including those hashtags in your tweet.
Although there are many more options, here are a few! Wordpress – the most powerful, and has the most options. Unlike many blog hosts, WordPress offers a free hosting solution at its WordPress.com domain as well as the ability to download its powerful software for private use on third-party hosting solutions. This means that, as your blog grows, it can follow you from humble beginnings on the free WordPress servers to a more powerful hosting solution appropriate for your newfound success.Blogger - For those who enjoy the features of WordPress but want more control over their blog’s design, Blogger is a fantastic solution. The website allows every design or template to be customized in a text editor on the website; designers can use the service’s simple tags to place content wherever they wish, and can use standard XHTML to create a design around Blogger’s content.BlogspotTumblr – the easiest to use, set up, and connect with. – The best way to think of a Tumblr blog is as a hybrid of Twitter’s micro-blogging sensibilities combined with the full, entry-based approach of a traditional blog. Tumblr is a free blog host that offers users a rich experience both in the way they public entries as well as in how those entries are read.
New Rule: Blog when you have something to sayDon’t blog out of responsibility (although be sure to walk that fine line between abandonment and responsibility). New Rule: Size doesn’t matter, content doesToday’s audience reads blogs both for entertainment and education – and accomplishing both means using some words! The blogs we love are those that challenge us to think differently, inspire us, etc. New Rule: Link and Link OftenYou can increase the social-ness of what you’re doing by linking and linking often to whoever you can think of to link to!New Rule: Overlapping satellite communities=successWhile blogging is a great way to share stories, it can be challenging to drive readers to your blog. By connecting with Facebook & Twitter, you can automate your posts to FB/Twitter whenever you post on your Blog. New Rule: The Community Likes ImperfectionToday’s bloggers don’t have all the answers, and readers prefer that they’re not perfect. It’s okay to start a conversation and not resolve it.http://outspokenmedia.com/blogging/outdated-blog-rules/
Fun FactsTwitter has the largest division of users with a secondary education, 37% have at least a bachelor’s degreeFacebook has the largest division of older users with 37% being 45 years or olderTwitter has the largest division of wealthy users with 27% earning 75k or more.Twitter has 105,779,710 registered usersTwitter receives 180 million unique visitors a month600 million Twitter search queries a dayFacebook is available in more than 70 different languagesTop websites by traffic: Google, Facebook, You Tube (Twitter is #11)Average # of Facebook friends: 130Facebook has become so popular, psychologists identified a new mental health disorder, Facebook Addiction Disorder1 in 4 Americans watches a video on YouTube every day.Chicago is the fastest growing city on Facebook in terms of usage in 201049% of Twitter users either never or rarely check Twitter
Flickr(Photo Streaming) For the photographically inclined, Flickr provides a great place to share images from the field. (See http://www.flickr.com/photos/worldreliefbend/)YouTube & Vimeo(Video Streaming) For the video included, YouTube and Vimeo both provide a great place to post & collect videos. (see www.vimeo.com/wheatonbible and facebook.com/wheatonbible for facebook-vimeo integration)Pinterest & StumbleUponThese are included just for fun..they’re the best way to waste time online!
Don’t get discouraged if you’re not doing it all! Don’t get overwhelmed with trying to use every type of communication tool. Learn all you can about what works for you and your setting, and do it with excellence!
Hootsuite.com and tweetdeck.com – great programs! Totally safe and free.
Also consider…Share an interesting article or video & ask for commentsEncourage people to share prayer requests or stories of answered prayers.Post written or video testimonies from people in my ministry.Ask people to share something about themselves (It’s November, and we celebrated Thanksgiving in Kenya with traditional American food. What did you do?)
Be like Goldilocks…don’t do too much, or too little…do just enough!What do you enjoy doing? How are you currently communicating? How can you supplement or replace what you’re currently doing/how you’re currently communicating with social media?How can you utilize a Scheduling program like Hoot Suite or Tweet Deck to best use your time?
Social Media for Missionaries
A DAY IN THE LIFE OF SOCIAL MEDIA…
WHY SHARE YOUR STORY ON SOCIAL MEDIA?• You have a unique story to share…your voice is important!• Yes, we are in ministry, but networking and communication are required!• We have these incredible, free resources at our disposal, for our use.• We have an opportunity to join in a global conversation going on all around us every day.
Facebook, Twitter, You Tube,Blogging, Vimeo, Flickr…and more!These can all be helpful ministrytools depending on how they’re used,and how you feel most comfortablecommunicating.
SOCIAL MEDIA – GOOD OR BAD? A D VA N TA G E S DANGERS1. Staying connected 1. Time Consumption with supporters2. Build new 2. Distraction connections for 3. Escapism ministry 4. Security3. Increase awareness for your ministry4. Interact with other Missionaries5. Keep up with current missions issues
www.thefosters.ca/ twitter.com/fosteriusfacebook.com/danny.foste r
TODAY’S GOALS…1. Get to know “The Big 3” (Facebook, Twitter & Blogging)2. Learn where to start, how to sustain, and give opportunities for growth3. Learn how to garner financial support through Facebook & Social Media4. Dig deeper into sharing your story through social media5. Have lots of fun!
FACEBOOK…IT ALL STARTS WITH A PROFILE1. Start with an email address2. Create an account at http://www.facebook.com3. Set up your profileProfiles are representative of INDIVIDUALS (as opposed toorganizations, groups, families, etc.).Authentic Identity – Facebook requires users to use their realnames in order to proclaim authentic identity. It‟s NOT a good ideato set up a facebook account in which your name is not a person‟sname (ex: Wheaton Bible) because Facebook will permanentlydelete your profile & information if discovered.
PROFILE SETTINGSSecurity – It‟s important to ensure that your security settings areappropriate. Visit http://www.facebook.com/security for more details.Quick Tips…• Always use https while using facebook• Don‟t allow apps to access information UNLESS it‟s extremely important and you trust the app.Passwords – Make your password longer than 8 characters,include a variety of numbers, letters, and symbols, and change itregularly.
HIGH SECURITY PROFILE SETTINGSPseudonym – Consider creating a Facebook account with apseudonym that is used as a vehicle for creating a Page (more infosoon…). Turn off the ability for people to comment. *The downside here is that someone could always link to your site and say, “Check out this blog from our missionaries in China!”Family-only posting – Use your real name, but only post aboutfamily-related items, never ministry.Passive reading – Have a Facebook account, turn off allcommenting, hid yourself from the ability to be found by searchingand then read your friends and family‟s Facebook content to yourheart‟s content. You will also be able to create a Page or Group) Go to Facebook profile
FACEBOOK PAGESFacebook pages give a voice to any public figure, organization (ormissionary!) to join the conversation with their audience onFacebook.Page Administrators (there can be more than one) can be privatefor added securityPeople and other pages (churches, missionorganizations, businesses, public figures) can connect to your pageby “liking” your page and becoming your fan.Your page‟s content is distributed virally when your audienceresponds to or shares it.
FACEBOOK PAGES• Usernames – easily communicate your facebook page‟s location to your followers (wheatonbible becomes facebook.com/wheatonbible)• Share content with your fans! • Links • Photos • Videos • Blog Posts • Twitter updates • Prayer requests • News • And more!• Expand the reach of your ministry through tagging (@wheatonbible becomes a post on our wall)• Take it a step further - develop a conversational calendar, create weekly features, etc.
FACEBOOK GROUPSFacebook Groups are a great resource for private communication.1. Control who sees your group (3 levels of security) • Secret – only members can see the group and what members post. • Closed – anyone can see the group. Only members can see the posts. • Open (public) – Anyone can see the group and what members post.2. Share with the group • Post updates, questions, photos & more • Chat with the group (You could have set „office hours‟ to communicate with the members of your group) • Create shared docs • Schedule group events3. Stay in the know 1. Get notified about new posts so you never miss an update 2. Connect off Facebook using the group‟s shared email address.
FACEBOOK EVENTS• Comes with all profiles and pages• A great way to share prayer needs, upcoming events and more with supporters. Upon creating an event, a News Feed story with event info will post to your Page or Profile, and your audience can RSVP.• You can increase RSVPs by posting status updates leading up to the Event, emailing lists, and linking from your website/blog.
FACEBOOK APPLICATIONSAdd applications to your Page to display additional content andcreate a more customized setting.http://www.facebook.com/PastorRobBughhttp://www.facebook.com/wheatonbiblehttp://www.facebook.com/WorldReliefTo raise financial support: • www.causes.com - a great way to “start a cause” (i.e. your mission work) and the causes application will integrate into your Facebook Page, allowing people to give through your Facebook Page.
THE BIG 3 - TWITTER FACEBOOK TWITTERFacebook is for good for Twitter is good for connectingconnecting with people that you with people who sharealready know. common interestsLocal news/events Breaking newsHelp on an issue New learning & discovery500 million total users 106 million total users• 46% men, 54% women • 48% men, 52% women• 70% located outside the US • 60% located outside the• 41% login every day US• 88% of people in the world • 52% update status daily are aware of Facebook • 87% of people in the world310 million daily unique visitors are aware of Twitter 22 million daily unique visitors 600 million searches daily**
THE BIG 3 - TWITTERWhat is Twitter?Twitter is a worldwide information network made of no more than 140-charater messages. The users are generally the “influencers” of society (politicians, celebrities, public figures, organizations), although it‟s also used by many individuals.Alignment• short & sweet & frequent!• While facebook may be relational and time-consuming in nature, Twitter requires less commitment and is, by nature, less relational.The Rules• 140 character Max• You can‟t tweet too often!
THE TWITTER LANGUAGE• Tweet - the message itself• Tweeting – the act of posting a message to twitter• Followers – your “friends” on Twitter• Follow –to subscribe to their Tweets and updates on the site• @ (Mention) - the @ sign is used to call out usernames in Tweets, like this: Great message today @wheatonbible from @PastorRobBugh!. When a username is preceded by an @ sign, it becomes a link to a Twitter profile. This is also called a “mention.”• DM (Direct Message) – These tweets are private between only the sender and the recipient. Regular tweets become DMs when they begin with d Username (like d PastorRobBugh) to specify who the message is for.• ReTweet – The act of forwarding another user‟s tweet to all of your followers. Often used to spread news or share valuable findings on Twitter. Often abbreviated by RT.• # (Hashtag) – Hashtags are used to categorie your tweet and tag it in a global tweet “cloud.” Exampe: So excited for what God is doing in India #HeartforAIDS
TWITTER – HOW TO GET STARTED…1. Find people you know & follow them.2. Find like-minded users.3. Find people in your area.4. Get a desktop or mobile client (TweetDeck or HootSuite)5. Start tweeting!
THE BIG 3 – BLOGGINGBlog – web logWhich platform is right for me? (all free, of course!)• Wordpress – a free hosting solution that has the powerful wordpress software behind it. (WTBDO, Thunderettes, LIFE)• Blogger - The features of WordPress but with more control over design.• Tumblr – A hybrid between Twitter‟s micro-blogging sensibilities combined with the full, entry-based approach of a traditional blog. No expertise needed! (Fosters, LCD, Chris MCE)
THE NEW BLOGGING RULES THE OLD RULE THE NEW RULE Good bloggers post every day. Blog when you have something toGood bloggers keep posts short. say. Good bloggers don‟t link too Size doesn‟t matter, content does. often. Link and link often. Page Views=Success! Overlapping satellite Good Bloggers have all the communities=Success! answers. The community likes imperfection.
YOUR NEW BEST (SOCIAL MEDIA) FRIENDScheduling Programs like HootSuite and TweetDeck allow you to write your updates for a week in one sitting.
HELPFUL HINTS – TOPICS TO POST ABOUT:• Prayer requests (also, consider using Twitter strictly for prayer request & feeding it to Facebook/Blog as such)• Local culture, language, religion, news• A “local perspective” to global news/issues• What your daily life/ministry looks like• Bible verses• Photos & Videos• Testimonies• Links to articles on missions/theology
BE LIKE GOLDILOCKS• Start with what you can, and STAY ACTIVE!• Make Social Media a part of your daily or weekly routine, just as you check emails, do weekly chores.• Consider the best times to post in North America (if that is your primary audience) may not be the best times in your location. Sign up for hootsuite and pre-program them all!
IF I WERE A MISSIONARY… • I would DEFINITELY start with a Facebook Page. • I would also keep a Facebook Profile for personal/family/friends interaction & staying close to family news. • If I was up for more, I would set up an account on Twitter and perhaps one other niche market (Flickr, YouTube/Vimeo, Blog), depending on my interest & gifting. • If I wasn‟t very techy, my blog would be on Tumblr. • If I had a blog, I would feed the posts to Facebook, and pull in all Twitter and Facebook feeds. • I would develop a strategy, a plan, a list of “to dos” for posting and responding… as well as a conversational time line (when I was planning to post each week). • I would work hard on forming vital connections with mentors in my area of ministry. • I would network with influencers in my area of ministry who might extend my reach. • I would teach those back home about my life, culture, and work. • I would inspire them to get involved. • I would entertain them with real, personal, honest updates.