5 tips: Facebook vs. Twitter to grow ministry
Facebook and Twitter. They're often referred to in the same breath, but these social media giants are vastly different. With unique tones and features, they also have diverse uses for building your ministry.
At United Methodist Communications, we've put together five simple tips for deciphering the differences and getting the most out of both networks.
1. Find your voice.
Your Facebook congregation most likely is made up of people who attend your church. On Twitter, all the world is your stage. Read others' posts and tweets, and you'll notice that the tone on Twitter is more informal — calling for a lighter, and demographically speaking, younger voice. With the 140-character limit, you'll want to craft tweets that read like snappy headlines. Ask questions on Facebook to encourage engagement.
2. Do unto others...
You should be commenting, liking and sharing others' Facebook posts and re-tweeting others' tweets. If you actively engage, it's more likely to be reciprocated. Think strategically. Keep each network's different core goals in mind. Your Facebook goal is to generate comments, likes and shares. Facebook even tells you how many shares you have for each post, so you can monitor what types of posts are getting the most attention. King on Twitter is the re-tweet-getting others to share and spread the info you've tweeted. This gets your tweets noticed outside of your own network, possibly engaging more followers and building more relationships in this viral setting.
3. Divide and conquer.
Cross-posting info on both accounts is great, but avoid posting the same content on both accounts at the same exact time. The majority of Twitter users are also on Facebook, so spare them some redundancy. If you don't separate the content, you run the risk of getting ignored. Use Facebook to start conversation about your church's services. Use Twitter to spread the latest news or offer an inspirational perspective.
4. Seek and ye shall find.
The search feature is key. On Facebook, search for people you already know-church members, other churches, and United Methodist agencies. On Twitter, search for people, churches, agencies AND topics. Master the art of the hashtag. Think of this as the theme of your tweet. When you place this symbol in front of a word, it makes that word a clickable link. Click the link, and you'll see who else is talking about the topic and what they're saying. Join the conversation and build relationships!
5. Keep calm and carry on.
Feel like you're not making a big social media impact? Don't give up! These relationships take time to develop. Post consistently. Twitter has a much faster pace. To stay current, you'll need to post more often there than on Facebook. A recent study suggests posting to Twitter 1-4 times each hour to maximize engagement, while the same impact on Facebook calls for one post every two days.
And there you have it! Don't forget the five tips:
- Find your voice.
- Do unto others...
- Divide and conquer.
- Seek and ye shall find.
- Keep calm and carry on.
If you embrace these differences, you'll find both Facebook and Twitter are important tools for building ministry.