Of the many avenues of church media, social media is probably what gets the most attention.
It’s cheap. It’s accessible. And it’s popular.
Churches may not be blogging or producing video content, but most are involved with social media in some way.
And yet our churches continue to struggle with a specific issue. And once your church is aware of this issue, the solution is very simple.
Is your church guilty of this social media problem? The problem is inconsistency.
Social media takes time and effort. There’s no way around that. And while you can optimize that time, it’s very easy to feel like your efforts are being wasted.
This is what I’ve seen many churches do:
- Sign up for several social media accounts
- Post and interact with enthusiasm
- Slowly post less and less
- Eventually stop posting at all or post very infrequently
Why do we do this? There is a very simple explanation. And it has to do with ROI or “return on investment.”
The reason churches have this problem
Churches want to know their efforts are fruitful.
We don’t have the same expendable resources that the business community does. So we want to know our valuable time is being well spent.
We want a good return on investment.
This mindset clashes with investment in social media because most of the time it’s hard to measure how well social media is working.
Two different measurements
Here are some ways social media is measured:
- Followers on Twitter
- Likes on Facebook
- Retweets or Shares
- View count on YouTube
- Mentions, Favourites, How many people are talking about this, etc.
And here is how we typically measure our church efforts:
- Size/growth of the church
- Percentage of church connected with small groups
- People getting deeper/closer with Christ
These two measurements don’t exactly mesh well.
How many retweets equal a baptism? How many likes on Facebook mean new visitors? Will more followers on Twitter ever mean more people who tithe?
As you can see, these measurements are very different from one another. And it doesn’t take long before someone asks, “Have we seen any results from social media?”
How to overcome this single biggest problem
You may have thought to yourself at one time or another, “Why are we spending so much time on social media? It’s not like it’s growing our church.”
And this thought is what leads to inconsistency or outright abandonment of social media.
But social media IS important. We just have to set our expectations for it appropriately (if you’re not sure why social media is important, read about that here).
The key to overcoming inconsistency is to have proper expectations.
Shifting your expectations
Here are 3 quick, actionable tips for shifting your expectations:
1. Measure social media properly
Don’t equate social media results with church results. I’m not saying that the two aren’t linked – because obviously, they are. But there is no quantifiable way to measure the connection.
Don’t put the two scales next to each other and try to connect them. Measure your social media efforts based solely on social media results (ie. the list I laid out earlier).
2. Maximize the efforts you are making
One easy way to lower your expectations is to stop working so hard. I wrote an entire post on this. Read it here and maximize every minute spent on social media.
3. Stay consistent by having goals
Inconsistency was a problem my church had. And it was my fault.
The way I overcame this was by having goals. Everyday I committed to posting a certain amount. No matter what.
Choose the number of times you want to commit to posting per day, and overcome your lack of motivation by sticking to that number.
The problem of inconsistency is easily fixed. As you can see, the solution is very simple – you just have to be aware of it.
Be patient and consistent because consistency will produce social media results. But it takes time. Sometimes a lot of time.
Don’t be discouraged if you’re not seeing results right away. Just keep at it and stay consistent!
Has your church ever had a problem with inconsistency?