I had the privilege to attend and speak at WFX Expo and Conference. My session was all about Social Media. Cathy Hutchison spoke the day before I was scheduled. She did a great job talking about the joys of social media and the basic reasons why the Church should be using it. Mine was about the “next steps” in this amazing new media.
Shawn King, Pastor of Courageous Church, spoke just before me and he started demonstrating the amazing strategies he uses with Facebook and Twitter to grow his church. He mentioned the power of “twitter advanced“.
- Keywords. Start looking for keywords that “affect” your church or describe your ministries. That could be your positioning, various ministry keywords, or words that describe who you are. Then you can monitor what the world is thinking and tweeting about. You can engage in a conversation with the twitter world to help you hone ideas and develop sermons. Who knows?! With the ability to narrow in on your location, you can even invite someone to coffee or your church.
- Prayer Ministry: Shaun King showed how you can search your location for “pray for” and voila, you have a complete listing of people in your area that want prayer. You can engage them in a conversation and tell them you’ll be praying. But make sure you do!
- Brand Monitoring: You can also use this page to check to see what’s being said about your church. Or your denomination. Or you! You may (while you’re at it) want to go to Google and search for “your church name + sucks”. As Cathy pointed out, this can show you if there are really disgruntled people blogging or tweeting about you.
Pretty cool, eh? The power of Social Media is a real-time, non-linear approach to what we do. Make sure your church is using it as a communication tool as well as a research tool. It’s free and it only takes a little bit of time!