I’m asked a lot about social networking/media and if it really is a good thing for ministries and churches to jump into. I think that most people are familiar with Facebook and have embraced that world both personally and professionally. But for many, Twitter is still a little mysterious. Is it worth it? Here are some great points that I read recently from Steve Strauss who specializes in small business and entrepreneurship. He writes in business speak – but as you think in terms of ministry, try to see how these 4 keys can help you grow!
1. It is a great megaphone for branding: Twitter is not free — it takes time, and time is, after all, money. That said, it is time well spent. Branding a business (or a ministry) usually takes a lot of money — you have to spend to get people to notice you and the business personality you are working to create. But by tweeting tweets that reinforce your brand, by creating a Twitter page that does the same, by becoming a thought leader via Twitter, and then by connecting with people on the site, you slowly but surely build your small business brand.
2. It is a great prospecting tool: By using the Twitter search function, you can find the people who need what you sell, with whom you can do deals… who can help your ministry, etc.
3. Twitter is the networking tool of today. No longer do you need to trudge off to the chamber mixer to meet folks who you might be able to do business with someday. No, today it is easier, faster, and cheaper to find them via Twitter. Using the tool to create and foster relationships is among its best attributes.
Maybe the easiest way to do that is to follow hashtag (#) conversations and topics that interest you and then forge relationships with those folk.
4. It is a great tool for staying connected with your customers or prospective partners: Small businesses and ministries that have been most successful with Twitter use it to offer exclusive deals and content to their base. By encouraging your customers/partners to follow you on Twitter, and doing so by offering special incentives on the site, you are being given permission to interact with your customers more often.
What should you tweet? Well, what tweets do you like? It is probably content that is interesting, valuable, fun, or quirky. It is a coupon to your business. It is a free e-book you wrote. It is an article that you think your followers would find useful. It is a link to a video. It is your recommended ‘website of the day.’ It is content that builds your brand and connects you to your followers.
Above all, it is content that will be re-tweeted because being re-tweeted is the best currency in Twitter. It is word of mouth advertising, a personal recommendation, and a free way to get noticed – all rolled into one.