Build a Community… Not an Audience

By Nils Smith, Chief Strategist Social Media+Innovation

Like it or not, social media is changing the way we interact. In fact, would you believe that Facebook just surpassed two billion daily active users?

So how can you use social media to efficiently and effectively accomplish your ministry goals?

As we think about how we can engage people in our ministries and connect with them in unique ways, social media should be at the core, both globally and locally.

Here’s our philosophy: When you choose the right platform for your ministry, don’t settle for attracting an audience. Build a community!

In the past, communication tools were one-way. You would build an audience that would listen to sermons, read your material, or watch the videos you created.

But now, creating content is just the beginning. Your goal should be to build a community connected to the mission and goals you want to accomplish.

Building a community is key to effectively utilizing social media.

Keep ministry first

It’s important to look at using social media for ministry first and marketing second. When we first see it as a way to minister directly to people, we’re going to have much greater effectiveness than when we solely see it as a marketing platform or a communication tool.

And as you build multiple channels to connect with people, make sure that you’re cross-promoting among those social networks. You want to communicate to your email list about your social media channels and where it is that people can connect and engage with you. If you’re on Twitter, you want to promote your Pinterest channel.

Be consistent

If you maintain multiple accounts, it’s vitally important to use unique naming and consistency throughout your profile and banner images. Stay consistent on your branding throughout all of your social networks.

Then, be sure to uniquely utilize your bio and your information on each platform. On Facebook, you’ll have a longer bio, but on Twitter you’ll have a shorter opportunity to engage and communicate who you are and what you’re about.

These initial steps will help as you begin to focus not on your audience, but the community you’re creating.

For more information on specific social media channels and how to best utilize them for your ministry, be sure to check out our Dunham Institute course, Social Media for Ministry.


More Insights from Dunham+Company: “Social Media Usage: The Numbers Are In!”

Ready to take the next step? Dunham+Company is here to help your organization have more impact and establish deeper relationships with your donors and supporters. Contact Bethany Cranfield at 469-454-0100 to get more information.