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?
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 . 23 percent of Facebook’s users check their account 5 or more times daily . 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 . Users spend over 400 minutes every month on Facebook . 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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