Social Media

Twitter feed
Twitter is a great way to keep your church informed. (iStock photo )

We have previously looked at ways churches can effectively use Facebook, and today we turn our attention to Twitter. While this social media platform offers fewer options of content types than Facebook, its real-time feed gives it a distinct advantage over Facebook's algorithmic newsfeed.

The amount of information shared and the ease of sharing this information makes Twitter an essential component of your church's communications strategy. Simply put, Twitter is the best social media platform to keep your church members and potential guests informed about what's happening at your church.

Here are eight things to share to most effectively use Twitter in your church:

1. Daily bible reading reminders. Twitter is a highly effective way to consistently remind your church members about the priority of daily Bible reading. One of the easiest way to automate this process is to use ifttt.com to link an RSS feed (most Bible publishers have these on their website) to your Twitter account or your Buffer account to schedule the tweet for a specific time.

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2. Church announcements. This might be the most obvious application of Twitter for churches. But the problem many churches often run into is tweeting too much information. If you're sending out information about everything going on in the church, it will become white noise and have little to no effect. Tweet the important things you want people to remember and engage.

3. Sermon quotes. These are great for Sunday mornings. It allows those who might follow your church from afar or even members who might be out of town to follow along. Pull out the best six to eight quotes from your pastor's sermon and tweet them in real time. If your pastor preaches from a manuscript, this becomes even easier if you have it prior to the service.

4. Promotional or inspirational graphics. These should be of high quality with a consistent look and feel. And most importantly, they should be done in a way that encourages your members to share them as well. Always include your church name, Twitter handle, or website address on the graphics so that those who see the images can track them back to your account or website for more information.

5. Staff blog posts. Blogging allows your church staff to shepherd the people during the week. It also allows the rest of the church know what's going on in certain ministries, not just the people who are involved in that ministry. So share these links from the main church account instead of just relying on the staff member's personal or ministry account.

6. Sermon podcast audio. Similar to sharing sermon quotes and announcements, sharing sermon audio can help those both near and far stay connected not just to your church, but to the proclamation of the Word.

7. Community events. One way to be better known in your community is to pass on information about upcoming civic and community events. Election days, parades, and local festivals are important components of community life. Having your church be engaged in promoting these types of activities helps you to better connect to what's happening in your area.

8. Service invitations. Tweets announcing your upcoming service times should be done weekly, preferably toward the end of the week. You may even want to include the sermon topic or any special information in this weekly tweet. This is mainly for the benefit of any guests who may be interested in showing up or for members who might need an extra reminder.

Does your church use Twitter in these ways? Is there another use for Twitter that you've found beneficial to your church?

Jonathan Howe serves as Director of Strategic Initiatives at LifeWay Christian Resources, the host and producer of Rainer on Leadership and SBC This Week, and the managing editor of LifeWayPastors.com. Jonathan writes weekly at ThomRainer.com on topics ranging from social media to websites and church communications. Connect with Jonathan on Twitter at @Jonathan_Howe.

For the original article, visit thomrainer.com.

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