Advice for improving your ministry's online communication (2 of 3)

This continues from yesterday's post that gives our first piece of advice.

2. If you choose to use social media, put someone in charge of it who knows how to use it.

Whatever social media you use, avoid putting someone in charge of it that's mostly clueless about how it works. Every network has unwritten etiquette rules that should be followed in order to be respected. Don't let that scare you from using it, just put someone in charge who is familiar with the territory. Or, enter it yourself as a personal user for a little while before pulling your church into it.

3. Understand that it may be necessary to train the congregation to use your new forms of communication.

If you continue to add new methods of communicating and never eliminate old ones, you'll eventually become overwhelmed with distributing the same info in too many places. It is more effective to be focused in a few methods rather than spreading yourself out among many methods. That means when communication methods shift, you may have to do a lot of re-training so people know where to look. Even if you start putting church information on your Facebook page and active Facebook users become fans, that does not mean those fans will remember to go to the Page Updates and find information. You may have to train people regardless of how active they are on the social network you church uses.

Also be prepared for the vocal minority to share their opinion about the shifts in how your ministry communicates. There may be those who resist the change and will give many valid reasons why abandoning the older method is a bad idea, so you'll have to determine ahead of time if the time and energy you put into the old method is worth continuing it for those who use it.

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