Appreciating Social Media Logistics

You often do not think about how the tomato in your grocery story got there. You are just happy to have tomatoes. The same goes for social media posts. There are typically many people involved in posting content. Use the information here to help others understand just how complex the journey is for your social media posts.

I know that not every tomato has a long and difficult journey. At many times across America, you can buy vegetables directly from farmers. These are often roadside stands, or local markets. They are typically the freshest and most delicious produce you can get. This is true of social media posts. A pastor communicating with your social media followers provides great dialog. Their comments provide quick feedback and comfort. Yet you cannot expect your pastors to handle all aspects of your digital ministries.

When your favorite produce is out of season, you can often only get them in a grocery store. In this case, many hands move that produce from the vine to the store. Similarly, larger social media teams have complex logistics lines. This is especially true if you have a multi-site church. The origins of a post start at a campus, but finish with a centralized team.

Ministry

Ideally, a church social media post starts with a ministry leader. This hopefully ensures the post will have a positive impact for the Gospel. You also want every post to align with your overall strategic vision for your church. It is OK if the source of a social media post is not a ministry. Just be sure to get approval from a pastor or church leader.

Website Content

Many social media posts have links back to your website. You often need a way to provide more information, such as landing pages and sign-up forms. The person in charge of your website content creates these pages on a regular basis. They should know how to implement the components you need. They just need to know the intent behind those pages. Good page layout and clear calls to action do not happen by accident.

Graphics

While you may need graphics for your website content, social media requires them as well. There are many tools available to quickly create specially crafted images for various platforms. Some have restrictions on how much text is on an image. Your ministry may want a specific photo to pair with your post. Yet your graphics person is the only one savvy enough to pair them, or has access to expensive stock photography. Regardless, a social media post requires someone good with graphic design skills.

Writing

I am still learning this art myself. Writing a story is vastly different than the clear and concise language required for a website. The shorter language used in social media is similar to writing good article headlines. You want something catchy, but not too sensational. It is a fine line that requires lots of practice to perfect. If you need help, there are many articles, videos, and tutorials available.

Social Platform

Each of the previous specialties can be great in their own right. Yet if the post never makes it online, it will do you no good. You need someone savvy with the latest updates and features for each platform. Some places allow you to schedule items ahead of time. Not to mention that many platforms offer more advanced features. These include ways to promote your posts and performance analytics. You need someone that understands how to fully utilize it.

Social Culture

Believe it or not, each platform varies slightly in its culture, catchphrases, and buzzwords. You need someone who understands the minor nuances of each space. The extra meta data you can add to a post can be very important. Hashtags, tagging people, adding locations, and using images have varying degrees of importance. The only way you really learn about these is to use the platform. So get out there and start using it personally before jumping in as a ministry.

Action Item

I do not expect every church to have individual people to fill all of these roles. You may be a new church plant with one volunteer filling all these roles. Just step back and appreciate all the hats they are trying to wear. If you have an interest in one of these areas, I suggest you dig in and learn more. I guarantee that skill is needed at your church. It is a matter of time before more help is available and you can specialize in that area. Your church may never become a multi-site mega church. But the importance and emphasis of digital ministry will certainly grow if you cultivate it.

Photo courtesy of Luca Ciardelli

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Stephen Morrissey
I have been making websites since 1996, and using social media since 2006. My current profession is designing user experiences for corporate software, websites, and mobile applications. I started sharing my knowledge with the world in 2011, about a year after a revival in my faith.

Author: Stephen Morrissey

I have been making websites since 1996, and using social media since 2006. My current profession is designing user experiences for corporate software, websites, and mobile applications. I started sharing my knowledge with the world in 2011, about a year after a revival in my faith.