Stop Chasing Returns
In the business world, we hear it all the time. “What’s my rate of return on my investment?” If we’re going to give our money to something, we expect to know how much we’re going to earn in the future. Of course, a good advisor would remind you that historical returns, while the best indicator of future results, are not guaranteed. LOL, at guarantees in investing. There aren’t any…right?
While no one can guarantee a rate of return, you can actually guarantee your RATE OF CONTRIBUTION. How much are you willing to contribute on a daily, weekly, monthly or yearly basis to your investment?
Dollar Cost Averaging
When it comes to your churches various digital channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Blog, Email…MySpace) we all desire to be able to create a well intentioned post, share it and then sit back and watch the “returns” roll in on the form of Likes, Shares, Reactions, Double Taps, Hearts, Re-Posts and Comments. It’s easy to have this expectation based on how you observe other church accounts performing, right? We all get a little bit jealous when another social media manager posts in the Facebook Group about how much engagement they’re getting. You know…just to “encourage” the rest of the group. ?
Maybe, just maybe, we all need an investment approach based on our rate of contribution (what we can control) rather than comparing our returns to someone else’s. Let’s borrow a term from the investment world called Dollar Cost Averaging (DCA). In it’s simplest form, DCA is investing equal amounts of money at regular time intervals. Versus, investing one lump sum at one point in time. For example, rather than investing $1200 on January 1, invest $100 on the first of every month for 12 months. What would our engagement rate look like if we stuck to a posting schedule over a set amount of time? Say, posting twice a day, everyday, for 90 days on Facebook?
Real World Example
Let’s use a Facebook Page that is just outside of the church world. It’s actually a para-church organization. A Fellowship of Christian Athletes chapter in East Georgia. You know…just to “encourage” the rest of the group. ? Before they adopted a consistent posting schedule in May of this year, East Georgia FCA had 615 Facebook Page Likes, posted on average once per week and averaged about a 1% Engagement Rate. 5 months later, they post once in the morning and again at their “optimal FB Whale time” of 9pm. Twice a day, every day and have consistently for 5 months.
Because of their Rate of Contribution, they now have over 1000 Page Likes and average a little better than a 10% Engagement Rate on their Facebook Posts. (Which, by the way, is the only channel they focus on for now)
Diversify Your Investments
Having all of your eggs in one basket is normally NOT the best approach to investing. (See Enron, Real Estate in 2008, the New England Patriots in 2007) So, posting the same type of post EVERY TIME you post isn’t recommended either. Which would appear to make the posting two times a day approach a little easier. Don’t give in to that thinking. Instead, diversify your posting schedule using the 60-20-20 Rule.
Let’s break this down a bit. For your next 10 Posts on any platform make sure that:
60% of the time, you post about someone or something else. Leverage your platform for the sake of another’s. Don’t turn your church’s FB Page into a community bulletin board, but look for ways of loving on others in your community that are doing great things and share them with your audience.
20% of the the time, post about a “Day In the Life” of your church. What is going great today? What areas did you fail at this week? Who is having a Birthday? Who had a fantastic idea about how to improve an area in your ministry? Who took a really cool photo of the leaves changing color?
20% of the time, let your post be a straight up “Ask”. For example, “We created a FB Event for next week’s Night of Worship. SHARE THIS WITH YOUR FRIENDS!”. Another could be a post about needing volunteers in a certain ministry area. Or asking for feedback on Sunday’s worship set.
The point being, if your Page is ONLY posting “Ask” posts 100% of the time, your likely to burn out your followers.