Mistakes using social media can be wonderful learning moments. I know, because I have made a few myself. However, if you can avoid these mistakes by learning from others, then you are one step closer to running a better social media strategy. Of all the social media tools out there, Twitter may be the easiest to set up, but it can also lead to the quickest mistakes. Here are a few mistakes that churches make and how you can avoid them:
Not Using Twitter “In the Moment”
Your church should strive to use Twitter as an “in the moment” tool for capturing life-changing stories from your church. Think about it, which is more interesting: an announcement about a baptism service or live tweeting stories from the baptism service? Obviously, it’s the live tweeting that is more interesting and engaging for your audience.
Using Twitter Only for Announcements
Do you remember those television infomercials for rotisserie machines? What did the salesman always yell out to the audience? “You can set it and forget it”. Well you can do that with Twitter, however you won’t get very far. Using services like dlvr.it to automatically post your latest news items to your Twitter account is an easy way to distribute content. However if you only tweet news items, you take away the social aspect of Twitter, giving your followers to little reason to interact with your church’s tweets.
Not Retweeting Your Staff or Members
Sometimes it can be difficult to come up with “in the moment” content for a church Twitter account. An easy way to find this content is to keep an eye on staff and key church member’s accounts and retweet them when they have something great to share with your audience.
Using Church Jargon
Let’s face it, most of your church’s Twitter followers are your members. However, you will still have people outside of your membership reading your Twitter feed. Think about people who are searching for a new church home or are interested in Christianity itself. What does your Twitter feed say to them? How much of what you tweet is loaded with language that only your church members would understand? Are you using theological terms or some other coded language that would turn away potential members or visitors away from your church?
Having an Incomplete Profile
This seems like a no-brainer, however I still see churches that fail to set up the basic necessities of an account profile for Twitter. Nothing says you don’t care or even you don’t understand social media like using the default avatar on your Twitter account.
Has your church made some of these mistakes? Are there other best practices for using Twitter that you wished you knew before you started? Contact me on Twitter at @dgirardier, and let’s continue the conversation.