Information is advancing daily on a global stage through the connectivity of the Internet. Email, blogs and social platforms contribute to the viral spread of content in real-time to shape culture, capture polarized opinions and broadcast the news of “right now” to the ends of the earth. On Facebook alone, there are 1.5 billion active users who log in monthly to read news, connect with friends, and share content. People are not only getting information online but they are living their lives there as well, and the church should be a part of the conversation.

It’s as easy as 1, 2, … 7

1. Be an active part of the conversation on social media platforms.

Before stepping foot into a building, people get their first impression of our church online. If our social media platforms are empty or haven’t posted anything new for months or days, people think the message is out of date too!

2. Contribute content worth sharing.

We’re all strolling around the Internet asking, “What’s in it for me?” while hunting the funniest video, the latest controversial article or the cutest picture of puppies we can find. Once we do, what’s next? We share it! People share content that moves them, and creating content that stirs emotion takes effort [we have teams to help with this]. Social content is often visual so think about how you can leverage what you’re creating for Sundays or midweek opportunities that will empower and encourage your fans to continue conversations around what Jesus is doing in their social circles.

Would you really share that on your personal account?

3. Answer questions people are asking.

Everyone is asking three questions: What happened? What’s happening? What’s next? If you’re not answering one of these three basic questions about your church on a daily basis, you’re missing a great opportunity to contribute to the conversation online and in the workplace.

4. Know your audience and the platform.

All social media platforms are not created equal. Posting the same message on all the different social media outlets is like using a hammer to put screws in the wall or painting with a fork – it may get the job done, but it’s not the best way. Know who’s there and why they are there. Then, craft your message and communication specifically for them.

I’m sorry, what was that you said?

5. Listen to the conversation.

Broadcasting information but not engaging in conversation is like holding up protest signs in a public place but never speaking to the people around you…it’s foolish! Similarly, hijacking conversations instead of participating in them is rude in person and on the internet too.

6. Provide excellent customer service.

Excellent customer service lets your audience know that you’re listening. And, when they know you’re listening to them, they’ll listen to you. You are the expert. If someone asks a question on your facebook page or tweets it @you, let them know they matter by answering it in a timely manner.

“Content is king, but relationships are Beyonce.” – @vanbaird

7. Empower your staff and volunteers.

One of the greatest ways your church can reach people in your community is by empowering staff and volunteers to share their stories and connect with others. Gather your staff and volunteers and teach them to share their story. Then as they live their life and faith online it will naturally point people to Jesus and let your community know that your church is a place where people can grow in a community.

We’re equipped to reach the world and fulfill the great commision unlike any point in history. Pick one of the above opportunities and try it today, and I promise that your church will grow–eventually. You and I both know that relationships are the key to sharing the gospel. I’ll write about that later. For now, let me know how I can help you dial in one of the 7 ways mentioned above. I’m @thedunagans in all the spaces, or leave me a message here.  I really believe the best is yet to come!

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