If you are just using the Internet as a megaphone, then you are missing the boat. Your focus is wrong because you are thinking about how you can get your message to the people instead of how you can connect and communicate with the people.
Think about it. Do you like to talk to people who only talk about themselves and never listen to you? It’s not that different online. People want to connect with their church, communicate with each other, and feel like part of a community of believers. Simply posting announcements does not accomplish that. Communication is a two-way street. You have to think about how you can engage people through the Internet.
You might think that it could be very complicated and time consuming to interact with people online, but it can actually be as simple as posting a question in Facebook or asking people to tweet their favorite worship song from the past Sunday. We interact with people every day and most of those interactions are simple and spontaneous. Interacting with people online doesn’t have to be well planned or complicated either. Do you blog? You’ll notice all my blog posts end with a question. That simple question is an invitation for people to shift from readers to someone participating in a conversation.
In the real world, churches have social events so people in the church can meet each other and form relationships. You can do the same type of thing online by hosting online events. These events can provide the opportunity for people who might otherwise remain anonymous to meet and get to know some of the people they are interacting with online and get them to feel comfortable enough to drop the mask. I’ll talk a little more about online events in some future posts.
OK. Now You Can Make Your Announcement
Alright, I’ve made the point that the Internet is about connecting and interacting, but that’s not to say that there is no place for the megaphone. Announcements are a legitimate part of the interaction. After all, those announcements are most likely information that your online audience wants to hear. Just don’t let that be the only thing you are doing online.
Photo by theparadigmshifter
How do you interact with your congregation online?
What forms of interaction have you found to be most effective?