I was talking to a prospective client and she was telling me that her Ministry was spending over 20 hours of combined effort every week with social media but their ministry wasn’t getting any engagement from the audience. By diving deeper into her story, I was able to uncover some common mistakes ministry leaders and faith-driven brands make when approaching social media.
Social media can be a disaster for your Ministry if you get started with the wrong mindset. If you’ve already started and things aren’t working out as planned, you need to stop and rethink.
How can your ministry achieve social media success if your goals are unrealistic or these goals are just not a good fit for social media?
Here are some clues for you to identify why social media is not working for your faith-driven brand:
You’re spreading yourself too thin – Lack of focus
When it comes to your ministry’s social media presence, there are basically two options, depending on the time and resources you have available. You can either do a few things great and get some great results out of these, or you can spread yourself all over the map and get no interaction with your audience whatsoever.
While Facebook is utterly pervasive and can be considered almost a must-do, most of the social networks out there may not be a good fit for your ministry our your faith-driven brand.
Before creating accounts in every existing social media channel out there, you need to evaluate:
- Is your audience is a good match for that channel?
- Does your ministry have the manpower to work a few hours per week to make this channel work?
- Do you have the ability to consistently create and put out content that is suitable for that platform?
Most social media platforms require you to be active at least every couple of days. Quality over quantity is key, so if you don’t have enough time or resources and can’t explain in a clear and concise way WHY you have joined a social media platform for your ministry, you should definitely leave it for now. Not all social media platforms are for you.
You’re constantly in “Promotion mode”
If you’re like me, when you grew up the first impressions you’ve had from advertising came from billboards, magazine and newspaper ads, and TV. Back at these times, brands were constantly in “promotion mode”. It was all about them: their products, services and what features and benefits they embodied.
Today, people won’t log onto Facebook to buy something or donate to your annual fundraiser. They log on to be connected with people they love and consume content they enjoy and appeal to them. Social media is your chance to put your content in front of people who resonate with it.
Social media is not a billboard.
Take it as a first step in a ladder. It all starts with people being exposed to your content on a regular basis through their favorite social network platform. A step up the ladder and you can bring them up to your website and offer the opportunity of subscribing to your Email list. From there, they have opted in to your inner circle. It becomes easier to promote a Bible study group, a Retreat, a Book, Fundraiser event or even just your weekly blog post.
If you’re looking at social media as a means for your faith-driven brand to bring direct donations, event subscriptions, and other direct actions from your fan base with no intermediary steps, you’re doing it wrong. It’s like wanting a kid tricycle to go to the moon – it just wasn’t built for that.
You think social media is cheap
We’re in 2016, and as the stock valuation of social platforms grow, the amount of free traffic sent to other website proportionally decreases. Free traffic is becoming a thing of the past. Not only Facebook, but also Twitter and Instagram have publicly admitted that it will become harder every day for brands to gain attention and exposure on users’ timelines without boosting their content through their Ad platforms.
It is becoming a pay-to-play game. Today, the only guaranteed way of gaining exposure on Facebook is through paid Ads. Of course you have other possibilities of getting attention organically, but they are all really time consuming and you may not get the expected results. And this trend has come to stay, as other social networks are headed in the same direction.
You don’t have time (or a good team in place) to work on social media
Most social network platforms will never bill you just to create your business profile or page, but that doesn’t mean it comes for free.
Does your ministry even have the human resources to allocate on social media? If you and your team don’t have the time and energy to consistently invest in quality content production and social interaction, you have a problem. Consistency is key, and you don’t want to send the wrong message with a social network profile that looks like a ghost town.
Not sure? At the most basic level, you and your team will need to invest at least an hour a day in some sort of social media activity, just to keep your channels current. If you’re swamped with your ministry’s activities and your to-do list is still escalating, your 60-hour workweek can turn into a 70-hour work week before you know it.
Time-block some time every day to do your social media work, hire someone else to do it for you, or just plan to do it when you have the resources.
Are you making any of these mistakes?