The best way to find out if what you’re doing is working along with why or why not is super complicated… actually it’s not. Just ask people who are from your church, community, organization… basically your fans. Ask them face to face what they like about your content and what they dislike. You will get first hand feedback of why what you’re doing is or is not effective.
CASE STUDY :: Pam, Part 2
I recently had a conversation with one of the members of my church where the talked about how she interacts with social media. She is a key volunteer at our church and the mother of a high school girl in our student ministry. She mentioned she listened to one of our messages online and I asked where, when, etc. We expanded our conversation to all social media.
Content that Connects Pam to Her Church
I like the pictures. It’s fun to know who is who. I always like to know “what’s going on.” So anything that addresses that is good.
What this tells us: Pam is no different than millions of users. When we see “breaking news” from one of our favorite brands, we click because we want to connect. As long as that “breaking news” is not a bait and switch, we build trust with our followers and the bond is strengthened.
Content That Pam’s is Excited to See
Again, I like pictures and knowing what’s going on.
I am a sucker for cute baby/kid shots. I love seeing pictures of the pastors kids and the kids of my friends. I love seeing what my middle school girls are doing. I love seeing what the students are doing. It gives me a sense of what’s going on with them and who they are hanging out with.
What this tells us: This is all about community. Pam wants to feel connected to those who matter most to her. It’s impossible for a church to nail this for everyone. Andy Stanley has said “do for one that which you wish you could do for all.” Think of ways to create meaningful connection points in your church. Don’t always show the same people. When you show new people you reach a new demographic.
What Bugs Pam on Social Media
Bragging bugs me. The re-posting of slogans or pictures with messages. Negativity and political posturing bug me. Rants people post. I don’t like it when kids are mean and hateful towards one another. Today’s kids don’t really know how to communicate because they text everything and hide behind technology.
Social media is just one of MANY ways to communicate. There are other ways too. As a 50-year-old I am somewhat unique in that I participate in social media. Many do not. Those who don’t are used to paper and phone calls, not to mention live people.
What this tells us: There is a responsibility for communicators to not rely heavily on any one way of communicating. Social media is an easy default, but it might not be the best channel. When recruiting volunteers or giving thank you’s and appreciation letters, in person, or hand written is best. Consider the goal before considering the means.
On What Pam Will Like or a Retweet
If it’s posted by an adult and it’s cute, I will generally always “like” it. I am more careful with kids. Having adults commenting on your posts is not a cool thing. In fact, it can stop your likes or comments after an adult likes or comments. I make exceptions for when it comes to my 8th grade girls.
Generally I don’t friend students. I let them know I am on and if they decide to friend me or invite me to friend them, I will.
What this tells us: Pam is right… if the wrong person comments, likes or retweets, it can shut down conversation. Though there isn’t much we can do about this once it’s been done, it is important to note that considering what type of feedback you will receive is wise before pushing out any post that could be controversial or hot. She also makes a great point in engaging with kids. It is always a concern to what level we can engage with minors and it should only be done in good conscience and relationship with that student or family.
I encourage you to make a list of 5 individuals who’s opinions are rooted in love for your organization and who are savvy enough to engage in your platforms. Ask them what type of content connects with them and helps them feel connected to their community. Much of the information will be content you are already aware of but between all the familiarity, you may find some nuggets of wisdom that will give you great insight into what comes next in developing your social media strategy.