Social Media for Ministries
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Using Social Media to Serve Your Ministry

lego line“How do we line up for customers instead of asking customers to line up to us?”–Marcel de Brun, SVP of Radian 6, a Social Media Monitoring Platform

Marcel shared this and other powerful ideas during this interview with Brian Solis. I’m amazed that more ministries have not adopted this service-minded approach to their communication strategy. How does sharing the same announcement on Facebook, Twitter, email, and text messaging serve those in your ministry? Why would they need to hear the same message, in the same way, in four different places?

He shared the example of calling a customer service center: “Your call is important to us, but not quite as important as the efficient utilization of my agents otherwise you wouldn’t be waiting on hold.” Ministries can break out of this paradigm by including listening and interaction as central pieces of their social media strategy.

De Brun reveals the reality of Old Media that created this problem: “We could buy the medium and shout louder, and they could not talk back.” Now shouting louder leads to un-following, un-subscribing, or ignoring. Now ministries can hear that not everyone that attends or listens likes what they experience.

Here are some suggestions De Brun makes to continue to lead effective change in your communication strategy:

Express your ideas then engage with customers around those ideas: Ask them what they think, invite them to comment and share, listen to their responses on Facebook and Twitter.

Put out your ideas, see the response, adapt your thinking, and join the conversation: It’s easy to think of ministry communications as stone tablets chiseled with data–instead think of them as silly-putty that will not only change but also take on new pieces of information shared by your audience.

Minimize automation and mechanization in your communication efforts: Many online efforts can be scheduled but beware of turning your online communications onto autopilot. The greatest opportunities are to reply, share, and comment on the content your audience creates. So far that cannot be automated.

Involve the front office as much as possible: Even if you do not have a title or reputation with the front office, involve them as much as you can. Send them emails of videos or infographics. Pitch them small projects that will demonstrate the value of using social media corporately. Don’t wait on them to “get it.”

 The video is 13 minutes long, so I recommend starting at 6 minutes in or watching the last 3 minutes:

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