Have you ever thought “Is social media important for my ministry? Should I invest my ministry’s time, effort and resources on social media right now?”
You know that technology is important and social media is growing. You are able to see its potential. You hear about all the amazing things social media has done for other ministries. You see people tweeting, posting and ‘snap’ping around you. But you are really not sure if social media is the thing your ministry needs to focus on at this moment. Especially when there are a dozen other things you could do, which you are already familiar with.
I understand that dilemma.
I have been working in the technology & online media space since 2001. Other than a short detour into the financial and banking sector, most of my career has been in the online marketing space. The more I work in this domain, the more I am convinced how important this media is for the body of Christ. There are 3 major reasons I am personally excited about social media for the Church:
- The stories I hear from the people who follow the churches & ministries I work with – the testimonies from people around the world. Oh, what a joy to hear people’s life being transformed!
- The consistent growth that I see in the reach, engagement and conversion metrics during measurement and analysis.
- My interactions with the industry leaders, influencers and analysis of industry reports. They all point to a coming wave of change in human communications powered by social media.
But that is just my view.
For you to take a step into this social media world, you need to be convinced. And for you to be convinced, you need to understand the reasons and the logic behind why you need to focus on social media.
15 Reasons your Church should Focus on Social Media Ministry
1. Social media can help you be where your audience are
As a church, your job is to help & serve others. The question is, how can you serve someone if you do not go to or be where they are? Today, statistics shows that out of the 7 billion people in the world, 2.5 billion are on social media channels. That is 35% of the world’s population. If you and me, as ministers are not present in this platform, how can we serve and minister to the billions of people who congregate on social media?
2. Social media can help you influence
As custodians of God’s word, we are called to influence the world. We are the salt and light of the world. We are the yeast that is destined to influence the dough. We are the vessels that carry solutions to the world’s biggest problems. And social media is where people are asking the questions, looking for answers and spending time researching. Studies show that an average person spends close to 2 hours a day (118 minutes) on social media. If your ministry or church is not present on social media, how can you influence the people who are crowding around this space for hours?
3. Social media can help you educate
If you are in teaching ministry you should be on social media. Period. Social media is well suited for education from a technical and design perspective. Here is my blog post on how social media can specifically help your teaching ministry.
4. Social media can help you disciple
Discipling takes time. And time is a big challenge for people today. Even the ones who are keen to go through a discipleship program may have the heart, but not the time. If you structure your discipleship program around social media (where people spend time anyways) you have a higher chance of being effective.
5. Social media can help you build a community
God’s plan for His Church is to operate as a community. And social media networks are designed to facilitate community building. That is why I believe the Church and social media are such a good fit. Building a community online requires specific technology, features and infrastructure. Most social media networks come with those features already built in – members only content, group events, group calendar, privacy settings, instant messaging facility, notifications, etc.
6. Social media can help you make ministry announcements
Social media channels are mostly accessed by people using their mobile devices. Which means any communication going through social media can be instantly delivered to the recipient. That is why social media is such a good tool for churches and ministries to make announcements to their congregation. Using social media for announcements can also make life easier for your church members. They need not log into multiple websites, software and apps to get church related information. They can get it in a channel that they anyway use.
7. Social media can help you sell your ministry products
Social media networks are fast integrating eCommerce into their platforms. Facebook already has a ‘shop’ tab inside business pages. If your ministry has products or services that you like people to buy, you should consider using social media channels for eCommerce.
8. Social media can help you receive donations
Facebook already has a built in ‘Donate’ button for nonprofits. Twitter is experimenting with the features. By integrating social media into your ministry, you can make it easier for people who like to partner with you financially.
9. Social media can help you minister to people when they travel
When the members of your congregation travel, they may not be able to attend some of the events or church services. If you use social media to LIVE stream or make available recorded content of your ministry this will help them have continuity of learning.
10. Social media can help you minister to people who cannot travel
Some people may not be able to come in person to your church or ministry events due to various reasons. For example, health reasons or family challenges or some religious constraints. In those cases, social media can be a great way for people to stay in touch with your ministry and access all the resources that they need through social media.
11. Social media can help you strengthen internal team communication
Social media is not just for ministering to your congregation or church members. It is also useful for you to communicate, minister to and build your team – staff and volunteers. You can have internal Facebook groups, instant messaging and even specific posts created exclusively for your team. Social media can help you build a motivated team, strengthening their faith and ensuring that they are aligned with your vision and goal.
12. Social media can help you reduce your promotional expenses
Social media advertising is one of the most affordable forms of paid promotions that is available today. My friend & Facebook ads expert, Dennis Yu talks about the ‘Dollar a Day’ strategy where you can maximise your reach for as low as a dollar a day. Such strategies were never possible before social media. One of my first recommendation to ministries as a consultant is for them to take a relook at their advertising and promotions budgets. The return on investment on social media ads might surprise you (if you execute the campaigns right).
13. Social media can help you get feedback
Collecting feedback can be crucial to the growth of a ministry. Knowing what people want, how they feel and what they think can make all the difference to your planning. Social media is an easy convenient and powerful tool to collect such information. You can make use tools like Facebook Polls and Twitter Polls. The additional benefit of such tools is, every time you use these tools, the overall engagement in each of these channels increases. An increase in engagement means a better ranking in the channel’s algorithm.
14. Social media can help you convey your ministry vision
If God has given you a vision that can impact the society and build His kingdom, it is good for you to share it with as many people in as many ways as possible. Social media is designed to take a message and spread it among a specific group of people. So if you can take your vision and strategically communicate it to your audience on social media, then people may want to help you accomplish that vision. Using social media you can communicate your vision visually and interactively, making it more engaging and interesting.
15. Social media can help you improve your ministry event attendance
Promoting ministry events will not be a challenge if you spend time laying the foundation for your social media ministry. Simply because once you consistently provide good content, people follow you. When they follow you and share your content regularly, your social media reach starts to grow. With a good reach, whenever you promote your events on social media, the right audience will get to know about it and sign up. You can also use social media to make the event experience better for your audience. Using social media you can help them connect with other participants, connect with the speakers, access teaching resources, ask questions, etc.
Social media is not just a trend that will fade away. It is an evolution that is here to stay. It will continue to grow and influence the way we communicate with each other. As a church and ministry, the earlier you adapt and get on this platform, the more you will reap the rewards in future.
If you have any specific questions regarding how to use social media for your ministry let me know, you can use the comments section or visit the contact us page. Do share your thoughts on this topic.