Advice for improving your ministry's online communication (1 of 3)

A lot of different social media websites have popped up in the past couple years: YouTube, Facebook, MySpace, Flickr, Twitter, LinkedIn, MetaCafe, DeviantArt, Friendster, Ping.fm, Orkut, Tumblr, and a whole lot more. As if that wasn't enough, just as many communication services are being developed online, too. It's almost impossible to keep up with it all!

So where can your ministry communicate online without hiring someone full-time to oversee all the possibilities? These communication methods can be highly effective and can greatly enhance your ministry in so many ways, but the options can definitely be a bit overwhelming. Over the next couple days we'll share some advice that might help you in determining what communication method is best for your church.

Today we'll start with our first piece of advice:

1. Determine who your primary audience is for the info you want to communicate.

Different audiences look for information in difference places. For example, people who are new to your neighborhood probably are not going to search Twitter or Facebook for your church's information. They will typically go to Google and search for your town's name and "churches," hoping to find some helpful local church websites. Thus, the information on your church's website should be geared primarily toward newcomers and first-time visitors, not necessarily to church members.

To communicate with people inside your church, though, it is important to first know how they communicate. Is it by Facebook? Email? Text messaging? Twitter? If you have a lot of church members who are active on Facebook, then creating a Facebook Page (not a Facebook group) may be a great direction for you to go. If only a few members are on Twitter, than do not worry about jumping on board there.

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