“All the people I’m trying to reach are on Facebook.”–from a recent NY Times post on youth usage of social media.
Here’s three questions to ask yourself and those in your ministry leadership to diagnose how closely you are aligned to the social media usage patterns of your audience:
What kind of content does the majority of my target audience enjoy consuming?
What particular platform do they use the most to consume this content?
On what particular device?
The closer you align your ministry’s social media efforts with the patterns of your audience the more effective you will be. Sounds easy, but on the field it’s rare.
More data from the NY Times post:
“While the younger generation is losing interest in blogging, people approaching middle age and older are sticking with it. Among 34-to-45-year-olds who use the Internet, the percentage who blog increased six points, to 16 percent, in 2010 from two years earlier, the Pew survey found. Blogging by 46-to-55-year-olds increased five percentage points, to 11 percent, while blogging among 65-to-73-year-olds rose two percentage points, to 8 percent.”
“Kim Hou, a high school senior in San Francisco, said she quit blogging months ago, but acknowledged that she continued to post fashion photos on Tumblr. ‘It’s different from blogging because it’s easier to use,” she said. “With blogging you have to write, and this is just images. Some people write some phrases or some quotes, but that’s it.'”
“There is a lot of fragmentation,” Mr. Schneider said. “But at this point, anyone who is taking blogging seriously — they’re using several mediums to get a large amount of their traffic.”
Ministries will need to evaluate their social media efforts regularly to ensure that the tools they are using are relevant, and the production matches the consumption patterns of their audience.
It’s no longer just having a general online presence that’s important, but a contextualized and relevant engagement online strategy.