It's been several years since we realized social media is a valid means of church communication.
Many have adopted Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as their channels.
Some have been brave by using SnapChat, Pinterest, and Linkedin. And there are so many others!
Which channels should the church be using?
Surprisingly, the Church should actually be the leader in any social format that connects with a potential audience! But still the Church struggles with social media. And the recent algorithm changes have churches concerned that they'll lose their current social followings. If they're not doing social media well, then possibly their predictions will be true.
Here's why social media will work when a church represents itself well:
It's direct to consumer (community).
Jesus taught us to go into all the world. To go directly to individuals and teach them. Disciple them. The church needs to get outside of internal communication and go direct to the community. We should know how to do that ministry! And social media is an extension of your church ministry. Individuals are meeting regularly in social channels and we have what they need. Social media simply delivers our content directly so they can receive it when our meetings won't. Often we communicate with people in their living rooms, cars, and in restaurants. What more can we ask!
Its purpose is to engage.
Engagement is more than communication. It's a conversation and a mechanism to do it well is social media. Follow growing social channels and you will see the interaction between people. That's the purpose for it!
Does your church simply promote and talk on social media? Consider asking and listening for awhile and you'll get more engagement. That interaction will feed the algorithm that allows more people to see posts.
You decide: promote and have your posts limited in distribution or engage and have your posts pushed farther. Jesus said the church would be known for love. Engagement is the outcome for genuine love.
It should meet a need of an audience.
Social media will get attention when it speaks to the needs of the followers. In fact, all effective communication rises and falls on knowing your audience well. The more you get to know them, the more you'll identify their needs, and the more you'll love them enough to meet their needs.
Social media allows you to minister to the needs in a channel. Stop expecting to use social to invite people to your building. Social media can be the place of ministry. Where the church should be doing amazingly well.
So why don't we do social media well?
Perhaps social media reveals that our churches know how to create events that utilize our buildings but have lost sight of the ministry aspects that define believer's fellowship.
Social media can bring us back to loving, caring and engaging the individual to Christ. All through the power of this digital tool. Go. Be the Church.