If you’re a first-time communications minister, you can be under a lot of stress. You may feel the pressure to perform and get immediate wins for your church.
So where do you start? Do you start publishing content on social media? Do you set up new social accounts ? The possibilities are endless when it comes to what you should do when you begin taking over a communications ministry.
If you’re just starting out, here are four key action steps you need to focus on during the beginning of your time as a communications minister. Doing these key things will set you up for success in the months ahead.
Conduct an Online Brand Audit
The goal of an online brand audit is to make sure that all social media accounts are consistent. Here’s what we’re looking for:
Are all the profile images the same and the correct size? Make sure that you’re using the same logo on each account. Also, make sure that it’s in the correct format for each account.
Are the branding images the same on Facebook and Instagram? Just like profiles images, we’re looking for consistency across the board from all channels.
What’s the tone of the social media messages? Fun? Upbeat? Reverent? Try to determine if they’re a consistent voice and tone with your messages. If it’s not consistent, begin the process of determining your voice.
What’s the posting schedule like? Are you consistent with putting content out on all channels? Are any channels dormant and in need of some attention? Do you need to consider shutting down some Facebook Pages or Instagram accounts?
Consider starting a social media calendar. You should start off by planning the first thirty days and no further. Don’t cement anything yet. Wait until you have an established strategy.
Conduct an Audience Audit
One assumption I made early in my career was that most of my church members shared my tastes and interests. This led me to believe that everyone loved Twitter as much as I did. Well, I was wrong.
After doing some research I realized that our church members didn’t use Twitter. Instead, they were heavy users of Facebook and Instagram.
Spend time studying your audience. One easy way to do this is to look at Facebook audience insights. This will give you a breakdown of where the audience is when it comes to age and gender. Then spend time looking at what your audience shares on their own personal timelines. This can give you a good sense of where your audience is.
Create Initial Goals
In the movie Jurassic Park there’s a scene where the raptor was “testing” the fence to see the weaknesses. The raptor was trying to figure out what worked and what wasn’t working.
Do the same thing with your social media. Your first few weeks on the job you’ll have a lot of grace. Use it to experiment and try some new things to see how they play with your audience.
If you’re trying to figure what you should experiment with, try Facebook Live. Live video gives you an opportunity to get real-time feedback from your audience. It also may reveal who you’re church’s biggest advocates are. These are the people that you want to have bought into your church’s social media.
Connect with Your Pastor
Your pastor or church leadership will have goals they want to achieve as a church. They may not have public goals, but they know what success looks like. It may be attendance numbers, a new building, or raising money. Take some time to figure out their goals.
Once you have their goals, plot out how your social media will align with your church’s goals. This will help you and your pastor gets on the same page.
One last thing to remember during your first month, give yourself some grace. You’re going to make mistakes. Anyone who’s ever managed social media has made mistakes big and small. If you focus on the right things in the first month, you’ll set yourself up for success in the months ahead.
Posted on December 17, 2020
Darrel Girardier serves as the Communications Director at Brentwood Baptist Church in Brentwood, Tennessee where he oversees the digital, design and video production teams. Previously, he was a Creative Director at LifeWay Christian Resources.
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