Social Media Poll Results

July 20, 2010 by
Social Media Poll Results

It seems everyone has an opinion on how social media ought to be used. Some are staunchly in the camp of “social media isn’t social without conversations,” while others view it a way to deliver information to places people are currently congregating. But how are churches using social media? Well, here is what your churches are up to:

46% of you primarily use social media as a pipeline for delivery of news and updates. You’re feeding in RSS feeds or making updates as bulletins to anyone who follows you. At the opposite end of the spectrum are the surprisingly-low 24% of you that use social media primarily as a medium to interact personally. You’re getting feedback, sharing encouragement and interacting with guests and members on a regular basis.

Next up: 8% of you have social media accounts, but they exist only as a reminder of a more promising time when you believed they’d change the world. For one reason or another, they’re now just broken-down properties in cyberspace. Another 14% are just a step above, having accounts that you remember to post to once every few months.

And the last little group? That’d be the 8% still holding out on social media, with no plans to use it in the near future. We’d love to hear a little more about why you’re taking this position.

Post By:

Joshua Cody

Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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8 Responses to “Social Media Poll Results”

  • Paul Steinbrueck
    July 20, 2010

    I’d love to see examples of churches that are primarily using social media “as a medium to interact personally.” Everyone says social media is about conversation and engagement, and I agree that’s what we’d all like to see ideally, but I’ve seen very few churches pull it off. If you’re church is, please post a link to its Facebook page.

    • Randy Dunning
      July 20, 2010

      Paul is right – examples of using social media well are going to be very important for the church going forward. Observing good models will be valuable starting points for many congregations.

      Another key is leadership within a congregation – someone to be leading the conversations about and through social media: teaching, educating and encouraging. If the social channels are merely opened up (“Hey, we’ve got a Facebook page. Everyone check it out!”) but there is not a continual effort to answer the questions, “Why do we have a Facebook page?” and “How do we use a Facebook page?” and “What’s in it for me?” then, like so many other initiatives, social media in the church will fall flat. People will say, “we tried it, and it didn’t work.” But neither does anything “work” without a good model (plan) and consistent leadership.

      *Disclaimer: I didn’t take the poll.

    • Don Beard
      July 26, 2010

      They call this their “On-line Campus”. Check them out at 6:00 pm Sunday evenings. They have live video streaming on the left and live discussion chat on the right. You can also tweet any comment or question and it will be shown right there on the left and answered live. The church is in Houston and I do this every week from Phoenix

  • Greg Teffertiller
    July 20, 2010

    I agree with Paul. Most churches I follow don’t have a true social media strategy or plan. Social media is not a private place, and it takes more than 140 characters to have a personal conversation. Social media is a stronger medium for introducing someone to a ministry and driving them to a destination where deeper conversations can take place. If someone is doing it, I want to write their case study.

  • Chris Syme
    July 20, 2010

    It’s impossible to “do” social media right without a plan. I’d like to know if the bottom 50% has taken the time do attach their “do” to their “be”. It’s possible a good portion of the top also is winging it. I think the bigger and more important question that will help sustain social media is not how you are using it, but why. Social media should further the mission. Why are you using it? I am hoping that the main reason churches are marketing isn’t to just “deliver information.”

    • Paul Steinbrueck
      July 20, 2010

      Chris, I agree with you, and I’m curious to hear what specifically you would recommend.

      Let’s say you’re talking to the person responsible for communications at their church. The church’s mission is 1) to reach out to people in the local community – both those who not Christians and those who are but are not connected with a church – and help them connect with God and get connected with other people who can help them in their spiritual journey, and 2) help those who are a part of our church to continue growing closer to God and become more like Jesus. How do you recommend they use social media to further the mission of the church?

  • Kevin D. Hendricks
    July 21, 2010

    I’d say it’s possible a good portion of the church is winging it when it comes to marketing in general. ;-)

  • Marlean Tucker
    July 21, 2010

    Hi, I am a volunteer on our Social Networking team at New Birth Missionary Baptist Church. We are about 3 months(Facebook 1 year) into the inception of the social media arm of our ministry. We are visible on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. We aim to extend the reach of our ministry beyond the 4 walls and “Engaging” our fans/followers/subscribers is key. In the midst of “engaging”, we do slip in important information/announcements. You are welome to take a look at what we do. Once you go there you can link to Twitter and YouTube.

    With social media being very new to Churches, I don’t think there is a “how to do it” manual. So, we remain a work in progress.

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Poll Results