Media Salt posted an article this morning that got my attention - Why would anyone want to follow your church's Twitter account?
We work with hundreds of churches across the country, and we've seen a pretty wide range of Twitter strategies implemented. I totally agree with the main points of the Media Salt article:
- People don't naturally want to follow church Twitter dribble - find a unique angle
- Be personal - shun the churchwide Twitter account and let individuals on staff attract attention to their personal accounts
- Give 'em a taste - provide teasers (videos, audio clips, challenging quotes from the upcoming message) that build excitement for next week without resorting to the super lame, "Be sure to come to Awesome Church this Sunday to hear Pastor FirstName teach part 2 of The Series"
- Post real content - there's a short (but very good) list included in the article for the last point, so find it here
In addition to Media Salt's points, here are some other tips and tricks to get your church tweeting up to snuff:
- Know how Twitter works - there are about a billion different articles on how to use Twitter effectively. Read a few. Understand the lingo. Know the difference between hash tags (#ChurchAwesome) and replies (@ChurchAwesome).
- Twitter is not about you - well, not solely. Follow leaders from other churches and retweet ideas that you think will challenge or encourage your church followers. This will not only help you communicate messages that resonate with your mission, but they'll give you an idea of the types of tweets you could be composing as well. I especially love Rick Warren (@rickwarren) and Donald Miller (@donmilleris)
- Stick to 140 characters - No one wants to try to read 3 tweets in a row all trying to communicate one point. It's a good way to get people to stop following you. Boil your message down. If you can't boil it down, maybe you should expand on it and make it a blog post (that you can then promote through Twitter!).
- Twaitter.com is a two-edged sword - You're bound to discover it sooner or later: Twaitter is awesome. It's a website that lets you schedule your tweets ahead of time. Already know how you're going to challenge your audience with a follow up tweet on Monday? Great. Schedule it ahead of time. However, use Twaitter sparingly - scheduled tweets aren't reactions to new information or thoughts, so you run the risk of sounding dry or irrelevant if your Twitter account is on auto-pilot.
For every point that's been brought out here, there are probably a thousand more, so feel free to add your own tips for churches using Twitter. If we get enough of them, we'll probably write a follow-up. Also, for the sake of a shameless plug, follow us on Twitter (@speakcreative