What do you do when you want to learn more about an organization in your town? What about when you’re looking for a particular type of business or service?
If you’re like most people today, you first ask people you know or you look online. With the ubiquitous nature of social media, many people do both at the same time.
Don’t underestimate the public’s reliance on social media for information about organizations – your ministry is no exception!
At the International School of the Word, we’re always trying to improve in how we reach the public so that we can better Connect the Word with the World. We’ve learned some things as we’ve expanded to 72 countries around the world, and we want to share them with you. Here are some tips to be effective with your church or ministry’s social media presence:
- Stay active!
Posting daily not only assists your organization within the algorithms of various social media platforms, but it also keeps your name in the public eye and mind more often. Different times of day work for different audiences, so experiment to see what works best for you. Likewise, don’t forget to engage your audience. For the same reasons, your social media (and by extension your organization) will see a major increase in traffic if you respond to comments, reach out to the public, utilize interactive posts, and encourage engagement within your community.
- Be clear, informative, and transparent!
For anyone who is new to your area or unaware of your organization, it can be overwhelming just to try and find basic info. Post plenty of pictures of your location and leadership staff, where applicable. Prominently display where you are, who you are, what you do in your community, and ways the public can get involved in your ministry. No one should have to guess what you do or dig to figure out why they should attend/donate/volunteer with you!
- Stay consistent!
Stick to the same language and branding. You want your community to be able to remember the name of your ministry, your slogan, and what you represent. Whether this means using hashtags, repeating your mission statement often, or posting the same types of content daily, you want people to be able to recognize who you are and associate everything you represent with you or your organization.
- Don’t shy away from professional help!
Thankfully, many churches and organizations have by now realized that amateur web pages and tacky branding push away more visitors than they attract, but many still neglect the effort of excellence in presentation. A little investment in graphic design and web design can go a long way in making your ministry memorable and inviting to guests.
- Pay attention to the calendar!
The year has its regular ebbs and flows, and the public’s behavior in general follows consistent enough patterns that you can predict what works better at what times. Giving is much more prominent during the holiday season, for instance, and families are more likely to gather during holidays. If you administrate a church, you may notice that families follow their mothers on Mothers’ Day – which could be good or bad for you, depending on how much of your congregation is made of mothers! If you work with children or young adults, you may want to keep in mind how much their availability and attention spans change between summer break and the fall semester. Churches, schools of ministry, outreaches, mission organizations, and of course standard businesses all have their own unique challenges. Keep all of these things in mind in the way you present your organization on social media, and schedule your posting accordingly.
If you need resources to help you run your organization, check out ISOW’s Personal and Ministry Development division for a wide variety of practical teachings on the day-to-day praxis you won’t hear about in seminary or college.