Archives For Social Media

hands typingAs a consultant, I often get asked by pastors, “Should I blog?” My go to answer is that blogging will increase your social media traffic by 55% on average. However, blogging makes sense for pastors far beyond just growing their following on twitter.

Conversation
Church leaders often interact with people in a “touch and go” manner. Hospital visits, funerals, Sunday sermons, counseling sessions are all environments with a predetermined focus. While genuine connection does happen in these environments, it is connection born out of need. Think of the ER physician with a good bedside manner who connects well with patients.

Blogging allows church leaders to enter a voluntary conversation, which is a connection born out of choice. When people leave their comments they do so at their own discretion, and pastors are able to listen without the pressure of delivering an “expert” opinion. If pastor’s hope to have influence with current generations they have to be open to conversational engagement, not just preaching engagement. Lolly Daskal offers good advice when she tweets, “Stop using your leadership as a monologue and start engaging in a dialogue.”

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studio audiencePeople like to share their experiences, especially their entertainment experiences.

The earliest forms of entertainment were communal experiences in crowds on street corners or in theaters with an audience. When television first came along it created that same sense of audience. According to Kevin Slavin, “Television started off not as radio with pictures, but rather as theater in your home. All the shows were broadcast live in front of a real audience, not recorded and later edited.”

Eventually television did offer recorded programing that underwent editing before it was broadcasted. Interestingly, the studios noticed a decline in viewership. That’s because the human brain, specifically the limbic system, is wired to look for meaning in the meaning that other people find. People wanted to find meaning through the shared experience of watching television.

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As a communicator it is vital that you close the gap between you and your audience. Great speaking is about connecting, and one of the most powerful ways to connect is through a personal story.

I cannot imagine a communicator who consistently refuses to tell a story about themselves. But that is what pastors are doing when they refuse to engage with social media. Each Sunday they are attempting to communicate a message onsite while refusing the rest of the week to have a voice online.

Here are three reasons every pastor needs to have their “voice” on social media.

1. It’s critical. As social media has become more pervasive it has moved away from being just a fun means to connect with friends. Today social media is a critical channel of communication that people look to for information. Ask youth pastors how many times they’ve had surprised parents say something like, “Was this event on Facebook?” or “I got a tweet saying the pick up time was…” The point is Social Media is being cited more and more as a credible source for information.

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This week Second Chair Leadership will be at the General Conference for the United Pentecostal Church International at the Americas Arena in St. Louis.

UPCIGC13 banner

Two tweetable announcements…

1. Second Chair Leadership is a member of the #UPCIGC13 Social Media team under the leadership of Derek Borders.  This social media team is going to bring a whole new community experience to General Conference.

GC SoMe Team

2. The church consultancy firm KINEOresources is offering two FREE consulting sessions to the first 25 pastors who sign up for the KINEOresource program while at UPCIGC13. One of those free sessions is an online eCourse from Second Chair Leadership called “Finding Your Social Media Voice.” These two sessions from KINEO and SCL are worth over $300.

Kineo logo

See what people are TWEETING about SCL eCourses!

Meet me in St. Louis if you are attending #UPCIGC13

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Social Media Apps

On October 1, Second Chair Leadership will launch a series of eCourses designed to improve social media engagement for individuals and non-profit organizations.

The courses will be taught in a live session through Google+ Hangout.  Google+ allows a group of participants to learn together by experiencing an interactive audio/visual presentation.

The first course is “Finding Your Social Media Voice”

SCL Social Media Voice Prezi

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power linesI went to one of those membership clubs yesterday to buy enough product in bulk to last through the apocalypse.

While shopping I stopped at a product sample stand and took more than one sample.  Before I moved on I asked the sample-providing employee, “Where are the pastries?”, because you can never have too many pastries for the apocalypse. I was surprised when her response was, “Oh, I don’t know.  You will have to ask a store employee.  I’m an employee of the promotions company, not the actual store.”

What?! There stood this sample-providing person behind a store-branded kiosk, wearing a store-embroidered apron but she was not an employee of the store?

Now I don’t think there’s anything wrong with branding the promotions company with the store logo. It actually makes sense that a major retailer who specializes in selling bulk product at low prices would outsource the sampling of their products to a third-party promotions company.

What struck me as wrong was the fact that the promotions company had not empowered their sample-providing employees to be product guides for wandering shoppers.  That’s like a pizza delivery guy saying, “I can’t give you directions because I don’t live in this neighborhood. I only deliver here.”

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thumbs upEarlier this week I asked in a post, “Would your community miss your church?” Meaning if your church closed it doors for good, would your community even notice?

The truth is most communities wouldn’t feel a thing if a church closed it’s doors.

That’s because many churches have adopted a purely attractional approach to interacting with the community. This approach involves having church services at publicized times and attempting to ATTRACT the community to those services. Attraction may happen through any number of methods: invitation, advertisement, special programming, etc. Because many churches have interacted so long with the community using the attractional model that’s the model they try to bring into social media.

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80% of people prefer to connect with organizations via social media, but many organizations never respond when people initiate a conversation. [source credit: SuretyBonds.com]

Is your organization using social media?  Here is a quick visual guide on how to get started.

If your church, school or non-profit needs help launching or developing a social media presence Second Chair Leadership can help.

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Ben Smith On PurposeSecond Chair Leadership is excited to consult with Ben Smith in the development of the Ben Smith on Purpose platform and to help grow the platform’s social media credibility.

Ben is a licensed minister who is gifted at counseling.  He has a passion to develop healthier families and individuals through blogging, speaking and counseling. Ben is an experienced communicator, but turning his communication into online content has been intimidating.

I sat down with Ben this week and asked him some questions about what motivated him to develop a platform and how the experience has gone thus far. Ben’s answers are in italics.

Q: What motivated you to take the dive into platform development?

Not long ago I watched and walked with a colleague who embraced platform development as the primary means to redirect his career.  I watched him learn from Second Chair Leadership the different online media tools, establish a website, develop his identity, and brand that identity.  I was privileged to interact and converse with him during this journey.  

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social media voiceAs a parent of teenagers, I am grateful for the moments when my teens want to converse about life. Those conversations always feel more like peer-nting than parenting and I like that.

Unfortunately I have been known to ruin the moment by slipping back into what my kids call the “parent voice.”  The “parent voice” is marked by a matter-of-fact tone and a focus on informing rather than understanding.

I enjoy helping churches find their social media voice. Part of finding that voice involves teaching churches to stop using their “pulpit voice” on social media platforms. The “pulpit voice” is usually marked by a take-heed tone and a focus on promotion rather than community.

Here are a few social media “voice lessons” for churches…

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