As someone who frequently writes, speaks, and teaches about social media, I shouldn’t write this post.
But if I have learned anything from studying social media and it’s application in the church, it is the simple truth that there are no social media experts.
Sure, you should probably learn whether to shoot your video in a vertical, horizontal, or square format. But if your video is compelling, people will watch it.
You can read blog after blog about when to post, what settings to use, and tricks that will get people to stop scrolling. But if the thing they stopped scrolling to read was a waste of their time, you have done more harm than good. (And some of the “tricks” will only work until the newsfeed algorithm changes again next week… or next hour.)
On Buffer’s “The Science of Social Media” podcast, National Geographic producer Lindsay Smith shared that the secret to keeping up with all the changes in social media is not primarily about being a tech wizard. It is, and will always be, about knowing how to tell your story:
“Somebody could come up with something brand new that we’ve never heard of before, and we would try and figure out a way to tell a really, really interesting, in-depth National Geographic story on that platform.”
There are no social media experts. There are social experts who learn the media.
This fact should give hope to those in ministry. Storytelling and relationship building should be our sweet spot. These are the heart of the techniques we have used for centuries. And we have the greatest possible stories to tell!
If you’re struggling with these abilities, you should tackle them first. Worry about Facebook later.
The hard truth is that social media is changing all the time. But if you’re an effective communicator whose ministry succeeds at building relationships, find the couple of “experts,” podcasts, or blogs that can help you keep up with the most important changes and offer actionable advice.
Lindsay’s secret is that she knows how to tell a distinctly National Geographic story. This ability allows her to approach new platforms with confidence. Can you say the same for your ministry?
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