I’m an introvert. Despite the fact that I love social media and being connected to others, I prefer working alone. However, I’ve learned that this can make creating and maintaining social media pretty difficult.
When I first came on staff at Brentwood Baptist, I tried to do all the social media by myself. I wrote all the tweets, Facebook updates and created the Instagram posts. At first it seemed to work just fine. However, I ran into three problems.
First, I started to run dry on content ideas. There were only so many ways I could spin small group invitations or summer camp announcements. I never got the point to where I was out of ideas, however my ideas no longer seemed fresh or new.
Second, our social media was starting to sound too much like me. My writing style is direct and sometimes curt. That may work for social networks like Twitter, but Facebook (where a lot our female audience is) needed more of an outgoing, cheerful tone.
Third, our social media was being built around my preferences. I’ve written before on how my preference for Twitter over Facebook affected our social media and I think part of that was the fact that I was the sole driver of our social media. If we had other people speaking into the process, I might not have made that mistake.
So how do you avoid making the above mistakes? Well, I think the solution is including others in your social media. By “others”, I’m referring to your staff or volunteers who are willing to help you run your church’s social media. This can be anyone who who’s willing to help you brainstorm, cover events or monitor accounts. I’ve found that by including others we’ve seen three huge benefits to our social media.
1. Your Social Media Will Be Well-Rounded
As I said above, my second mistake was that our social media was sounding too much like me (too direct). However, when Katie Allred runs our social media the tone is warm, friendly and inviting. (It also helps that she’s an extrovert.)
We also have the amazing Tessa Morrell helping us out, who’s an excellent wordsmith. She has the ability to find four different ways to say the same thing and take a few paragraphs of blah content and turn it into an interesting article for our website.
2. It Let’s People Play to Their Strengths
Again, keep in mind that I love social media, but sometimes my introverted nature prevents me from being as outgoing as we need to be. So when Katie runs our social media, those moments plays to her strengths. When we need to be quick and direct (i.e. sermon quotes or announcements), those moments play to my strengths.
3. It Helps You Avoid Burnout
Every month Tessa, Katie and I get together for our monthly content meeting. It’s where we review our content calendar and brainstorm ideas for the next month. This time is an extremely valuable for us because it allows all three of us to speak into our content. When of us is feeling burnout, usually the other two can help compensate.
What If Your at Small Church?
Okay, so you may thinking “That’s great, but what if I’m at a small church?”. If you’re at small church, you have to rely on volunteers. There’s no easy way to get around it. You don’t necessarily need to have them run your accounts, but you can meet with a small team every month to help you brainstorm your next month of social media and help identify your weak spots. (Note: if you are looking for looking to have volunteers help run your social media, here’s a free volunteer social media guidelines template.)
Don’t make the mistake I made by thinking that you can create and maintain social media by yourself. You can’t. Instead, use other peoples gifts to speaking into your church’s content and give it new life. Your content will be better and your audience will be grateful for the variety.