Using Social Media for Outreach: The Basics

The number of social media platforms on the market has steadily grown over the last few years, all of which you can easily utilize for outreach for your ministry or organization. Taking advantage of these sources, from Twitter and Facebook to Instagram and LinkedIn, you’ll change the way you communicate with customers. No matter if your ministry is big or small, social media is the perfect outreach strategy. 

Billions of people and organizations are taking advantage of these platforms, so why not you too? Keep reading for a few tips from the experts at The Church Online.

Put together a team that has passion and skill
It is crucial for members of your social media team to have expertise. Additionally, they need to love what they do. Passion for outreach—and in the organization in general—will come through in every tweet, status update, photo, or connection.

Start with an audit of social netaworks that you use
Which social media sites are you already using? How often do you visit these sites? How often do you post or tweet? Reviewing your current social media activity is the first step in strategizing a new plan of attack for your social media outreach campaign. How many followers do you have? Is there a lot of activity on your page? All of these are helpful questions to begin generating ideas for outreach.

Decide which social networks you will use and how
There are numerous forms of social networking you can use—too many to count—but it’s important to choose the platforms that will be most effective for you and your ministry.  

Develop a mission and/or goal for what you want to accomplish and how
Your goal doesn’t have to involve gaining more followers on Twitter than Taylor Swift. Your goal can simply be to gain a social media presence in general. Or maybe you want to make sure to tweet once a day and reply to each response. Whatever your goal may be, decide how the team is going to accomplish it, step by step.

Decide what you want to post and when
Create a calendar to keep track of postings. Perhaps you’ll post a new status update every Monday at noon, a new tweet Wednesday at 2pm, and a photo on Friday at 5pm. Or maybe you want to stay more active and post daily, or even several time a day. Consider using a service that can help you schedule when your posts will be sent out.  

Integrate High Quality Graphics and Video
It is important to utilize professional graphics and video in your social media platforms.  These tools will help attract even more attention to your ministry and outreach efforts than just words alone.

Be consistent!
Make a schedule and stick to it. If you start slacking on posting, your audience will lose sight of you.  The biggest key to effective online marketing is consistency. “A person needs to come in contact with your name at least 7 times before they will come up with a decision to come to your church or purchase your product,” says Theodore Jackson III, Ministry Development Consultant at The Church Online.

Determine a time when you will review your plan and make adjustments
Set a date to check on your outreach efforts and make sure you are sticking to the plan. Are you still following the calendar and posting when you need to be? Are you maintaining consistency? “Consistent follow-up to measure your progress is important. You have to be able to determine your return on investment, giving your organization the ability to make changes and adjustments to maintain effectiveness,” says Jackson. Monitor whether or not you are making an impact and reaching and expanding your audience. If not, it may be time to go back to the drawing board to come up with a new strategy.

About Us

The Church Online is a World Class, Christian based organization working with today's Christian churches to implement Professional Technology and Marketing solutions that celebrate and expand Outreach and Evangelistic opportunities while tending to the business needs of a Modern Church ministry.

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