Social media & Me
Social media doesn't come naturally to me. I don't post often and I haven't diversified my platforms. I'm mostly on Facebook and I literally haven't tweeted in years. Even on Facebook, with only a few exceptions, my presence could be politely described as an observer, and probably more accurately described as a lurker.
My lack of a social media lifestyle could be a problem as I work on building a better system of communication for my church, but I see it as more of an opportunity to address the operations of social media marketing from a ground level.
Over the past week I've taken a closer look at my use of social media (or lack thereof) trying to figure out exactly what thought processes make up my current approach and what actions I can take to improve. Here's what I came up with-
Social Media Scheduling
One of the most obvious and most important causes of my limited social media presence is the fact that I haven't set any goals, made any plans, or made any moves towards actively pursuing an increase in my social media presence whatsoever. My passive planning has led to predictably passive results. So I've decided to take the opposite approach for my current project.
This month, I've used the online organization tool Trello to make a weekly social media schedule for Unity's staff. This schedule will help me and the rest of the staff in knowing what projects to work on every day, coordinating and communicating with one another as we work on our individual projects, and overall translating our longterm vision into daily tasks and goals.
Knowing My Audience
Like I said, social media doesn't come naturally to me. If I have an interesting or funny thought, my natural response is normally to tell one or two specific and carefully chosen people rather than tweeting or crafting a post for the masses. I want complete control over the context that my thoughts are received.
I believe that my thought process behind this practice stems from an understanding that any given thought that I have will need to be considerably reworked in order for it to hit the maximum amount of people with the best possible context. This understanding has stopped me from making a lot of posts over the years (sometimes out of wisdom and sometimes out of apathy), but for this project I've embraced the work of crafting thoughtful, audience-minded posts.
As I make posts on behalf of our church, I try to make each post as helpful and relevant to our congregation as possible. Many of the posts that I make provide information that people often
ask me for in person (like past or upcoming setlists and associated scriptures). I also spend time trying to figure out the best type of media for any given communication (like using captioned photos and hashtags for setlists to help with "shareability").
Learning New Tools
Over the past couple weeks I've learned some new tools that have definitely helped me to plan, create, and optimize daily content.
I've been able to use ManyChat to build and link messenger bots to posts, adding an extra dimension of content engagement for those that get subscribed.
For example, one of my most succesful bots was designed to share a new song and a sermon point.
I attached my Song Bot to the playlist post above using Manychat's comment growth tool. Commenters were subscribed to this sequence-
The post gained three new subscribers and had a total reach of 158 people (the church's highest reaching non-livestream post). I attribute the song post's success to the relatively high volume of comments it generated.
As I mentioned, Trello has been very useful for planning, organizing, and coordinating content. The layout is like a Pinterest board with cards similar to pins, but with an organized linear design.
Last, but not least, I've been using Adobe Spark to quickly and efficiently create unique, branded content. Adobe Spark is designed for social media, making it much easier and less daunting than cracking open a blank Illustrator or Photoshop document. They have just enough template options to shortcut a lot of work, while still affording a ton of creativity and customization.
Here are some examples of post materials I made with Adobe Spark-
My Spark posts had an average reach of 75 people (compared to an average reach of 27 people for regularly announcement posts).