No one likes to be called ‘boring’. You may be okay with being called plain, standard or simple, however ‘boring’ is probably not something you’re okay with, especially when we’re talking about your church’s social media.
Okay, maybe boring is a loaded word and even a little subjective, but we’ve all seen social media that could pass for an announcement in your church bulletin. It’s lifeless, it’s not engaging and it doesn’t connect with your audience. In other words, it’s boring.
Here’s the thing about your church that you should realize—your church isn’t boring. If people are encountering the risen Christ on a weekly basis, then that is a story worth telling. In fact, it’s the only story worth telling.
However, instead of telling the stories of life transformation we push out ads for small groups, events and other programs. Do this, go here, sign up for this. That’s a lot of asking the churches are doing. (Side note: Re-read your social media account as if you know nothing about Christianity. What would you surmise about Christianity from your church’s social media? Does is it look being a Christian is about attending events and programs?)
So how do you move your church from boring to engaging? How do you tell the stories of life transformation that happen in your church? Here’s how you can begin to stop your church from being boring on social media and begin to create engaging content.
- Become persistent in getting stories. You have to dig for the stories. Even in large churches that can be difficult. This means that you have to be persistent about consistently asking for stories, even to the point that you might be a little annoying to your staff.
I found the most effective way to get stories is to email my staff and then follow up on a weekly or monthly basis. Sometimes, you’ll need to give them a sample of what you’re looking for to get them pointed in the right direction. At the same time some staff will immediately respond and help you get the stories you need.
- Learn to produce stories. One of my favorite podcasts is ‘This American Life’ with Ira Glass. Ira Glass has the ability to take what one might think is a mundane story and turn it into something that is riveting. How does Ira do this? Ira knows how to ‘produce’ a story.
By ‘produce’ I’m referring to the ability to determine what will be interesting about each story he presents. This ability, combined with vivid storytelling, creates compelling content for his listeners.
When you’re gathering stories for your church’s social media, you need to produce those stories. This requires finding a unique angle or hook to get your audience engaged in the story. This might not come naturally to you at first, but with time and practice you can produce quality stories for your church.
- Tell the story in multiple formats. It’s easy to write up a story then post it as a blog or article and then call it day. However, a story isn’t just told in one format. You need to get some mileage out of your story. This means videoing the story as an interview for YouTube, recording the audio for SoundCloud and grabbing quotes for Instagram posts.
In addition to stories with multiple angles, there are various ways to tell the story. Don’t limit yourself to just one format for your stories, find different ways to get this story online so it can be enjoyed by more of the congregation.
Being boring isn’t a sin, but it’s something that can be fixed with a little effort. Yes, there are times when you do have to a little bit of promotion that may seem dry, but you owe it to your audience to move beyond just republishing your church bulletin online and give them something worth sharing.
What do you do to keep your church’s social media from being boring? Click here to comment below.