5 Mistakes Ministries Make On Social Media
– by Ivin Viljoen
When Jesus was on earth, He sought to give His followers value. We should seek to do the same with our communities.
During my time as a media coach, I have identified some elements that signify a successful social media platform, and it’s not ‘likes’. What makes it a success is when people are sharing your content with their networks and a community interacting with your ministry through leaving their comments, thoughts, and opinions. When you produce these, video views, activity, and even church attendance goes up, which in turn means more visibility and attention to your ministry’s message. I have identified 5 mistakes ministries make on social media that, if they pay attention to fixing it, they can easily develop a world class platform.
Mistake #1: Only posting ads and promotional material
I believe that a lot of time and effort is wasted if a ministry spends twelve hours on creating an advert; assembling your media team, having a creative briefing, conceptualising ideas, getting video equipment set up, production of a creative piece, post-production, distributing it online etc. Often, even with all that effort, the results are usually poor. I would rather spend the same amount of time and energy creating small pieces of micro-content over a period of time; being creative, having fun, and telling stories. Advertising your services or events is not as effective as consistently engaging throughout the week and giving value to your fans and audience. Therein lies the secret.
Mistake #2: Ministries don’t have a content strategy in place
Your platform will be much more effective if you work out a content strategy and implement it. Choose different media formats to create in. One piece of video content could be placed into a series playlist, repurposed into a quote card, a podcast, a pdf, and even an exercise. Content is key to getting people involved and responding to the message that you’re called to deliver.
Mistake #3: Ministries don’t cultivate a community
Your social media platforms should not be about you. Your ministry, vision, branding, communication, and content is about the people you’re called to serve. Start cultivating a community and people will be more involved. If you change your focus outward to them, your platform will start being successful.
Mistake #4: Ministries don’t interact with their community online
Community engagement is very important. If a person inboxes you, reacts to what you posted, asks you questions, or extends you invitations; you need to reply to these. The person that posted a reply to your post will not come back if he has not been acknowledged. If you pay attention to your community, you will keep and grow them. Your community is giving you value by interacting on your platform and therefore you should do the same by reciprocating.
Mistake #5: Ministries are not consistent online
Most of the time, ministries are posting content online, but they are not posting it consistently. A ministry should work out a schedule that they commit to, posting a piece of content the same day every week. By doing this consistently, you will see your attention and engagement increase.
When Jesus was on earth, He sought to give His followers value. He healed them, taught them, touched them, travelled with them, engaged with them, and just liked being available to them. When people left the presence of Jesus, they knew they were fulfilled. So, when developing different media platforms online, we should also seek out to give value to those we want to engage with.
JOY! Magazine (June 2017)