Well, the other posts in this series touched upon how your ministry should view the social web as an extension of your social community and also seeing that social media is not just a passing fad at this point.
Today, I’ll share three factors of the social web that makes it compelling to use for church communications, especially for outreach into the communities around you.
At the foundation of today’s discussion is basically whether you want to remain nameless without any familiarity or trust. Do you want to be some anonymous entity stuck in a corner of your community or do you want to be a dynamic community participant that befriends people so you can invite them into relationships — with you and / or your ministry?
Here we go:
1) Better visibility – Managing your online presence across the social web gives you a position of infinitely better visibility to those that are in your community. These days, the Googlopoly has invaded our life, not just our computers. People don’t let their fingers to the walking anymore, they travel the world of mouth. In fact, with any serious effort, you’ll personally gain a lot more “friends” that can now know you exist than ever before.
2) Increased familiarity – This benefit does not require exteme lifestreaming, but it can be found from intentional utilization of the social media networks out there. If you are wiling to take on some simple proactive strategies, the social web allows you to converse with a much wider range of people about a much diverse range of topics than you probably would in your normal offline routine around town. As people begin to regularly have a view into your daily activities (regular as well as those seat of the pants last minute activities), thoughts /reactions to various happenings around town, and your overall posture regarding both – things that excite you and things that really really really matter to you, your local online social network becomes increasingly familiar with you, your personality / humor as well as your general willingness to engage.
3) Trust – This can only be achieved over time with authentic exchanges pointing the way to a God-honoring relationship built on trust. If you are consistent, outward facing, and responsive to people’s questions, needs, and just plain ol’ calls for social engagement, it is a start to quickly establishing trust with other individuals in your social networks. This last factor category cannot be overstated enough in terms of effects.
Visibility, Familiarity, and Trust. These are the ingredients of any evangelistic outreach efforts whether you are online or offline.