So January has come and gone, and if are like most of the world, there’s a really good chance you have already failed to keep up with your New Year’s resolution. But it is okay. There is still time reestablish your footing and get off to a great start. One exercise I have found helpful is to break down your big, overall goal into smaller, more tangible goals by creating 3 categories for things you want to Start, Stop, and Refine.
In a previous post, I shared 3 Things to Start Doing on Social Media. Now that we are into February, I want to look at 3 things we should stop doing when it comes to our social media plan.
1. Stop losing your voice.
Many churches and organizations these days don’t exactly know how to handle social media. They know they need to have a presence, but they don’t know exactly where to start. When this happens, I have seen churches place a few of their younger staff members, or even interns, in charge of their social media, and this is a great idea, until they each treat the accounts in a different way and have a different voice than each other. One could focus on humor while the other posts about the same event with reverence and your followers can end up confused.
The same is true if you decide to outsource your social media to a company or contractor. Be careful that they don’t completely miss your voice and who you are. They need to know your mission inside and out along with the language that you use to communicate it specifically.
So in both cases, it is helpful to put together a social media style guide that shares your voice with others. Before you hand someone the keys to your social media accounts, make sure they truly understand who you are and how your church or organization communicates.
2. Stop forgetting about it your social media when you automate it.
When it comes to social media, scheduling tools, like Buffer and Hootsuite, are great to help you plan ahead with your content, but since your content is out of sight, it can also be out of mind. We have to be careful not to set up our schedule and then forget about it. When you automate your social media and ignore it, it is very noticeable. It becomes a monologue to those who follow you rather than a dialogue that is two-sided. Interaction is key, and that cannot be automated. We need to be constantly assessing the results from our posts and also interacting with anyone who engages our content.
We need to keep watch, not just on the interactions with our posts, but also on the statistics from our posts, so we know what is working and what isn’t working. Data should always inform what content we share.
3. Stop using the same type of post for each social media platform.
Each social media platform has its own audience, and that specific audience expects to see a certain type of content when they are on that platform. So if you post the same thing on each one, you are not going to see great results. And I know it can sound daunting to have to create different content for different platforms because you probably already have a hard enough time gathering enough content as it is.
My suggestion would be to focus on only two platforms, so you can be great at two rather than just good enough at all of them. Then once you focus on the two, create content that is specific to that audience. To help you, here is a great breakdown from Buffer for what type of content you should post on each platform:
Facebook: Videos and curated content
Instagram: High-res photos, quotes, Stories
Twitter: News, blog posts, and GIFs