Every January, I usually set up a series of goals to start off the year. These goals usually have one thing in common and that’s helping me grow my social media skill set.
If you’re wanting to grow your social media skill set or help your church become a better in the digital space, there are a lot of tools and resources out there for you. However, sometimes you don’t have the budget to spend on conferences or online learning. So if you’re on a budget or if you’re looking for some simple ways to grow as a social media director, here are four things you can try.
1. Expand Your Reading
A good portion of personal my growth has come from reading. Now when say I reading, I’m not referring to blog posts or magazines, I referring to books. As author Tim Sanders says in his book Love is the Killer App, magazines are snacks, but books are complete meals. With books, you get ideas that are fully fleshed out. For me, some of my best ideas have come from being deeply immersed in books.
Now there are plenty of books that you can read on social media and communications, however I believe you need to expand beyond those subjects when you’re reading. When you expand your reading to other subjects you find new ways of looking at problems and even generate new content ideas. Here’s a three list of books that I think will help you grow as a social media director:
Geeks Bearing Gifts by Jeff Jarvis – Jeff Jarvis is one of the most forward-thinking people in the media business. In Geeks Bearing Gifts, Jeff walks you through the future of media and its impact on all of us. When you read the book just replace the word “newspaper” for the word “church”. You’ll find a lot of what he says can apply to you and your church.
Big Data by Viktor Mayer-Schonberger and Kenneth Cukier – Okay I’ll admit it. This book scared me. I’m not a privacy nut, but this book did make me pause and think through the good and bad of big data. For example, if the Center for Disease Control had access to Google search data, and they saw a large amount of people in a certain area googling “flu-like symptoms”. Could they use that data to prevent a flu outbreak? Scenarios like this begin to get me thinking through what big data our church has and how we could use it to our advantage.
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield – This book changed everything for me. It was like a swift kick in the pants when I needed it the most. In The War of Art, Steven Pressfield challenges the reader to push through their creative blocks and not be defeated by them. A lot my creative friends have credited this book with changing how they view their work.
2. Reverse Engineer Everything
One of the best pieces of advice I received on raising creative kids was this: “Get a box and fill it full of old electronics and then give it your kids and let them tear it apart”. By letting your kids take apart the electronics, you’ll teach your kids to be curious and wonder how things work.
I think the same curiosity pays off in social media as well. See something that works? Try to find a way to reverse engineer it. Follow the path of a great piece of content and look at its origin. When was it posted? What tools did they use to create it? How often did they share it? Some of the best results I’ve gotten from social media where from things that I saw online, reversed engineered and then tested on my own.
3. Be the Dumbest Person in the Room
If you find that you’re the smartest person in the room, then get out. As a social media director, you need to surround yourself with people who are much smarter than you and will allow you ask questions, even really dumb questions.
4. Participate in Twitter Chats
If you’re looking for an online community than Twitter has two great opportunities for you. The first is #chsocm chat which is run by Meredith Gould, and the second #cmschat, which is run by the team at Church Marketing Sucks. Even if you don’t want to participate, just sit back and read the stream of ideas that come in from each of these communities. I know you’ll walk away with a few ideas.
Great leaders never stop learning and social media directors should do the same. Since social media is a constantly evolving medium, you have to be constantly learning and adapting as well.
Question: How do you grow as a social media director? Click here to share below.