The One Social Network Every Church Leader Needs to Use Regularly – for Now

If you could only be on one social media network as a church leader which one would it be? If you wanted to focus your efforts on a single network for simplicity sake where should your energy go? Where should you start your social media work as a church?

Facebook

In the current state of the social web Facebook represents the best place for church leaders to invest their time. Over 1.1 billion people are currently on the network [1]. 23 percent of Facebook’s users check their account 5 or more times daily [2]. A recent study showed that 77 percent of consumer focused companies and 43 percent of “business to business” focused companies have acquired customers through Facebook [3]. Users spend over 400 minutes every month on Facebook [4].  All those statistics add up to the fact that the people you are currently working with and the people you are trying to reach are on Facebook.

Your Social Media Strategy Needs to Start With Facebook. But Wait … there’s more to the story.

Social networks follow social lines. (Shocker!) There is evidence that people’s “offline” friends impact the social networks that people connect with “online”. So if people in your community start getting interested in Instagram or Google+ the value of those networks goes up for your people and might make it more popular than Facebook in your community. This is called “the network effect” … as more people connect to a social network it becomes more valuable because more people are connected to it. It’s a virtuous cycle that spreads social networks. You need to do a little investigation to see what “other” networks might be popular within your community.

The “network effect” works in reverse as well. As people start leaving a network it becomes less valuable to the people on it. As people leave and stop interacting more people leave and stop interacting. It becomes a vicious circle. This is how Friendster was displace by MySpace … which was displaced by Facebook. Just because Facebook sits on top of the social media world today … doesn’t mean it always will. As church leaders we need to keep an eye on this trend as we look to the future. The skills you develop on Facebook today will be transferred to whatever network will replace it in the future. Social Media is here to stay as a vital communications channel but the specific networks will come and go.

Which network have you seen the most engagement with as a church?

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rich Birch

Rich Birch

Thanks so much for dropping by unseminary … I hope that your able to find some resources that help you lead your church better in the coming days! I’ve been involved in church leadership for over 15 years. Early on I had the privilege of leading in one of the very first multisite churches in North Amerca. I led the charge in helping The Meeting House in Toronto to become the leading multi-site church in Canada with over 4,000 people in 6 locations. (Today they are 13 locations with somewhere over 5,000 people attending.) In addition, I served on the leadership team of Connexus Community Church in Ontario, a North Point Community Church Strategic Partner. I currently serves as Operations Pastor at Liquid Church in the Manhattan facing suburbs of New Jersey. I have a dual vocational background that uniquely positions me for serving churches to multiply impact. While in the marketplace, I founded a dot-com with two partners in the late 90’s that worked to increase value for media firms and internet service providers. I’m married to Christine and we live in Scotch Plains, NJ with their two children and one dog.

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COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Dave Shrein — 08/15/13 9:51 pm

Thanks for posting. This is a great kick starter to begin using social media. Sometimes it's so hard to even know where to start. We have experienced the most success on Facebook but find a higher consistent engagement from our instagram followers.

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I am a senior citizen who has lived in many areas of the US, the farthest south being Virginia DC area. There are several church plants in the area--some failed, some doing well. One of the sadist failures was a plant in NW Washington near a large Presbyterian Church (I had been an elder in the church, so I knew the area) where changes in church doctrine was driving many away from the PCUSA churches. There were many mature Christians who lived in the area who were very willing to participate and give generously to the church. Its failure was a loss. The pastor and his wife lived in a VA suburb, wanted something that would appeal to their tastes, which included "praise music". There was a professional piano teacher and several people who had sung in choirs in the area. Their suggestions were completely ignored. Forget that there was joyous participation in singing hymns and silence by many for the praise music. The experienced church leaders that were attending were expected to seek the wisdom of the pastor who did not live in the area rather than have any role in leadership. There is another church plant in Northern Virginia that seems to be going the same way. My take: the pastors should get past their high-school and college days culture and get to know and appreciate the people of the community. Do not try to reproduce Intervarsity or Campus Crusade. Hymns are not a sin and "uneducated" (never graduated from college) should not be ignored as uninformed or stupid. People who have served in and/or live in the area are needed in leadership and not just to serve coffee and give. We all need to pray together and serve God in the community in which there is to be a plant. Glenna Hendricks
 
— Glenna Hendricks
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I like it Mac and do agree with your opinions on the matter. Thanks much
 
— winston
 
comment_post_ID); ?> In this era, we have the opportunity of professional church staff today who utilize their gifting to shape the image and atmosphere of the church organization. But the 100% real impact on the church visitors is genuine evidence of changed lives by the gospel and the active growing discipleship (just as it was in the first century church). One demonstration is financially rich believers ministering equally together with poor believers (how odd, and incredibly miraculous; all humble and bow at the foot of the cross.). It is the awesome contrast of church members vocations, race, gender, age, maturity, gifting, humility that demonstrates to visitors "there is a Spirit in the place". That first-time guest list of 10 are "physical excuses", not spiritual excuses. Those don't tell the story. The condition of facilities and publicly greeting people have zero to do with it. The power of God in and through believers lives dedicated to impact other people with their relationship bridge-building of acceptance of the lost around them. Empowered believers are infectious, loving, helpful, giving, self-less, dynamic, compelling, bold, Christ-filled. As I have been in many church settings domestically and internationally, the facilities can be poor, and yet the fellowship can still be rich. We need to operate with first church humility. People come to Christ on His terms, not on our human abilities of hospitality. A huge catastrophe in a community, disaster relief brings lots of people into churches – many come to the church in those terrible conditions no matter the physical condition of the local church. Off the condition of facility, and onto the condition of God's people (living stones).... and everything else will grow.... and the other physical issues will be corrected by the staff.
 
— Russ Wright
 

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