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A Church Tech Ministry Team Expansion Proposal

A Church Tech Ministry Team Expansion Proposal

Ministry teams, our churches are full of them. I recently drafted a proposal to my church’s leadership in how I feel we could restructure our online efforts in order to more efficiently make use of that medium. Since then I’ve shared this vision with some friends in other churches around town to which I have received many positive reports of its application. So, I figured I’d share it with you all as well! As always, let me know what you think.

The primary goal of this strategy is to empower a team to be in control of the church’s online presence.

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social media strategy twitter

Social Media Strategy: Twitter

This is just a partial post. Find the whole article at Churchm.ag

We continue the conversation of utilizing social media strategically with the network of Twitter. This web app developed from a simple SMS conversational tool to a complex networking tool that has a professional appeal among ministry and tech officials alike. The potential of information and connecting to like-minded individuals is seemingly endless and coupled with a pervasive hashtag integration, you really need to have some kind of presence on this social media.

Twitter is a unique creature within the social media umbrella because it has come across as a great marketing tool. The easy on #FollowFriday of sharing great resources that you endorse as well as searching the latest tweets via search lists make this a wonderful tool for your hobby, business, and ministry. At the same time, the frequency of messages you can send out is extremely high compared to Facebook or Google+. Buffer App conducted a study on the number of tweets that is idea for improving blog traffic. It found that one tweet an hour is the most ideal, whereas Facebook would show that more than one status update a day is too much.

Looking For Real Followers

While it may look impressive that you have 1.7 million followers on Twitter, the reality is that probably only a small portion of them are active followers that truly read your message, a larger portion semi-follow you, and the rest are either bots or simply follow you because you follow them. With this in mind, we are not looking to increase the number of followers we have, but gaining real followers.

Find Friends

With that in mind, one of the best targets of people to have as followers are those that are active users, have similar interests, and they themselves only follow a couple of hundred people. This increases the likelihood that they will not only read your material, but may act upon it. Of course, people with a low number of following and high number of followers are great, but again the number of true people reading their material will probably be much lower. We want to build relationships with people, not become another statistic in a mess of people on someone’s account.

Our Twitter Strategy

Here are some of my Twitter strategy goals I’ve set for seventy8Productions that we have this year.

  • Gain 300 followers a month with a target audience of active users who have similar interests and do not follow too many other people.
  • Sponsor six Tweet chats through various partnering ministries, like YouthMin.org.
  • Market blog articles and other aspects of 78P no more than six times a day and no more than 2 times per article.
  • Keep my Twitter list under 75 people.
  • Make at leats 50% of tweets some sort of free resource or conversation starter.

What does/will your Twitter strategy look like?

social media strategy facebook

Social Media Strategy: Facebook

This is just a partial post. Find the whole article at Churchm.ag

This week, we are looking at social media strategies to improve our views and interactions with customers. Facebook provides a unique opportunity for businesses that no other social media can offer. You have the possibility to connect with over 800 million Facebook users with location-specific content and creative fan pages. The best way to improve viewership and interactions with your content and have them share it with their friends is to know what the viewers and fans are interacting with. Facebook’s Page Insights can give you the data you need to improve your social media presence.

Go for More Than Just Fans

While the number of fans that like your Facebook page is important, that is just the beginning of measuring how many people are using your Facebook page. With the new Facebook Insight, you can look at how many people are interacting with your page, how many of their friends are seeing your Facebook page, and location-based demographics of all of these people. This is perfect for measuring the potential audience that you can have as well as a huge tool for those that want to advertise to local people. If you are looking to invest a little money on Facebook ads, take a few months to measure and evaluate these numbers and see how the advertisements work out.

Creating Custom Landing Pages

Currently, Facebook is the only one of the top social media networks with the ability to create custom designs and content on their site. This has the power to inspire, invite, and set you apart from the competition also using Facebook. At the same time, use this to promote other websites by bringing in content from your blog and linking to other online social media sites. One example of a company using this very well is Starbucks, who has interact welcome pages, coupons, and videos for all viewers.

social media strategy introduction

Social Media Strategy: Introduction

This is just a partial post. Find the whole article at Churchm.ag

People are always asking if they should use social media for their business or organizations and how they can use it as effectively as possible. These are people that may have never used or thought about using social media in this way. The other side of the coin are people who have already tried to use Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ for their business and it was not doing what they wanted. The question is, how can we make social media a successful marketing tool that increases views to blogs and products as well as improves conversations and relationships with you and the customers?

The first thing that I ask is what your social media strategy looks like. 95% of the people do not have one and most do not know how to make it. Their response usually comes back as “do you have a formula?” or “can you make one for me?” The short answer is no, each situation is unique. But we can give you several questions to find the best way to promote your ministry or business.

  1. What is the purpose of your organization, blog, or product?
    Social media is a great tool, but you need to know who you are and what you are going to be putting out there before you press forward with social media. Maybe you are investing too much in social media when you do not even know what the mission of your company is. Defining this is simply a good business practic.
  2. What will be the purpose of using social media?
    You need to know why you are using something, otherwise you will not have direction with your tools. Know what the end goal is of using these resources. If it is simply to market, then define that. But realize that social media has the ability to do more than simply getting out the details of your company. You can create a brand, community, and place to get the opinions and other resources from your viewers.
  3. Who is your audience?
    If you are a local company in a small town, Facebook may be the perfect place for you. If you are a large church in a big city, you may need to make sure you are present in several networks. Defining this allows you to not waste too much time in the wrong places. This may also take some researching on your part. Survey your current customers as well as new ones.
  4. How much resources are you going to put into social networking?
    Will you be paying someone to do this or doing it yourself? How much time to do you want to invest in this a day, wee, or month? Will you be advertising these networks at church, in promotional flyers, on your website? Are you up for putting a little money down to promote your company or product? All of these need to be answered to be efficient.
  5. How will you know that you have succeeded or failed after a time?
    The prep work for our strategy is done, now we need to write down how we can measure this success. Do you want your followers to go somewhere to buy something? Are you intended to have them see your blog? Or maybe you simply want us as followers to see how brilliant you are, great. Come up with at least five goals.
  6. Are those goals, highlighted above, specific and measurable?
    Simply saying that you want to get more viewers is not a good strategy. How many more? Wanting to get retweeted five times a week is okay, but being more specific by stating that you want to be retweeted five times a week to at least 1,000 new people is better.
  7. Are those goals clear and realistic?
    If you are new to social media, do not expect to see your website blow up. At the same time, saying that you want fifty new people to see your website does not define if you want them to see an aspect of the website, your blog, or to interact with your featured products you are selling. Make sure your strategy is clear.

So how will you proceed from here?

Take a note from HP, if you do not have a thorough and efficient strategy, your projects and services will ultimately fail. Seven weeks ago, they announced that they were going to jump into the tablet market, taking on Apple’s iPad and the other five or so knock-offs. They even had an all-star marketing crew with Russell Brand, Miranda Cosgrove, Lea Michele, and Manny Pacquiao. So what happened? Their strategy was weak.

Do Not Just Copy Someone Else
In the business world, if your product is not different enough from other companies, you will not succeed. In their case, Apple has a HUGE reputation and loyal fan base that will not leave. HP could have marketed their tablet to the medical world that cannot use Apple products because they are open source or make them heavy duty to sell to a huge factory market, but they tried to take on a company completely established. Youth workers, bloggers, and any other businesses can try to duplicate someone elses work, but it will fall flat without understanding your audience. HP did not understand their customers and therefore they failed.

You Have To Have The Whole Package
Doing something right does not guarantee success but to have success requires doing things right. It is more than just the hardware for tablets, you have to have the whole package. Apple is so far ahead in available apps that there is something for everyone. All others are simply playing catch up including Android and Microsoft. We can try to blog about whatever comes to us, make up youth ministry events and sermons by the seat but of our pants, but after a couple of months you will crash. Without having all of the A.D.D. fun that Apple’s app store does so well, HP failed.

Do It Better
As previously stated, Apple’s fans are loyal. Doing something right does not guarantee success but to have success requires doing things right. HP made a tablet that costs a little bit less than the iPad, was a little bit faster, and had one or two more pluses (used Flash, snore!). What incentive did customers have? If they already had a tablet that works extremely well, they are not going to shell out another $300 for a little better. For customers that do not have a tablet yet, all they know right now is that Apple has a great product and HP has one that is cheaper and cheaper usually means worse… How do we push our services and projects? Are they just a little better than hanging out? Where is the benefit? HP did not improve a product enough and so they failed.

While we are going to provide a couple of ways to measure success, you will ultimately need to come up with your own way of success. This should be decided before you even begin to tweet or immediately after creating your Twitter strategy so that

Twitter Counter
http://twittercounter.com
Twitter Counter provides statistics of Twitter usage and tracks over 14 million users and counting and also offers a variety of widgets and buttons that people can add to their blogs, websites or social network profiles to show recent Twitter visitors and number of followers.

Twitter Search
Simply figuring out a few key phrases that you might Google to find your church, organization, or self on the Internet, you can type any of those phrases into the search bar of Twitter consistently and just track how much people are using your terms or phrases. Over the weeks or months, hopefully this will increase as you also use it.

Using Custom Hashtags
The # symbol, called a hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.

Last month, we provided you with a couple of tools to improve your Twitter presence a bit more effectively. We want to provide you with a couple more.

HootSuite

http://hootsuite.com/
Hootsuite is a browser-based social networking site. It’s one site that allows you to access Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare, WordPress, LinkedIn, and more.

Bit.ly

http://bit.ly/
Enables shortening your URLs with Bit.ly and tracking them on your Bit.ly account.

Tweet Cloud

http://tweetcloud.com/
One of the most important factors when deciding whether you want to follow a Twitter user is what sort of content they tweet about. If someone tweets mostly about topics you don’t care about, they might not be the best person for you to follow. Tweetcloud creates a tag cloud of a person’s tweets to give you a bird’s eye view of the type of things they tweet about.

Twitoria

http://twitoria.com/

Twitoria scans through your Twitter account and finds anyone who has been inactive for the past week, two weeks, month, two months, six months, or year.