Leading Change, Social Media for Ministries
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Using Social Media to Learn and Sympathize

“The answers lie in intelligence and empathy. Leadership unfolds in how you translate what you learn and feel into appreciation and understanding of the state of customer sentiment and how that correlates to the state of customer relationships.”–Brian Solis

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It’s easy for ministries to assume they know more about the people they are seeking to mobilize, give, or lead in their organization. Before these people were Tweeting, Instagraming, Pinterestizing, and Facebooking educated guesses and gut feelings sufficed as decision making tools.

Today educated guesses and gut feelings waste resources and slow down the process of learning and fine-tuning strategies that lead to significant results.

Intelligence–Focused, Real-Time Information

A first step to practicing intelligence on a personal level is creating a list on Facebook and/or Twitter. If you are not using social media specifically and intentionally then you are still experiencing social media from a consumer’s perspective, not a leader or influencer.

Leaders maximize their time and invest in the few so that many will ultimately benefit. If you are logging into Facebook and Twitter and waiting for the information to come to you, the content you see is not filtered or focused.

Empathy–Emotional and Specific Understanding

Spending time intentionally listening creates tremendous sympathy. It forces me to place their opinions and preferences over mine, which is a powerful practice to build into your week.

If you have a strategic plan or recently generated goals or tactics for your ministry, consider how many of them were shaped by empathy and understanding.

“Once you listen, not monitor, but truly listen to customer activity and observe online behavior, you cannot help but feel both empathy and harmony.”–Brian Solis

What are some things you have learned about your members, volunteers, or donors from listening? Has listening helped create empathy?


  1. Loves this post. Totally has implications in evangelism.

    Stop using social media as just a consumer and think intentionally about how online listening can fuel evangelistic/gospel centered conversations.

    So good.

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