Ask to Follow Church Guests

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Big Data CartoonOn Sundays I’m up early checking social media for church clients. I have a routine of starting coffee and quietly praying until the coffee is finished, which is more than a minute since I haven’t switched to a Keurig.

As spring approaches churches start promoting Easter Sunday. This is one of the Big Sundays in which churches hope for many guests. One of the big challenges churches face is how to maintain contact with first-time guests. People guard their home address and phone number like they were classified information. By the way, the CIA joined Twitter in 2014. Here was their first tweet.

If you’re still asking people for their address and phone number, STOP! At best, asking for this info is creating un-easiness in your guests. At worst, it is creating a negative first impression that guests are only data points. Instead use social media to stay connected with first-time guests.

Ask-to-follow Guests
Most churches ask people to follow their organization on social media, but have you thought about flipping that around and asking people if your church can follow them? Asking-to-follow and not just asking to-be-followed works better for two reasons.

Guests are respected. I recently stood in line to make a purchase at one of the big-box retail stores. I heard the salesperson say to everyone in front of me, “What’s your email?” Each customer would then spout off their email. When my turn came I simply said, “No” to the request for my email and the salesperson said “Ok, thank you.” I should never have to give my personal contact info to make a purchase and retailers know this but they prey on the point-of-sale opportunity to get whatever data they can.

Churches should not operate with point-of-sale tactics that make a person feel pressured to comply. (tweetable)

By asking “Can we follow you?” your church is saying, “It’s your life, can we be a part of it?” That is how people want to be respected in the present age where so much data is collected about them.

Guests can be thanked immediately. Once the service is over a tweet can be put out or a FB message sent that thanks the guest for coming and links to something of value. Try something like: “Thanks @SecondChairLead for visiting @ElevateChurch today. Here is a link to highlights from today’s message http://…”

Not only does thanking a guest through social media allow you to share a meaningful resource, it also allows the guest to retweet or like your resource which only expands your church’s reach.

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