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7 Simple Steps to Better Social Media

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You have a social media presence, but is your reach like an octopus on roller skates? Try these tips.

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Does your church have a Facebook page? Yes. Is your youth group’s latest jam session on YouTube? Likely. Is your pastor featured on LinkedIn? Maybe. Who are your official church tweeters?

Uh, let’s form a committee for that.

If your church is like most, you have a social media presence, but your reach is like an octopus on roller skates—plenty of action with no forward momentum. Harness social media power using these tips.

It might seem counterintuitive to pastoral care, but millennials—the future of the church—are text-centric, often praying via digits.

Be a Facebook and Twitter troll. “Church” is happening everywhere. Find seeker- and believer-created Facebook pages and join the conversation. Similarly, track and use popular Twitter hashtags such as #Jesus, #prayer, #church and even #spirituality or #Allah.

Use the “check-in” feature on Facebook, Foursquare or Google to let people know you’re available for a chat at the nearby coffee shop or to remind them of a ministry meeting.

Make connection your primary social media goal. Sure, deep thoughts and Scriptures are important, but study after study has shown that people use social media to engage with others. That means discussion, not monologue. Save the sermon for Sunday morning.

Turn YouTube into a revival portal. Post videos of the good things happening at your church as a witness to God’s goodness.

Take advantage of online outreach tools. Websites such as StickyJesus.com, InternetEvangelismDay.com and ChurchMarketingSucks.com will help you maximize your tech time.

Develop churchwide social media guidelines. The best—and worst—thing about social media is it’s a free marketing tool anyone can use. Make sure your pastoral staff and leaders have a clear vision for social media’s purpose in your church. Even better: Hire a social media pastor.

How is your church leveraging social media? Add a comment below.

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