I like taking on challenges. I’m sometimes a little too ambitious and find myself in a bit of pinch every once in a while. However, challenges also keep me sharp and force me to stretch myself and those around me.
This week I want to challenge you for the next seven days to try the following schedule below for your church’s social media. The goal is of these next seven days is to help you clean up your social media presence, stretch your thinking and build your skill set.
Now you don’t have to follow this seven day schedule in the exact order listed, but I suggest you do. I also suggest that you keep a journal or a note in Evernote to catalog your thoughts as go through the following schedule.
7 Days to a Better Social Media Presence
Day 1: Change Your Passwords
Okay, you may be thinking that your first day to having a better social media presence might involve more tweeting, using Periscope or trying a new analytics tool. Instead, on your first day I’m going to tell to you change your passwords on your social media accounts.
Why change your passwords? Well for starters, if you’re like most people I know, you probably haven’t changed your passwords since you signed up for your social media accounts and that’s a problem. Since most of use the same password for multiple online accounts, there’s a good chance that at some point you’ll be hacked just on the basis of having an old password.
So to rectify this problem, I suggest you sign up with LastPass, Dashlane or 1Password and give each of your social media accounts a unique password. These password services will allow you to generate a unique password for each of your accounts and let you manage them from a single dashboard.
(Even if you’ve already got unique passwords for each account, you still need to change those passwords at least every six months.)
Day 2: Review Your Branding
Now it’s time to review your branding. Just like passwords, a lot of us setup our social media accounts branding without updating them on consistent basis. However, dimensions for social media branding (i.e. Facebook cover photo) often do change without notice.
To make sure our branding is up to date, we’ll refer to this post by SproutSocial. This post will give us the proper dimensions for Twitter headers, Facebook cover photos and other profile pictures.
Now that we have the right dimensions, we need to go through and change each of our branding images for our social media accounts.
Day 3: Setup Your Social Media Dashboard
You can make running multiple social media accounts a lot easier by setting up a social media dashboard. We talked before about the two leading competitors in this field, Hootsuite and Buffer. Both have their advantages.
Personally, I think for large organizations you might want to go with Hootsuite. However, I think that Buffer’s pricing is better and I like their interface. So you can’t go wrong with either one.
Now why use a social media dashboard? Well first, a dashboard gives you a high level view of all your social media. This high level view will let you see gaps in your content and make sure you have a consistent flow of content going out of your accounts.
Second, a social media dashboard saves you time by letting you schedule content in advance. While, you don’t want to do this with all of your social media, it does take some pressure off of you to know that social media is going out when you can’t do it in real-time.
Day 4: Run the Favorite Exercise
Now for the next four days, we’re going to run some exercises to help you improve your social media content and interaction with others. The first experiment we’re going to run is one that I learned from Justin Wise. The goal of this experiment is to gain new Twitter followers and have some interaction with your audience.
The first thing you need to do is to pick a hashtag that is something relevant to you or your organization. Once you’ve picked out the hashtag, you need to go through and favorite 100 tweets. Favorite exactly 100 tweets (not 99 or 101).
Once you’ve favorited 100 tweets you should see two things happen. First, you should see a gain in new followers. Second, you should get some new interaction from Twitter users that you’ve not interacted with before.
This is a good exercise to try since it forces you to interact with people that you might not necessarily think to converse with.
Day 5: Only Reply or Comment on Twitter and Instagram
Our second exercise is to do nothing but reply or comment on Twitter and Instagram for an entire day. Do not publish any new content. The goal of this exercise is to learn how to listen on social media.
Day 6: Try Repeating Your Content
During day six we’re going to try repeating your content on Twitter. Now repeating content may seem counterintuitive. You might be afraid that your audience will get tired of seeing the same content in a repetitive manner. However, we’re conducting this exercise on Twitter, so remember that most Twitter users pop in and out of Twitter and don’t camp out for hours like they do on Facebook.
Now this doesn’t mean that you should repeat the same exact content. Instead, you try variations of the content throughout the day.
The point of this exercise to emphasize how each social network is different when it comes to publishing, not only terms of unique content, but also in how often you publish that content.
Day 7: Talk about Something Other than Yourself
On the last day we’re going to spend the entire day talking about anything except our church or organization. This means you can talk about your volunteers, local business or other ministries, but not your church.
This may seem difficult at first since majority of our content is focused on our church. However, this exercise will force to break out of your normal content pattern and instead focus on the community around you. It will also test your ability to create content in other ways that you might not be used to.
Once you’ve completed the seven day challenge, look back at your journal and reflect on you learned. Did you find out anything new about your audience? Are there areas of weakness that you need to improve on? What steps can you take to improve your social media presence?