Why You Can't Do Social Media Alone

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When I first joined my current church staff, I was assigned the task of overhauling our digital communications. This meant everything from the website to online worship and social media. The church was behind in all three of these areas.

My first inclination was to start building our presence on social media. It seemed as if this was the easiest way for us to get a win. So I dove head first into the task. However, I made a crucial error. I decided that I alone would handle our social media. I put everything on my shoulders and eventually ran into three problems.

First, I started to run dry on content ideas. There were only so many ways I could spin small group invitations or summer camp announcements. I never got the point to where I was out of ideas; however, my ideas no longer seemed fresh or new.

Second, our social media was starting to sound too much like me. My writing style is direct and sometimes curt. That may work for social networks like Twitter, but Facebook (where a lot of our female audience is) needed more of an outgoing, cheerful tone.

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Third, our social media was being built around my personal preferences. I prefer Twitter so I spent a good portion of my time there; however, the majority of our audience is on Facebook and Instagram.

So how do you avoid making the above mistakes? Well, I think the solution is to include others in your social media. By "others" I'm referring to your staff or volunteers who are willing to help you run your church's social media.

This can be anyone who's willing to help you brainstorm, cover events or monitor accounts. I've found that by including others we've seen three huge benefits to our social media.

1. Your social media will be well-rounded. As I said above, my second mistake was that our social media was sounding too much like my voice. However, when we brought in Morgan Comer to run our social media, the tone changed to warm, friendly and inviting. (It also helps that she's an extrovert.)

2. It lets people play to their strengths. Again, keep in mind social media is still part of my job, but sometimes my introverted nature prevents me from being as outgoing as we need to be. So when Morgan runs our social media, those moments play to her strengths. When we need to be quick and direct (such as for sermon quotes or announcements), those moments play to my strengths.

3. It helps you avoid burnout. Every month our communications team comes together for our monthly content meeting. It's where we review our content calendar and brainstorm ideas for the next month. This time is extremely valuable for us because it allows all three of us to speak into our content. When one of us is feeling burnout, usually the other two can help compensate.

What If You're a Small Church?

Okay, so you may be thinking "That's great, but what if I'm at a small church?" If you're at a small church, you have to rely on volunteers. There's no easy way to get around it. You don't necessarily need to have them run your social media accounts, but you can meet with a small team every month to help you brainstorm your next month of social media and help identify your weak spots.

Don't make the mistake I made by thinking that you can create and maintain social media by yourself. You can't. Instead, use other people's gifts to speak into your church's content and give it new life. Your content will be better and your audience will be grateful for the variety.

For the original article, visit churchanswers.com.

Darrel Girardier serves as the digital strategy director at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tennessee, where he oversees the digital, design and video production teams. Previously, he was a creative director at LifeWay Christian Resources.

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