Social Media Guide for Ministry by Nils Smith

Social Media Guide for Ministry by Nils Smith

March 20, 2013 by
Social Media Guide for Ministry by Nils Smith

If you’re looking for a short, practical guide to all things social media, Nils Smith is your man. Not only does he offer loads of sensible ideas, but he’s got the practical experience to back up what he’s talking about. He’s grown the Online Church Facebook page to more than 250,000 likes in under two years.

It’s hard to argue with that.

He offers an overview of all the different social media options (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Instagram and more) and gives tips on how to move forward.

Some of the best insights:

  • Listen. Before you post anything Smith recommends listening. For two weeks. “Listening is the most important thing that you will do on social media, so it’s important that you learn how to do this well before you post anything.”
  • Experiment. Much of Smith’s story is about the importance of trying stuff and seeing what sticks. One fun idea was broadcasting camp services online so parents could log in and hear what their kids were hearing.
  • Create Good Content. YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine and so of course Smith recommends offering content there. For those worried about else they might find on YouTube, Smith see this as a challenge: “I believe this is an even greater reason to use YouTube, as this network of video content needs more Christ-centered content to be recommended at the end of other videos.”
  • Not Relevant. Simply using social media will not make you instantly relevant: “The reality is that if you are not relevant in your local context, it is doubtful that you will be relevant online. The technology does not make you relevant, but it can make relevant messages more effective in reaching a greater potential audience.”
  • Not Free. Many social media tools may be free to use, but this doesn’t mean there’s no cost. Smith rightly reminds us that even the free tools cost us our time and we need to weight the price of that investment.

That’s just scratching the surface of the good ideas you’ll find. Smith also packs in plenty of real stories that make this a more of a practical guide than pie-in-the-sky theory.

At just 80 pages this guide is definitely on the light side. That’s more of a benefit though, since the focus remains on the quick and practical and you don’t get bogged down in details that could easily change in six months (as social media tends to do).

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Kevin D. Hendricks


When Kevin isn't busy as the editor of Church Marketing Sucks, he runs his own writing and editing company, Monkey Outta Nowhere. Kevin has been blogging since 1998 and has published several books, including 137 Books in One Year: How to Fall in Love With Reading, The Stephanies and all of our church communication books.
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