This is a guest post by Dave Adamson in the blog series Google’s 10 Things We Know to be True.
When I became the social media director at one of the largest churches in the US, I felt like a mosquito at a nudist colony – I knew what I wanted to do, but didn’t know where to start.
What I wanted to do was focus on the people using our social media channels. My vision was to use social media to connect people to our church, so we could lead them into a growing relationship with Jesus Christ.
Now like most churches, North Point tracks metrics in all key areas of growth. And considering the investment of resources the church was putting into social media, I knew I needed to track things like the number followers we had, likes, reach, engagement, comments, shares, retweets and tags.
But my underlying principal when tracking analytics is simple: Numbers only matter because people count.
(If that resonates with you, Tweet it)
This focus on people defines our online strategy, and has transformed our social media from being a megaphone – to a telephone.
Instead of posts that only allow one-way communication on social media (come to this service, give to that cause, volunteer here, this event is on this date), we started listening and engaging with our users. We used our posts to invite people into a conversation (how can we pray for you, how can we equip you, what do you need to take the next steps in your spiritual journey?).
Not surprisingly, this shift has produced a dramatic increase in all our key metrics over the past six months. Our reach, engagement, followers – in fact all key areas of social media measurement – have gone up and to the right.
Whether you like it or not, social media is the new greeter at your church.
Users get their first impression of your church from social media – and what you post tells them you’re either interested in people or products.
The churches that focus on people not only connect with their community for one hour every week at services, they use social media to stay connected for the other 167 hours too.
These are the churches that are high-tech AND high-touch.
- How about you? Are you more focused on people or numbers?
- How do you stay focused on people in social media when its so easy to slip into making it about numbers?