thoughts on social media

I was requested recently to put together a little bit of info about social media (I wasn’t specifically talking about Facebook, Twitter, blogging, etc – just in general), including purpose, benefits, commitment, etc.

Here was what I presented. What do you think? Did I miss anything?

SOCIAL MEDIA

Purpose

  1. communicate
    1. easy & effortless – it doesn’t take much money or manpower to implement or use it
    2. ubiquitous – since it is so available and pervasive it isn’t hard for people to miss the message
    3. variety – social media takes many different forms, words, audio and image
    4. viral – the beauty of social media is that your message can expand well beyond it’s intended audience – therefore exposing and introducing new people to your cause and community!!
  2. Connecting – unlike communication which most often pushes information in a “one-way” direction, connecting must create a conversation. You must ask, Will Social Media create conversation within the community? Are people able to talk to you the minister/ministry team leader? Can they talk to one another? Also, part of the conversation involves other key elements:
    1. contribute – can others contribute in helpful and meaningful ways to the conversation? Are they even able to shape the conversation?
    2. collaborate – does your social media allow the benefits from the collective hive of experience, skills and knowledge from your community?
  3. Call to Action – Social Media must prompt people to do something. It can’t be passive. Some of the calls to ACTION might include:
    1. Go – are you asking someone to go and serve others in some way?
    2. Give are you asking someone to give either of their time or financially to the cause?
    3. Pray are you calling people to act in concerted and persevering prayer?
    4. Mobilize are you asking people to spread the message of the cause to their friends and networks?


Benefits

  • spread the word – about the ministry to friends of those connected people (“viral” communication)
  • enable a conversation – “empowers the masses, it encourages conversation and allows a people to contribute and collaborate.”
    • Ask Robert & Melissa possibility…
  • new way to reach out to those not connected with PITH already – may be able to spread the word about PITH concepts and ideas to those that are not even connected to the church…


Commitment

  • takes awhile to get going and others to connect – must dedicate several months to using it before others hear about you
  • Not always effortless – takes time to write a well-worded 140 or less character message (Twitter) or even what you’re doing


Downsides

  • lose control of the message – “When a church engages in Social Media, it loses control. I have made this point in numerous interviews about Social Media. If you are a leader or a church that values and insists on control of your message – then stay away from blogging, keep far from Twitter, and don’t bother with Facebook.”
  • can easily be impersonal – can very easily be “the pointless-presented-as-meaningful. It is the idea of ‘connection’ that in reality is mostly the surface appearance, of connection. It serves well to keep people in isolation, from relationship – but encourages them to believe they are really interacting.”
  • Can become very consuming and addictive – time spent checking and sending messages can become overwhelming

References

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2 responses to “thoughts on social media

  1. Thanks for referencing my stuff, I am glad it helped…soon I am going to be publishing a post on how to use Twitter in the church.

  2. Sure Bill … those that I explained this to for the most part didn’t know much about social media so they said it was really informative.

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