There’s no longer any question about whether your church should be on social media or not, but being on social media isn’t enough. You need to prioritize using it well. If you want to take advantage of all the opportunities social media provides you might need to elevate its importance. If you can’t justify time spent on social media, I encourage you to consider the following ways your ministry might be missing out. SOCIAL MEDIA MIGHT BE THE FIRST PLACE PEOPLE FIND YOUR CHURCH – Over 46 percent of church planters say that social media is their most effective method of outreach. Think about that for a second . . . out of all the possible outreach methods, almost half of today’s church plants are seeing a bigger return for time they invest into social media than anything else. With a thoughtful church strategy for social engagement and some regular money devoted to advertising, you can create an awareness of your ministry and send people to your website where they can learn more. YOU CAN BUILD A RELATIONSHIP WITH YOUR CONGREGATION’S FRIENDS – When you explain to your congregation that their interaction with your Facebook page is a form of outreach, you can build a strategy around sharing your culture with people who might be open to learning more. FACEBOOK’S GROUPS AND EVENTS RIVAL SOME REAL LIFE CHURCH NETWORKS – Using Facebook groups for ministries or studies is an incredibly easy (and free) way to keep everyone together and on the same page. You can create groups for prayer, home groups, Bible studies, classes or lifestyle groups for people that like to do things like hike or garden. Facebook events are another stellar way to raise awareness for an event. You can invite everyone in the church, and they can invite others, too. All updates and important information can be communicated in the event group. YOU’RE MEETING PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE – Did you know that 35 percent of the couples married between 2005 and 2012 met online? Instead of fighting this transition, the church should be embracing its inherent positives and opportunities. We should be taking advantage of every tool at our disposal to reach people where they are, and there may be no greater tool available than social media. YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS REPRESENT YOUR CHURCH VITALITY – When people come to one of your social media platforms and you haven’t updated it in months, it shapes their impression of your church. If you’re going to have a social-media presence, it’s important for you to regularly update it. This means that you need to be very particular about the social-media platforms your church adopts. It’s better to have one or two platforms you really excel at than to be on every platform and to do them poorly. Source: Ministry Tech Connect with Shelby Systems on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter!