Whether we like it or not, communication and human interactions are changing. With the introduction of technology and social media, the bombardment of communication and media consumes our lives.
Did you know that the typical cell phone user touches their phone 2,617 times a day? A big part of that is due to social media. There are some great things about social media, as well as some bad or even ugly things about it. Only 38% of people find social media as a negative. We are going to dive into some of both the good and bad aspects of using these platforms.
All of this social media consumption provides a great opportunity for outreach to those in our communities. It can be a tool to “meet” people where they are. There are 3.725 billion users on social media. We have a great opportunity to fulfill the great commission, and one means of doing so is through these platforms.
As you can see, I mentioned the great commission. If you are not familiar with that term, Matthew 28:19 tells us “19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” What does it say to make? Disciples. Not merely just someone you share the gospel message with once and walk away, but a disciple. You are to called to make and build relationships with people. Relationships are certainly better made outside of digital barriers, but they can be strengthened through social media interactions.
Lastly, let’s discuss the elephant in the room. There are 168 hours in a week. We only gather together for 2-3 of those hours as a church body on any given week, on average. What about the other 165 hours in the week? Why not take the time to encourage and engage with our people during that time? With all the negative press and conversations that happen on social media, positive and good messages can be a light to many people who need it.
The Bad and Ugly
After spending 10 seconds on any social media platform, you can easily see the bad and negative aspects. There is a cost to leveraging social media platforms. Here are some disadvantages that any church or business should consider:
- It requires time and attention. Not only do you need to understand it and educate yourself on how to use it, but you also have to be responsive and active.
- It creates a sense of vulnerability. We all know that there is something about social media that brings out the worst in everyone, and that people tend to be more… dare I say, authentic. We will typically get and see comments that are not necessarily expected or welcome in a normal setting.
- Social media is here to stay, and it will continue to grow. What you publish will be publicly viewable in the long-term. Even easy mistakes such as incorrect spelling or posting the wrong content can have a long lasting negative impact on you and your church or business.
If you need help creating a plan or improving your social media strategies, reach out to me and I’d be happy to help. I can even work along side your team to make sure your goals are met with social media.
With all this information, what do you do and where do you start? I want to leave you some quick tips and recommendations for getting started or improving your social media strategy.
- First, think about your why and plan. If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail. If you know and have a reason “why”, you can measure and track progress along with your goals and objectives.
- Utilize more than one social media platform. The average person has 7.6 different social media accounts. Believe it or not, the majority of users are still on Facebook and Instagram. Those two would be great ones to start with.
- Be active: try to post once a day, as well as try to mix up the times that you post to try to reach more audiences.
- Be encouraging and offer help. Give value to the person reading or watching your post.
- Be authentic. Not only will this make you stand out, but it gives you the ability to connect and be consistent.
Which social media platforms are you on and how are you using them to help reach and connect others? Leave your comments below. I’d love to hear from you!