A few weeks ago, I tested a handful of churches to see how well they were listening on Twitter. The results were painful, with only one out of 11 churches bothering to reply.
However, some comments mentioned that the sample size was too small, and I agree. This time I found 25 more churches to test, so let’s see what happened. I also gave them more time to answer, by posting the tweet on Tuesday morning instead of Thursday afternoon.
I wanted to keep the question very simple, so not to waste the time of the staff at these churches, but I wanted a different question from last time. I went with:
@ChurchName What is the sermon going to be about this week?
Once again, the churches I selected had a link to their Twitter account on their home page, so I expected that they would be ready and willing to reply.
This time, let’s just start with the winners. Of the 25 churches that I sent tweets to, only three replied.
The first was Mt. Bethel UMC (@mtbethelumc), just a couple hours later, who said:
“Sermon titles are posted on Thursdays here: http://mtbethel.org/worship – We look forward to seeing you!”
Just after that, I heard back from Cross Point Church (@crosspoint_tv), who said simply:
“grace and justice”
I would have liked to see a bit more, like the “We look forward to seeing you” message that Mt. Bethel included, but they answered the question accurately and quickly, so they certainly get points for that.
Finally, we had Northwest Bible Church (@neiltomba), who replied a day later with:
“Preaching on the “I AM’s” of Jesus. This week John 10:1-21.”
And the rest of them? I’m not sure what to say about the other 22 churches in this test. It’s simply not acceptable. Your church doesn’t need to be on Twitter, but if you’re on there (and promoting it on your home page), you should at least be paying attention when people send you messages.
Sadly, 17 churches didn’t even bother to respond, despite tweeting in the interim. We decided not to list them here for a public shaming, but we’ll be sure to reach out to them and let them know we think they can improve in this area (nicely, of course).
Another five didn’t tweet anything in the past five days, so we’ll be a bit more forgiving, but we’ll still let them know about this article.
Unfortunately, the conclusion of this new experiment is roughly the same as last time: pitiful. And between both experiments, of 36 churches that I contacted, all of whom promote their Twitter account on their home page, only four of them replied.
We’d love to hear in the comments if you’re using something to track social mentions and if so, what?