Social Media

How to Manage Your Social Media with Post Planner

Today, I’m going to walk you through the tool that I’m using to manage my personal social media… Post Planner.

The best thing about Post Planner is that it’s very easy to curate your favorite sources of inspiration and then post them on social media. Post Planner is also very good at telling you what will gain the most traction.

Watch the video to see more.

Resources Mentioned

Post Planner

Inside Evan Spiegel’s very private Snapchat Story

Evan Spiegel isn’t building the next Facebook or Twitter. To some that may be obvious, but it’s important to understand. That’s because Spiegel is driven by the idea that people are looking for alternatives to their curated Facebook and Instagram personas. It’s not a social site, it’s a communication app with a large dose of entertainment on the side.

“We no longer have to capture the ‘real world’ and recreate it online,” Spiegel explained during a speech he gave at a conference in early 2014. “We simply live and communicate at the same time.”

First Twitter decides it wants to be considered a news app, and now I think people are realizing Snapchat is a communications app. I think this is reinforced by lack of content discovery, content archiving and displaying pre-produced content (unless you’re a major brand).

The question for churches is, are they approaching Snapchat a social network or a communications tool?

via Inside Evan Spiegel’s very private Snapchat Story – Recode

The Real Problem With Facebook and the News

This week I was asked by The Baptist Press to comment on the Facebook Trending News controversy (you can read the article here). Looking back, the more I look at the issues people are raising, the more I find the situation to be absurd. I think Ben Thompson stated it best:

This, then, is the deep irony of this controversy: Facebook is receiving a huge amount of criticism for allegedly biasing the news via the empowerment of a team of human curators to make editorial decisions, as opposed to relying on what was previously thought to be an algorithm; it is an algorithm, though — the algorithm that powers the News Feed, with the goal of driving engagement — that is arguably doing more damage to our politics than the most biased human editor ever could. The fact of the matter is that, on the part of Facebook people actually see — the News Feed, not Trending News — conservatives see conservative stories, and liberals see liberal ones; the middle of the road is as hard to find as a viable business model for journalism (these things are not disconnected).

via The Real Problem With Facebook and the News – Stratechery by Ben Thompson

The Information Age is over; welcome to the Experience Age

Interesting article from TechCrunch.

Many people think Snapchat is all about secrecy, but the real innovation of Snapchat’s ephemeral messages isn’t that they self-destruct. It’s that they force us to break the accumulation habit we brought over from desktop computing. The result is that the profile is no longer the center of the social universe. In the Experience Age you are not a profile. You are simply you.

This has been my thinking for a while. Once we move from Web 2.0, in which you actively contribute to the web, to Web 3.0, where the contribution is so seemless, your ability to create an online persona that’s different from your real life is going to become more difficult.

I don’t see this as a bad thing. Instead, I see it forcing high profile personalities and organizations to rethink they’re strategy. Yes, people will still need to plan in advance and think through the brand, but the idea that you can create one thing, yet do another thing, is coming to an end.

via The Information Age is over; welcome to the Experience Age | TechCrunch

The Two Paths of Social Media

I’ve come to realize that are two paths you can take when you’re trying your hand at social media. 

The first is rapid growth. You consume every video, podcast, and article on social media that you can find, and you go at it with brute force. No tip or trick is too small to try. Of course, over certain period of time you find yourself eventually doing the following:

  • Creating listicles to get quick easy page views. (I’m guilty of this one.) 
  • Creating unsustainable content creation strategies which ultimately lead to burn out.
  • Creating click-bait articles that could pass for writing on Buzzfeed. (I’m guilty of this one too.)
  • Employing third party algorithms that will tell you who to follow in order to gain more followers. (I’ve tried this.)
  • Trying to mimic social media celebrities without asking if that’s who you really are. 

The second path is much harder. It’s about creating something that’s durable. It’s about finding a rhythm to the work, that keeps the work in line with who you are. Again, this path is difficult because it means the following:

  • Saying no to the latest trend or social network that will help you “enlarge your audience”. It’s not because you’re against growth, but you want maintain your focus. 
  • Coming to the understanding that generating value for an audience isn’t about volume or speed. It’s about building a relationship that helps you understand that they want. 
  • Realizing that the word “hustle” is code word for always being on the go and never resting, which is not sustainable.
  • Finding contentment not from your social media numbers, but from the quality of product the you produce. Knowing that in the end those numbers are meaningless if what you’re producing won’t last.

I’m not against growth. I’m against the culture that defines your value by arbitrary numbers or lures you into practices that  are contradictory to who you were created to be. 

The Future is on Your Side

I’ve sat where you sat. I’ve had the yelling matches and felt the frustration when you try to explain to your church leadership the importance of social media and the digital world. I know what is like to think that you’re the only who can see the future. 

It’s easy to feel defeated when you’re the only one in your church who’s passionate about social media. You see churches around you using Snapchat, Facebook live, and creating hashtag campaigns to help in slavery in some third world country. 

But don’t lose hope. You know why?

Because the future is on your side. 

It wasn’t too long ago that churches thought that having a website was “nice” to-do. Not something that you had to have, but you could if you wanted to be the edgy church down the street. I mean, who needs a website when everyone can just find your church in the Yellow Pages?

Of course that changed, and now when someone is starting a church one of the first things they do is grab a domain name, and build a basic website to make sure they show up in Google results. 

Social media is the same way. For a lot churches, this is still a “nice” to-do. Do we need a Facebook page? Do we have to share photos on Instagram? For these churches, these are seen as legitimate questions. For others, they might not have even thought about them. 

If this is your church, don’t worry. This will change. Maybe it will be when your pastor looks up at the congregation and sees them all looking down at their phones reading the Bible. Or maybe it will be when your pastor attends a conference and is influenced by a nationally known speaker to “get online and share the Gospel”. 

Either way the future is on your side. Churches can’t escape the digital future, whether it’s social media, mobile devices, or online worship. The future is here whether they like or not.

So when you have those moments when you think you’re on an island and no one is listening, don’t worry the life boat is coming. It’s called the future, and it’s going to be awesome. 

The Hardest Part of Social Media

I often hear people say that running social media for a church or a brand is hard.  When I ask why they think it’s hard, I usually get the following answers:

“I don’t know what to post.”

“I can’t keep up with all the social media networks.”

“We can’t compete with the church down the street, there so much cooler than we are.”

“We just don’t have the resources or the time.”

I think there’s some legitimacy to these responses. But, here’s why social media is hard. 

You have to show up everyday. 

There’s nothing more difficult then showing up everyday to create create and share content. To be there to listen online, take feedback from people, and then turn around and give them what they want. Every single day.

Is it grueling? Yes, it is. But it’s what separates the good from the great. 

By showing up everyday you’re forcing yourself to dig deep and get beyond the superficial. Why? Because there’s only so many ways that you can create content like “10 Cats That Look Like Taylor Swift”. At some point, you have to show your true colors and that comes by showing up everyday. 

This is why I have such great appreciation for people like Seth Godin and John Saddington. These are two bloggers who show up everyday, regardless of what is going on in their lives. 

It’s also why I think that the path to creating durable social media that will last is not about creating catchy headlines or the latest Internet meme. It’s about showing people that you’ll be there every single day no matter what is going on in your world. 

So start today and show up. Get on your computer, tablet or phone, and be there. Listen, learn, and converse with those around you.

Every single day. 

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