The most difficult part about using social media is maintaining consistency. Too often an organization sets out to harness the power of social media but ultimately loses interest over time, often because they discover that it's more work than they had anticipated, or other pressing needs come up and the social media project falls through the cracks. Consistency is vital if you want to maintain a social media presence. Just as with your website, if you don't update your sites regularly with fresh content, people will lose interest. Set a strategy for your social media project and stick to it.
How Much Time Can You Spare? Start by analyzing your staff and how much time each can devote to your social media sites. Different staff members will be suited to different sorts of social media. Some may prefer to sit down once or twice a day and post to your Facebook page, while others will enjoy posting frequent tweets through your Twitter account. Decide exactly which sites you will use, and who will handle them.
What About Content? Social media is an excellent forum to repurpose content from your web page. Think about how news media use sound bytes, and do the same. You can use short video clips from sermons, quotations, announcements, photos - anything from your website is fair game. This is a great way to entice people back to your church's website to read the whole story or watch the whole sermon.
The good news is, your staff can spend maybe an hour or less each day preparing the content they intend to post. Then they can take just a few minutes several times a day to actually post the pre-prepared material. By posting at different times during the day you reach a great many more people, as people tend to check their social media sites at different times during the day and evening.
24 Hour Posting You can also use free software from Hootsuite.com to schedule posts any time of the day or night. Hootsuite works with Facebook and Twitter, and will allow you to set up dates and times for your posts to those two social networks. You can even schedule a whole week - or month's - worth of posts ahead of time, which will save you a lot of time and energy and make sure that your message gets out, no matter what. This is a great way to reach night owls, shift workers, people in other time zones, and especially people who may be awake at odd hours due to stress or depression.
When managed properly, social media is an excellent communication tool. Take advantage of it to get your message out to the whole global community!
For more information on this and other topics, get your copy of "The iChurch Method Volume 1: How to Advance Your Ministry Online." or The iChurch Method Volume 2: Changing the World When You Login or even sign up for the iChurch Method Online School.