At the beginning of the new year, everyone is setting goals and writing down their resolutions to make 2018 the best year ever. Local gyms are full, diets are in full force, and everyone in the Christian sphere just started a new Bible reading plan and is about 3 chapters into Genesis and Matthew. And sadly, statistics show that only 8% of people actually achieve their New Year’s resolutions.
Almost every year I fall into the 92% who fail to achieve their resolutions, but one thing I still find helpful in the new year is that it gives us time to look back on the last year and look ahead to the next and learn from our mistakes and strategize about the future. One exercise I have found helpful during this time is to create 3 categories for things that I want to Start, Stop, and Refine. This is helpful for personal reflection as well as reflecting on our work.
So as we head into a new year, I want to share with you a few ideas for each of these categories, starting with three things to start doing this new year when it comes to your social media plan.
1. Start seeking to be helpful and provide value.
So many see social media as a way to build their own platform and quickly lose sight of providing value to their followers and instead find their value from their followers. They end up just posting to post, or sharing whatever will lead to gaining more followers. Churches and church leaders need to fight against this trend and see their social media platforms as an avenue to provide value and be helpful.
Before you post, ask yourself 3 questions:
- Is this valuable?
- Is this helpful?
- Is this necessary?
If you can answer all three of these questions with a resounding yes, then you know that what you are posting is worthwhile to your followers.
2. Start repurposing your content.
When I first started blogging, I felt that if I shared my posts more than once I was oversharing, and my followers would think I was self-absorbed. You may feel the same way about sharing your own blog posts or even your church’s sermon video clips or quotes. On the contrary, if you only share your content once, the very people you may have written your post for will almost certainly never see it. And even if they do see it, there’s a good chance they won’t click on it.
There is a marketing concept called the Rule of 7 which states that someone has to see something 7 times before they actually take an action on it. So if you feel that sharing about your blog or church event 2 or 3 times is too much, think again. That is not nearly enough.
You need to be repurposing your content, but make sure it is different each time. Don’t just copy and paste the same content over and over again. Find 4-5 quotes from your blog post and highlight a different one each time you post. Make a quick shareable image of the top quote or two using the free app Over. Or even hop on Facebook Live and talk through one of your popular blog posts or recap your sermon from the weekend and go a little bit more in-depth on some of the points that were made. Just start out trying a few different formats and see what works best for you.
3. Start focusing exclusively on two social media platforms.
One of the common mistakes of social media managers, and I have fallen into this one as much as anyone else, is to try to have a presence on too many social media platforms. It is easy to want to have a great presence on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube, but each one of those platforms is different, and it takes time, energy, and focus to be successful on each in its own unique way. The reality is if you try to have a significant presence on every platform, you will inevitably have an ineffective reach on each.
So take stock of which platforms you are already on and where you are currently having success. Also, take stock of who your audience is. If you are not sure the breakdown of your followers on each platform, check out this great post that will help you learn more about your social media audience. Once you figure out who your audience is on each platform, ask yourself if this is the audience you want to be targeting. If it is, focus your time and energy on that platform.
It is also helpful to know the overall demographics of each social media platform when choosing which one to focus on. Here’s a helpful article that breaks down the specific demographic information for each major social media platform. After you have done your research, choose the two platforms that best fit your audience and goals, then focus exclusively on them.