My church is bigger than your church. Wait…nobody says that. Right? Okay so maybe people don’t say that, but at a certain point we’ve all thought it. We’ve all compared ourselves to the church down the road. We compare ourselves in terms of church giving, attendance and building size. We even do that with social media.
Of course social media is that easiest of all to compare. Every single one of our social media network profiles display the number of followers, likes and friends. It’s like social media is begging us to compare each other.
So what happens when we start comparing our church’s social media to another church? Is it really that bad to compare your church with the one down the street? At first, the answer is no. There’s nothing wrong with taking the time to learn what’s working for other churches that you might be able to apply to your situation. That’s smart and it’s something you should do on a regular basis.
However when you consistently compare your church to others, you can start to develop habits that could be hurtful to your church’s social media. Like any habit, comparing can seem harmless at first, but over time it can get worse. If you need further proof that comparing your church to others is a bad idea, here’s three reasons not to do it:
Three Reasons You Shouldn’t Compare Your Church’s Social Media
- You Focus on The “What” and Not The “Why” – It’s really easy to look at a piece of Facebook content from another church and then try to replicate that piece of content for your church. The problem is that just by replicating the content doesn’t mean that you’ll have the same success that the original content did. When you focus on the “what” (the content) you’re missing “why” (the reason) why the content performed well for another church.
The “why” could be anything from a sermon series, a capital campaign or a missions emphasis. The “why” is the emotional driver for why the content connects with the audience. Too often we focus on the “what” which could be an instagram post or tweet and miss the real reason the content worked.
- You Result to Using Cheap Tactics – Do you want more Twitter followers? I know a guy who can get you 20K for about five dollars. Sure, the followers are robots and they’ll disappear in about two weeks, but at least your numbers will look good.
Now I’m not saying that you’ll go out and buy Twitter followers for your church, but I do believe that we can often resort to tactics that don’t give our audience the respect it deserves. We can force users to “like” us on Facebook in order to see content or auto-follow anyone who might follow us back on Twitter.
Cheap tactics are easy and available everywhere. It takes more work to earn your audience’s trust and slowly build your church’s following. Sure, you might not end up with as many followers as the church down the street, but at least you earned them.
- You Think Numbers Equals Influence – There’s a myth in social media that the more followers you have, the more influence you have. Just because someone followed you on Twitter or liked you on Facebook doesn’t give you any more influence then what you already had. What it does give you though, is the opportunity to influence.
Influence comes with building real relationships. It’s through meaningful one to one connections. That doesn’t happen by amassing a large amount of followers on social media. It comes from treating people as human beings and given them the attention they deserve.
Be Who You Are
Okay, “Be Who You Are” sounds kind of cliche but it’s true when it comes to social media. Anyone who’s ever thrived on social media has a strong sense of who they are and who they’re not. Your church’s social media needs to reflect who your church is as a congregation. For example, if your pastor would never be caught wearing tight jeans, then don’t try to portray him as one who would. Instead, just let your content speak out of the overflow of what God is doing with and through your congregation.
Stop comparing your church’s social media to the church down the street or across the globe. Embrace where you are and who you’re doing community with. If you do this, all the other social media stuff (likes, followers, etc…) will take care itself.