I attended a family event this summer where generations of relatives were gathered for the first time in several years. As we visited with each other, one phrase was predominately repeated: I saw that on Facebook. We quickly marveled that many of us—young and old, from the east, west, north, and south—have been keeping up with the each other online.
Social media has become a valuable tool to stay connected with friends and relatives. And churches are discovering it’s also a great way to connect with the parents in their ministries. Last year, Nielsen released the following information, “Infographic: The Digital Lives of American Moms,” about the online and social network use of American moms.
The conclusion we can draw from this? If you want to talk to the moms in your ministry, speak where they’re already listening: Facebook, Pinterest and blogs.
We at Orange want to help you start your online conversations. Each week, we provide six tweets, three Facebook posts with Facebook Timeline photos, two pictures for Instagram, and two articles to pin on Pinterest. We post them at 252Blog.com on Tuesdays, with content that should be used the following week. You simply copy and paste them into your church’s Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest accounts to stay connected with the families in your ministry.
Tips to get started:
1. If your church doesn’t have social media accounts, start them. Coordinate with the preschool and student ministries in your church (we offer Social Media Plans for them, too) so your church has a unified plan for communicating with families.
2. Schedule your updates. We suggest using a service like Hootsuite.com or BufferApp.com to schedule when your updates automatically appear. Then sit down once a week to copy and paste the content and you’ll be set.
3. Any specifics you’re not sure how to do? Ask a teenager in your church. They’ll know how to help. Or Google it. Just search questions like, “How do I change the timeline picture on my Facebook page,” or “How can I add a picture in Instagram.” You’ll find step-by-step instructions.
4. Publicize your social media accounts. Let parents know this is a great way to stay connected with your ministry and with what their kids are learning.
5. Block out time to check your social media feeds. In time, you’ll start to see activity on your accounts, like parents commenting and sharing what you’ve posted. This is your chance to engage with them online, or off-line if appropriate, and build a relationship.