Social media is huge these days. Facebook has about 600 million members (that’s nearly twice the entire US population), Twitter has somewhere around 150 million users, and some are even suggesting that search engines will eventually be replaced by social networking (we’ll see). So, do you think the church needs to be involved in social media?
Social media isn’t just Facebook or Twitter. It encompasses a whole host of interactive Internet activities and websites. Some of these are:
- Social networking like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and (should I even mention it?) Google Buzz
- Video sharing like YouTube and GodTube
- Photo sharing like Flickr and Picasa
- Social bookmarking sites like Delicious, Reddit, Digg, and StumbleUpon
- Blogging like…hmmm…if only I could think of an example of a blog
- Forums – yeah they are old school, but still kicking
- reviews and ratings – This could be for pictures, businesses (and churches), products, videos, etc.
What Isn’t Social?
The social mentality has so permeated the web at this point that it’s actually hard to draw a distinction as to what exactly is social and what isn’t. I wouldn’t generally consider office software to be social, but with Google Docs you can create and share documents and even collaborate with other people in real time. Gaming, which once was the poster child of anti-social as become uber-social. Search now incorporates social signals and Google even has their +1 social feature in the search results. It would probably be easier to list what hasn’t been influence by social features.
With something that has so saturated the Internet, the church needs to be using social media to connect with people. It’s a fantastic opportunity to reach new people and better connect with people throughout the week. Not being engaged in social media is to ignore where your members (and potential members) are today.
In the coming weeks, I’m going to focus on ways the church can be using social media to better market itself and better connect with members.
I’d Love Your Input
If you are actively engaged in social media with your church and would like to share your experiences, I’d love for you to guest blog. Please contact me about guest blogging and let me know what you would like to write about.
If you don’t want to write a blog article, at least share your thoughts in the comments. Let’s start with a simple one…
What topics would you like to discuss related to social media and the church?