The great thing about social media is that it's timely. Unlike websites, which may be updated once a week, social media sites are all about the here and now. Posts are made several times a day, as a minimum, and in many cases, social media sites provide literally up-to-the-minute updated information. While your older parishioners probably aren't all that interested in what's trending in social media, your younger members certainly are. Bring them into the fold with regular posts, tweets and updates about your church. Here are some examples of ministry content you should definitely post on your social media sites:
• Products - post hot products, sales and promotions going on at your online store;
• Pastoral/leadership updates - have your pastor and other leaders of your congregation post occasional status updates, which will serve to humanize them and make your church members feel more connected;
• Photographs - people love pictures! Appoint somebody in your staff to be an official photographer and give them a decent camera, so you're not posting low resolution cell phone pix. Get pictures at all your church activities, snapshots of new babies, new church members, staff acting crazy, graduations, weddings, christenings and any other opportunities you can find to share, share, share;
• Daily inspiration - send out a daily prayer, quotation, or other words of inspiration to give your members hope and encouragement;
• Video clips from church services, sermons, and other church activities - make sure you sit down and edit them so that you have a short, 1 - 3 minute clip to post. They can follow the link back to your website to view the whole video;
• Interactive polls - get people talking by asking provocative questions about their views on topical issues of a spiritual nature. This is a great way to get a dialogue started, and poll results can be calculated and also posted online;
• Weekly reminders - take advantage of social media to remind your congregation about time changes for services, church events, community outreach events and more.
Social media is a powerful tool for reaching out to your congregation, and staying in touch much the way a country pastor would make his way from house to house in the days of horses and wagons. Congregations are much larger now, schedules are hectic, and face to face communication is pretty well a thing of the past. Your congregation's needs have not changed, however. They still need encouragement, comforting, guidance and prayer. Social media offers a way for you to provide it to them.
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.