Social Media PlatformToday’s post is from Jason Caston who helps to equip churches as they connect their ministry with the online community. There are many resources are available on his blog ichurchmethod.com. I recently asked Jason to share with us some of the up and coming social media platforms that have gained popularity.

An interesting transition is happening in the world of social media, Facebook is undoubtedly the king of the hill and Twitter is up there as well but the popular new kid on the block is Instagram and it’s here to stay.  Instagram now has 200 Million users, over 20 billion photos shared, 1.6 billion likes daily and 60 million photos posted daily (instagram.com/press).  With this type of impact it’s no wonder that Instagram is one of the best social media platforms we use for our ministry (our main ministry account is instagram.com/bishopjakes).

In order to be effective on Social Media you must have a strategy, and Instagram is no exception.  Before we post a single graphic or video, we make sure we have an overall strategy for Instagram and an idea of what we consider success.  Overall, our strategy for Instagram includes consistently posting photos/graphics and videos that are inspirational, informational and conversational.  Now let’s break that down, first thing we make sure is that we have a consistent flow of content and posting between 2 – 5 times daily.  Next, we want to post inspirational content that uplifts and inspires our audience, we also want to post informational content that keeps our audience updated on things going on with the ministry.  Lastly, we want to make sure we keep our posts conversational by responding to comments and questions as often as possible.

Now that we have our strategy laid out, we have to actually create and post the content.  Devotional memes are created using our graphic artists or apps like Tweegram, we basically take the daily devotional we post on Facebook or Twitter and add it to a meme and post on Instagram.  When we have events we make sure we create flyers or posters that we post on social media, including Instagram.  Normally, our flyers are 900×1500 and we make sure we have a 600×600 version created for Instagram.  One of our most engaging posts are based on our Sunday services where we take an action shot of our pastor and add a quote from his sermon to the photo and post it.  Also, we take 15 second clips from his sermons and post those as well, which for some people is the only ministry they receive and we understand how powerful this platform can be.  Lastly, one of the things that our audience loves most is the personal and family moments that are posted by our pastor, Bishop T.D. Jakes.  Whether it’s a banana pudding he baked for his family or a hug he is sharing with his children, people love to see his transparent moments as a father, husband, family man and regular individual.

Overall, Instagram is yet another platform that our ministry uses to visually tell our story as a ministry.  We have so many individual stories from our members, leaders, staff and volunteers that showcase how impactful this ministry is and how great the gospel can be.  And the best part of it all is through all of the photos, videos, devotionals, quotes and everything we post, God gets the glory.  Amen.

Jjasoncastonason Caston (@jasoncaston) is the author of The iChurch Method (ichurchmethod.com). Additionally, he is also the Digital Platform and Innovation specialist at T.D. Jakes Ministries.


megaphone Today’s post is from Gangai Victor who leads an interesting blog and community over at www.votivepraise.com. I recently asked Gangai to share with us some of the learnings he’s gained from the “publishing” side of things regarding his platform and social media presence. Please engage with questions by dropping them in a comment below the post!

 

Self-publishing original content online is pretty easy these days—there are loads of free platforms out there to help us. If it’s a blog, there’s blogger.com. If it’s a book, say hello to Kindle. If it’s music, Noisetrade is ready to show us some love.

The challenge is more to do with promoting our work or ourselves without coming off as spammy marketers!

Here are some tips that I’ve learned from experience and from others that could help you in this regard:

How to balance creation and promotion in the Kingdom

Continue Reading…

The “New Year”is half over! – and it’s time to think ahead about what BHAG’s you can accomplish in 2014.

One of my goals is to publish a series of books (most on the Kindle platform) to help more individuals, non-profits and ministry leaders ramp up their communications efforts.

For one of them, I am inviting you to become a contributor in an effort to help empower more people to harness the power of social media for their own cause.

Simply submit your contribution below to get started!

Neat research on some of the key differences between how larger churches and smaller churches communicate with their communities.

Take a look:
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Free Book Giveaway // The Social Church: A Theology of Digital Communication

Business man with pen
 

They, your church attenders, don’t want another verse from John in their News Feed.
What if you social media presence was used strategically? What if you didn’t only promote your church, but was a positive influence in your community. You can help others and grow your church through social media, but it will require more strategy and less random verses.

Most likely the youngest or the techie (or trekkie) got the job of social media point person. They might be the best person, but they need vision on how to use your church’s social media presence. You need to speak vision into your online strategy. You need to move beyond just a Facebook page to having an online community. The first step is integrating your social media and other online ventures into your overall strategy.

Here are my four social media tips summarized:

1. Align your social presence with your church’s vision (Think: strategry)

2. Write down your daily post topics and times of posting (Think: calendar)

3. Use photo templates to promote series and extend the reach of each post (Think: brand)

4. Positively lift others up through engaging your online connections (Think: pastoral care)

The secret to social media is to treat others on your social media channels, as you want to be treated.

I write more about this topic in my new eBook “Social Media Made Easy for Small Businesses” available at www.socialmediamadeeasysb.com

Jay-KrandaJay Kranda is the Online Campus Pastor at Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, CA. Jay oversees: Saddleback’s 167 online services that attract over 23,000 people weekly,  1,200 small groups gathering non-locally, and 63 extensions. To learn more about the ever changing and evolving world of church online visit www.JayKranda.com

 

 

2014 Top Church Tech Blog List

 

YAY! It’s official — www.Godvertiser.com made it to the Top 30 blog list assembled over at ChurchM.ag.

BTW – I’m hoping to get a bunch of the voices across the spectrum on this list to show up here on this blog so you get a taste of the great content out there for church leaders.

FYI, if you’re part of the Twitteratti, you’ll want to check out the Twitter List the ChurchMag folks put together so you can follow the stream of content from all the writers at these blogs in one fell swoop.

If you’ve taken a look at the Top 30 blog list, any favorites there?  Please leave a comment below to share which blogs on the list we should be sure to take notice of?

Digital Mission FieldAt every talk on social media these days, I point out that the big 4 search engines you need to pay attention to are: (1) Google (2) YouTube (3) Amazon (4) iTunes. Most people got the first, but underestimate YouTube and the others. While tweeting with Sean Cannell recently, I asked him to share some of his YouTube for Churches awesomeness with my readers. Sean is the Campus Pastor of The Church OC, co-founder of THiNK International, a Church Leadership Blog and well known YouTube channel, and Author of YouTube for Churches. Well, here it is — enjoy!

youtubeforchurches.com
YouTube is the most underrated and underutilized social network by church leaders and churches. Facebook is usually the priority, followed by Twitter or Instagram, with video hosting and sharing usually on Vimeo. If a church does have  a YouTube channel, it usually is an afterthought, not receiving the best energy of the creative staff or volunteer team.

I think our social media priorities are out of order.

What most church leaders don’t realize is that YouTube has almost as many unique monthly users as Facebook (over 1 billion), and is the 2nd largest search engine in the world, while being the  3rd most visited website in the world.

When it comes to reaching people with social media, YouTube is one of the most important platforms for churches and church leaders. This is true now, but will be even more true in the future with the accelerated growth of online video.

How is YouTube a mission field?
YouTube is the 2nd largest search engine in the world! That means 2nd only to Google, people are searching for answers to questions on YouTube. That is a huge opportunity for for churches and church leaders who have biblical answers to those questions.

Your church, your team, and you and your iPhone, have the opportunity to be on the other side of that search query!

YouTube can help you  practically reach people by helping your website rank higher and your church get discovered locally, BUT, beyond that, YouTube gives you access to a global audience to share the Gospel and answers to questions people are asking!

Using the YouTube Keyword Tool you easily can discover some of these questions. “Is God Real?” is searched 25,200 times a month. “Is Jesus God?” 50,000. The solo term “God” is searched over 5.3 million times a month! People are looking for answers to life’s biggest questions on the same website they watch viral cat videos on.

Don’t Wait, Start Using YouTube to Reach People!
Tapping into YouTube’s search power is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how it can be used by churches and church leaders.

So take YouTube seriously, make a plan and take action!

And if you are interested in a YouTube Crash Course, just go to YouTubeforChurches.com and you can access a free 4 video training series and a free ebook to help you save time, energy and get legit results with YouTube.

Keep crushing it,

Sean Cannell

p.s. Access a free 4 Video YouTube Training Course and eBook at youtubeforchurches.com

 

Life Truth

Kenny Jahng —  2014/05/27 — Leave a comment

I recently had the chance to connect with Bryan Miles of eaHELP to talk about remote va (virtual assistance) at the executive assistant level. Here’s the video interview – enjoy!

I’ve sat down to talk with Bryan in the past, but I recently became a client taking on an EA for my own business myself and have been very impressed with their on-boarding process where they assign an additional “implementation manager” who helps with the transition of setting up the relationship and progression of initial delegation over a couple of weeks.

While I’ve used a bunch of project-specific and task-specific VA’s in the past, this is the first time I’m taking on a VA to support me across my entire portfolio of projects and business workflow.

If you’ve had the benefit of a remote assistant, would you share one tip or some of your experience with regard to getting the most out of the relationship and resource? Please leave a comment below.