When you visit a restaurant, do you check their social media before walking through the door? Families in your area are searching for your ministry. Are they enticed by what they see?
Consider the analogy of your house when you think about social media. The average person in your town has no idea about your house, but maybe if they were looking for the perfect color of red, your front door might catch their eye. From the road, your house can stand out, and likewise, from a simple search on the web, your ministry can catch someone’s eye.
Take a minute and google your ministry. Do you like what you see? Would someone who has never been, be compelled to visit? You can change that. Take a minute to take ownership of your Google listing. Update pictures, give accurate information, and make sure your service times are up to date.
Google is where most people start but maybe you go the extra mile to create a Facebook page. A Facebook page is like a yellow pages article or a place people can stop in when they are looking for information for your ministry. Continuing with the house analogy, updating your Facebook page is like cutting your shrubs or raking your leaves, it sure makes your house more inviting.
And, why stop at a Facebook page? Instagram can be a goldmine for your ministry if you take some time to post some quality pictures with a local hashtag. This is like cutting your grass with a fancy grid pattern, you’ll turn heads.
But these are all for someone driving by your house looking at it from the road. Once someone accepts your invitation it’s like they begin walking down your driveway. These are the people who like what they see randomly, so they begin to search deeper.
Once someone finds your church on google and heads over to your website do they like what they see? Do they stop to read the words you have written on your site or have you written an overwhelming amount? If you don’t read the words on your site, I guarantee you a visitor isn’t going to take the time to read it. Maybe instead of words, you make a one-minute video clip to create a visual experience?
Or if updating a website isn’t your thing, consider updating the second largest search engine in the world, YouTube. YouTube is where many people go to learn more about your ministry. Do they like what they see? If you’re looking for an example, search for “Mosaic Kids” on YouTube.
After someone feels comfortable walking down your driveway, perhaps they might feel comfortable hanging out in your backyard? Facebook Groups, are the backyard of social media. Facebook groups naturally establish community. For those who are looking at sticking around a while, send them an invitation to your ministries Facebook group. Remember though, no one likes the guy at the backyard party who only talks about himself, so treat the group like you are hanging out around a grill. Ask questions, get to know people, and maybe even play a game or two.
The backyard is also where people have deeper connections. It wouldn’t be weird to send out some regular emails to people letting them know of the next barbecue. Email isn’t the traditional form of social media people think about, but it is a great tool in your toolbox. At your next big event, find a way to strategically gather the email address of those in attendance.
And finally, once someone feels very comfortable and like part of the family, they may even make their way into the house. Inside the house is where the most personal communication can take place. Inside the house is where you can consider using specific email lists, Instagram close friends, or even the largest social network in the world. Do you know what network I’m talking about? I’ll give you a clue. My username is 404.788.9487. Yes, text messaging! One of the most underutilized social networks is text messaging but be careful as it is also the most intimate.
Take some time today to evaluate how you are doing to digitally welcome people and move them from the road to your driveway, to your backyard, and finally into your home. Are there things you can do to improve this process? Write down some next steps on your calendar and let’s use social media as a tool to build the kingdom!
Originally Published in KidzMatter Magazine Winter 2020 – Issue 71