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The 3 Biggest Mistakes Churches Make with Social Media Content
By: Darrel Girardier

It’s vital to know what to do and the way to get it done. Needless to say, it is also important to know the correct way to do it. But that isn’t enough by itself; it does not end there. Knowing precisely what NOT to do and what mistakes to avoid is also important. For that reason, you’ll want to learn what common errors are made by others in order to make certain you avoid them.

This also applies to churches and their social media content. A lot of churches make mistakes with their social media content based on misinformation or myths. You can avoid what I think are the three biggest mistakes that churches make with their social media by checking out the list below:

1. Publishing the same content on multiple platforms
You’ll find this important since most social networks now offer you the ability post once and then send your content to multiple platforms. For example, you could post a photo on Instagram and then have it automatically post to Twitter, as well. To avoid this problem, you will need to make sure you tailor each piece of content to each network. So if you have a great image with a quote on it, you need to make sure to resize the image for social networks. Otherwise, your quote will be cut off when displayed on certain social networks (i.e., Twitter stream).

2. Failing to ensure their content is non-church friendly
This is usually a crucial element because your social media is not just confined to your congregation. Social media is a public platform. Therefore, you need to find a good balance between content that will appeal only to your congregation and content that will be understood by visitors.

For example, a lot churches love to quote famous authors (e.g., Charles Spurgeon) on their Twitter accounts. While this may make sense if it applies to a sermon series or Bible study, often these quotes won’t make sense out of context to a non-church audience.

Why does this matter? Well, if I invite someone to come visit my church and he does a little research, will he be scared away by our social media? Will what we’re talking about seem so foreign to him that he’ll decide not to come?

To avoid the bad outcomes of this frequent mistake, you will need to make sure your content strikes the right balance between your congregation and your visitors. This might not be easy since most of us in church communications are immersed in church culture. So, we need to spend some time making sure our content is contextualized for those outside our church.

3. Not repeating yourself on Twitter
We’ve come to believe that you should only publish your content once on Twitter and then hope that your audience will see it. However, as social media expert Guy Kawasaki has pointed out, with Twitter, you’ll actually need to repeat yourself in order for people see your content. You see, unlike Facebook users who camp out on the network for large amounts of time, Twitter users are more likely to jump in and out of Twitter.So, if users are periodically checking in on Twitter, you can repeat your content, therefore increasing the chance that your people will see it.

Study these mistakes and see if you’re making them. If you are, take the time to figure out how to correct them and hopefully see better results with your social media.

Darrel Girardier is the digital strategy director for Brentwood Baptist Church. This article is courtesy of Lifeway Christian Resources, www.lifeway.com.

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