Why is Social Media in Ministry So Important?

The social media model of communication is receiver-focused. It’s about understanding problems and helping solve them. The medium, at its best, has shifted us from hype to help.

Why is Social Media in Ministry So Important?
Here is a chart outlining the size of the top social media networks' active user base per network, courtesy of dreamgrow.com.
Credit: dreamgrow.com
Why is Social Media in Ministry So Important?
Here is a chart outlining the size of the top social media networks' active user base per network, courtesy of dreamgrow.com.
Credit: dreamgrow.com

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Why is Social Media in Ministry So Important?

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It got one solitary click on my social networks and blog.  (To whomever that was: thank you.) Wow, that’s terrible! Was my network that bad?

A few days later, I posted an article link to my social networks with the title, “Nobody Cares How Hard You Work.” This article got 129 clicks.

What was the difference? Not the power of the network. It was the content itself. The first was a promotional piece disguised as a list. It turned out to be my worst post of the year. The second had a good title, an honest observation and a valuable tip on personal productivity.

People in ministry - shoot, in life - hate the word “marketing.“

They just do. 

I try to rarely use the word, because to many, it conotates being false and manipulative. That’s because people confuse communication with advertising. The old model was sender-focused, always hyping info about yourself to sell something.

The social media model of communication is receiver-focused. It’s about understanding problems and helping solve them. The medium, at its best, has shifted us from hype to help.

Why is social media so important? Social media is an opportunity to bring value to people.

In the scrum, what works is increasingly simple: Value. Ask yourself this: Is what you are communicating valuable? Does it bring value to people … is it worth their time?

Get to Know the Top Networks

Check out the chart of the active user base for the top networks, courtesy of dreamgrow.com. Let’s break a few of them down a bit.

a) Facebook.

• Started as a personal networking tool for college campuses and went mainstream in 2007.
• Has the most active users (2 billion active users a month), the most traffic by a large margin, and the most engagement (meaning, people who like, click, share and comment).
• Known by many as a network for family and friends, but it has had success with professional profile use and dedicated pages.
• The biggest dog at the show, by far.  You need to be on it.

b) Instagram.

• Went mainstream in 2012. Launched in 2010 as a photography network and then embraced as a teen alternative to Facebook
• It has now grown to be the (distant) number two most trafficked network, behind Facebook
• 800 million active users a month, or 40 percent of Facebook’s traffic.
• More important for under-35 crowd (as of today).
• You should be on this, too, but its image-based format may make sharing links and text-based ideas more challenging. 


More About Len Wilson
Len Wilson has been championing creativity and more effective communication in church life since 1993. In service to this calling, he has worked on four church staffs, written ten books, consulted with dozens of churches, spoken at hundreds of events, founded two media micro-publishing firms, and acquired leadership books at a major publishing house. He is currently Creative Director at St. Andrew United Methodist Church in Plano, Texas.
Get in Touch: len@lenwilson.us    More by Len Wilson

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