Empowering Church Staff on Social Media

Empowering Church Staff on Social Media

February 29, 2016 by

Here are some questions church communicators should no longer be asking:

  • “Should the church use social media for ministry?”
  • “How can I get our church to get on social media?”
  • “Is social media an effective tool for ministry?”

Most, if not all, churches and pastors are on board and have at least one social media account.

Social Media Reach

We no longer have to wonder whether or not the people we minister to use social media.

At The Oaks Fellowship, we discovered that among the 49 people on staff (excluding other key influencers like volunteer leaders), we had a reach of over 143,000 across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If our social media accounts were a country, its population would be 155,976. Even if we assumed the same people are following the same staff member across social media platforms and chopped that number down by a third, 47,000 people is still a significant number.

The battle is no longer to try to get leaders on social media. We no longer have to wonder whether or not  the people we minister to use social media.

The key question for us has become, “How do we tap into and leverage the existing sphere of influence that ministry leaders already have on social media to reach people?”

Social Subdomain

Social media is not just a megaphone to shout about our opportunities.

In a strategy meeting, our church staff came up with an idea that would:

  1. Make it very easy for influencers to post the church’s messages on social media.
  2. Eliminate obstacles for leaders from being able to do it.
  3. Maintain consistency of messaging and quality of posts representing the church.

We created a subdomain landing page that would serve as the trusted hub for social media resources at The Oaks. The page provides the following content:

Promo

In this category, text posts, graphics and sometimes videos about current or upcoming series are provided.

Social media materials for big events and initiatives like worship nights, volunteer opportunities, mission trips, Easter and Christmas are also made available under this heading.

Recent Photos

We have a photography team that covers every service (including our kids and youth services) and event (training, women’s event, conference, mission trips, etc.). They are trained to go pick out and upload select pictures to Dropbox then provide the link under this category.

Providing quality pictures promptly after a service or event is a fun and easy way to celebrate ministry and people on social media.

Hashtags

What hashtag are we using?” is definitely a frequently asked question to any church’s communication department or leader.

Making the hashtags available not only provides the answer, it helps keep hashtags on posts consistent and also serves prompt to use hashtags when they go to the page to get copy, photos or graphics to use hashtags when they post.

Social Weekly

As all communication leaders know, social media is not just a megaphone to shout about our opportunities, events and calls-to-action.

It is a conversation, we need to listen and participate in conversations our community of people are having. Under this heading, we provide weekly “assignments” like commenting, tagging, liking, following someone, etc.

Making Social Media a Mission Field

Our church’s leadership was completely bought into making social media a “mission field” for our church.

I wish that the famous movie line “If you build it, they will come” were true in church communication. We know that simply building a website or a page, how ever great the content, isn’t enough.

Our church’s leadership understood this and was completely bought into making social media a “mission field” for our church.

Our senior pastor backed the communication initiative up with an all staff meeting for us to present vision, do training on the solution and deliver the following “command performance” ask to every staff member: go to social.theoaksonline.org once a week and post something from the page.

The Results

Within three months of the launch, we’ve seen a 40% increase in followers across the church’s social media accounts. Engagement has gone up significantly. Web traffic increased from 4,900 to 10,500 sessions per month.

The conversations happening on social media between staff, leaders and the congregation has been the most fulfilling part of this.

Social media is not just a megaphone to shout about our opportunities.

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Post By:

Kelvin Co


Kelvin Co gets to do what he loves as the creative arts pastor of The Oaks Fellowship located in the Dallas Metroplex area. Kelvin has been doing life together with his wife and best friend Lucy since 1991, and they have been doting on and pouring into their son Luc since 2002.
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5 Responses to “Empowering Church Staff on Social Media”

  • CK
    March 1, 2016

    Insane… this is great info! Definitely want to build toward this.


  • Anthony Coleman
    March 2, 2016

    Great article. All churches must establish different platforms like social media to invite conversation and participation in community activities, and most importantly how the ministry will play a role in engagement of church and community affairs


  • Meredith
    March 2, 2016

    Who has access to the subdomain landing page? Is it something that only staff and leaders know about or is it available to anyone in the church? I visited the page but I didn’t see it in the webpage dropdown menus. How do people know how to access it? I like the idea!


  • Keisha
    March 23, 2016

    Amazing! I’ve learned so much from reading this blog post. I now have a page full of notes. Thanks for putting examples in this article.


  • Chris Parker
    April 1, 2016

    Awesome idea! Thanks so much for the share – our staff has no problem posting to our FB page, and this will be a great idea to talk about for consistency and expansion of our communication efforts!



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