What will LinkedIn and Social Media do for Your Ministry?

I admit I used to feel I had no need for social media, and based on my research, I’m pretty sure many ministries feel the same way.  At least they don’t know “WHY” they need social media, or what it will do for them.

The Why Not’s

Let me start by addressing the why not’s.  Some think social media is for the younger crowd, some heard your personal information will be exposed to everyone, some think it’s just a fad, and many don’t have time to learn. 

  • Corporations are flocking to social media so most of the why not’s don’t hold water.  In fact we actually want our information to be exposed to everyone, . . . as long as we expose the right stuff.  That’s probably the number one power of social media, it gets your stuff out there, and lots of people see it.  That’s called advertising! 
  • Social media is evolving into something so big and powerful, that it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. 
  • If you have no time to learn, stay tuned, that’s EXACTLY why I began this blog.  Let me share my many hours of learning and experience so you can get results quickly.

Free Advertising!

We all agree we need to advertise, but believe it’s expensive, and hard to get it to the right audience.  Almost all social media is free, or at least very low-cost, and it can help us reach the right people, we just need to identify our target audience.  To get advertising to work, we’ve got to get their interest, and add something of value, something that will keep them coming back.  If we’ve got that, social media can help us expand our reach into many different target markets.

Why LinkedIn?

Let’s look at why LinkedIn is the primary site for promoting a ‘business’, . . . which is what your ‘ministry’ actually is, right?  First of all, it was designed from the ground up as a business networking site.  The first thing we need to address is why network.  It’s no secret that almost all new jobs are found by networking, so we know networking has power.  The most successful pastors and ministers I know are great at networking.  LinkedIn allows you to expand and maintain your network far beyond the reach of most individuals.  LinkedIn has over 60 million users and is reported to be growing by 1 new member every minute. 

What are Groups?

The secret power of LinkedIn is in the groups.  There are groups for almost every interest, and if you don’t find one in your interest, you can start one.  Some groups have thousands of members all over the country, and world.  Christians Professionals has almost 20,000 members and several local groups in major cities.  There are many other Christian groups focused on churches, pastors, and specific ministries, as well as thousands of local groups focused on all kinds of interests in most metropolitan areas in the US. 

No More Maintaining Mailing lists & e-mail lists!

One of the most challenging tasks is for a church or ministry to maintain their mailing list or e-mail list.  By starting your own LinkedIn group, and asking followers to join, they each become responsible for maintaining their own e-mail address changes. 

Benefits of Your Own Ministry Group

Starting your own ministry group allows news and discussions to be sent out to all members at their choice of daily or weekly broadcasts.  Discussions can be open to all members to participate, jobs can be advertised, and events announced.  It’s all free to everyone, and can be as private as you’d like it to be by choosing to allow everyone to join, or keeping it to members only.

What’s Next?

There will be lots more on all these topics later.  Next we’ll talk about the basics of setting up a LinkedIn profile, so stay tuned, and please share this with everyone you think could benefit.

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