Knowing Your Community in Social Media

I learned early on (that makes me sound like an old man) that knowing my people and my community is of utmost importance when it comes to communication and using social media in the church. In the first church I worked, I spent alot of time jumpstarting our communications. I did a full online blitz creating a Facebook Page, Twitter profile, etc. The problem was that I hadn’t even taken the time to learn about what people in the church were using to communicate.

I spent alot of time on Twitter for about a week. I wanted the church to have a good Twitter presence. Why? Because I love Twitter. I knew about all of Twitter’s capabilities, so I assumed that it was a great place for the church to be present. I was wrong. At that time no one in that church was using Twitter. It turned out that Facebook was the more useful place to be at the time, because that is where our community was present.

Don’t just jump on the social media bandwagon

Just because every other organization or church is jumping on a certain network doesn’t mean that your church has to. It may be completely worthless for you to focus your time on a certain network.

In my role at Park I have tried to do this by focusing most of my time on 2 social networks: Facebook and Twitter. That doesn’t mean that I don’t try new things. This doesn’t mean that I don’t experiment, but it does mean that I don’t spend alot of time building an experience in a place where no one is active. In fact I’ve been using Instagram for Park for a couple months and have seen good interaction, so I’ll probably bring that into the fold with Twitter and Facebook as part of the core networks that we use.

I’ll talk more in the future about how to go about learning more about your community, but today I just want to stress the importance of it.

Don’t waste time building something that no one is going to use.

Go where your people are.

What social networks are you using currently?

What process are you going through to decide to use that social network?

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