Hi all, today I’ve been asked to share some brief but helpful thoughts on how you can add value with your (or your church’s) social media. Here’s my guarantee: if your social media content adds value to your target audience’s experience, it will build your brand.
1. Determine Your “Service Personas”
A service persona is a semi-fictional representation of your ideal church attendee based on market research and real data about your existing members.
When creating your service persona(s), you should detail demographics, behavior patterns, desires, and goals. The more detailed you are, the better. This doesn’t necessarily mean you will only be targeting one persona, but it can help you narrow down exactly who you are trying to attract through your content.
These service personas should be the only people you have in mind when creating and distributing your social media. Be thinking, “how can my social media content benefit, move, inspire, motivate or help them?”
Value add: Here’s a link to a buyer/service persona template I’ve put together.
2. Ask The Right Questions
Here’s what I consider to be a typical church social media experience…
The weekend service (or the big event) is coming and we need to get people there! So we send through a rushed and vague brief to our designer to whip something up asap. The only question we ask is “how can we get something up asap??”
We’re limiting the reach of our social media if our posts are only about advertising a product, service and event. These posts are usually rushed, unoriginal and ineffective. Before we begin the production process, we should ask more philosophical and strategic questions like:
Why are we creating/doing this?
What do our service personas want to engage with?
Who is going to ensure we are guided by the above?
This is critical: your social media content is too important to be erratic about it. You need to decide on your goal and then stick to your plan.
3. Speak The Code Of Your Service Personas
Sometimes our desire to be all-inclusive makes our message ineffective. If you’re trying to reach specific people, then you need to speak in a specific way. Initially, this might mean you get less engagement (likes, shares, comments, views), but the engagement you are receiving are from people you genuinely feel called to reach.
Here’s some examples:
a. Trying to reach mums and dads? Don’t worry about snapchat content.
b. Want to reach young professionals? Create/curate content that will be helpful to them. Like a blog from Ps Phil including his keys to financial excellence
c. Reaching young creatives? Put effort into producing something beautiful, or moving. This usually means content that is more abstract, but since you’re only trying to reach creatives, you don’t have to worry if the more logical followers don’t get it.
Hope this has helped. I understand that pastors have so many responsibilities and that social media isn’t always a high priority. Please feel free to forward this on to someone in your team. The communications team is always available for any questions and here to add value in any way we can.
Written by Alex Farncomb