Social Media 101 for Congregations


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Presentation given at the Texas Health Resources Fifth Annual Faith Community Leadership Summit on February 15, 2011. Topics: Adaptable ideas and suggestions to implement social media tools with initiatives and best practices from other churches.

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Social Media 101 for Congregations

  1. 1. Social Media 101 for CongregationsFifth Annual Faith Community Leadership Summit February 15, 2011 Richie Escovedo | @vedo
  2. 2. Lets talk about What and why social media Reasons and research Tools with purpose Examples and thoughts
  3. 3. What is social media?
  4. 4. "Social Media is a social trend in which people usetechnologies to get the things they need from each other, rather than from traditional institutions." from Groundswell by Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff
  5. 5. and it looks like this
  6. 6. hmmm...
  7. 7. Put simply, social mediais people having onlineconversations.
  8. 8. Why social media forcongregations? Effective and efficient storytelling Connecting with people outside your church Explain your churchs mission and purpose Community awareness of church ministry People want to be a part of something good Build and maintain relationships
  9. 9. Churches increasingly fans ofFacebook, other social media Interesting stats from 2010 study...
  10. 10. 47% of churches actively use Facebook.20% use social media tools included inchurch management software.40% don’t use any social media tools.Bigger churches more likely to useFacebook:81% with 500+ use Facebook27% with fewer than 50 people
  11. 11. 78% of churches have a website.Less than half of those churches use theirsite for interactive purposes (prayerrequests, event registration, streamliningchurch processes).15% of churches update their site morethan once a week.40% update it once a week.42% update it once a month or less.7% update it once a year.
  12. 12. What keeps churches from providing moreonline content and services? 46% limited staff time 41% limited financial resources 39% limited volunteer time 35% lack of interest or demand
  13. 13. What about age?
  14. 14. Remember:People want tobe part ofsomething good
  15. 15. To start, answer some questions Who will post? Who is your audience? What kinds of content will be created/shared? When will content be shared (schedule)? How will you evaluate your social media use? How will you promote the tools plus maintain safety and ethics? What are you already doing that could be re- purposed for social media?
  16. 16. Where to start? Choosing the right tools is not an easy task. Follow the footsteps of success of others to help be your guide.
  17. 17.
  18. 18. Blog to explore topics
  19. 19. Blog to explain ministry
  20. 20. Blog to share mission teams
  21. 21. Blog to encourage community
  22. 22. Tips for churches on Facebook Make sure Facebook link is easy to find on website Post links plus photos/videos and "tag" volunteers Use Facebook events and encourage church community to "Share" it Ask/answer questions Reply to feedback as appropriate
  23. 23. Tips for churches on Facebook Teach your Fans to tag your churchs Page. Using the “tag” (the @ symbol), they can tag the church’ s Facebook Page in their own status that goes out to their friends. Shows active community on the churchs Page Wall
  24. 24. Greet Facebook Fans with a welcome
  25. 25. Greet Facebook Fans with a welcome
  26. 26. Twitter is... a free social messaging utility for staying connected in real- time ( a social networking and micro-blogging toolYes, but what is it? connections, conversations, community, and content
  27. 27. For congregations, Twitter can be... a cost-effective (free) option to accentuate existing messages; a broadcasting tool to announce relevant information to specific audiences; and a (brief) conversational tool to appropriately respond to relevant inquiries and follow-up questions or comments.
  28. 28. Two TypesBroadcaster Conversationalist useful if audience knows provides a "voice" what they are getting seen as an authority and another way to push source information ROE - return on works best if you have engagement good information to give a way to interact with could fill a need from those interested in the specific area or topic church all about building relationships
  29. 29. Consider voice ofindividual or voice of achurch
  30. 30.
  31. 31. Use video to tell your story Video content should be a key component of your social strategy. Some pastors find communicating through video easier than writing long blog posts. Most people would rather watch a video than read something. Many options, but stick with YouTube or Vimeo. Both free with easily embeddable videos for blogs/sites. Try to keep videos short (3-5 minutes) and relevant to your church. If you create video for worship services, they could be useful online as well.
  32. 32. Blend personality, mission,and ministry to reach awider audience.
  33. 33. Think aboutbranding,consistency,dynamic videosand channels
  34. 34. Self-hosted media content You control look, access, and share-ability
  35. 35. Live streaming servicesFrom the Baptist Press:"Using the social media site Ustream, [the pastor] was able tobroadcast from his home while church members logged in onlinefor the 10:30 a.m. service. [He] created a link to Ustream fromEbenezers website to simplify the process." If the congregation cant come to you, go to them.
  36. 36. Other toolsPodcasting/iTunes Allows people to consume your content on-the-go Provides audio-only content, e.g., sermons Build a consistent audience for audio (or video) and automatically supply new content Reach iTunes user base
  37. 37. Other tools Location-based social networking (Foursquare) see who checks-in at your church Review sites (Yelp) see what people say about your church Mobile applications QR Codes (Quick Response) get creative with this technology
  38. 38. Listen to the conversation Monitor what is being said about your church. Dont know what social media tools your stakeholders are using? Start by searching for your churchs name, topic on interest, etc. on Google, Google BlogSearch, Technorati, Search.Twitter, Facebook and many others.
  39. 39. Listen to yourcongregation who use social media to only push out their churchsmessages miss the opportunity to have an engagingconversation with their online community.Have an authentic voice that connects with your community. Tell stories Be encouraging Appreciate and champion the followers in your online, and offline, community.
  40. 40. Once you start using social media Follow through and use the tools. You don’t have to use every tool. Avoid the shiny-object syndrome. Tailor your social strategy to fit your objectives. You need to have a thick skin. Not always going to be nice and friendly. Expect challenges to the Message. Above all, foster a positive community experience.
  41. 41. Sources & Additional Resources Generations
  42. 42. ContactRichie EscovedoE-mail: richie.escovedo@gmail.comTwitter: