Connecting Social Connections

One of the more challenging things for smaller ministries is using social media effectively. There’s just so much to do for a lot smaller staff (say a staff of one???) to do in a week that social media is often lacking. The problem is that in order to connect with younger generations, you just have to do it – at least Facebook and Twitter.

One of the ways we’ve been able to stay on top of social media is to connect our twitter accounts, facebook accounts, facebook pages, and blogs. Doing this allows us to publish in multiple places with less effort.

For instance, every time I post on the pastor’s blog, that post is auto-tweeted, and shows up on our church fan page. For the blog/twitter connection, we use the YOURLS plug-in because we are using the YOURLS URL shortening platform. We’ll cover that in another post later. But, if you don’t have YOURLS, you could use something like Twitter Tools, that you can set to automatically post a tweet linking back to your blog post.

Connecting the blog to Facebook is a little trickier. There are a number of ways to do this, but since we wanted a little more external exposure, we’ve connected with Networked Blogs. Once you’ve registered a blog with Networked Blogs, you’ll see a “Syndication” option on your blog management screen. From there you can control which fan pages Network Blogs will post your blog to.

Incidentally, you could also use the Facebook Notes app to import your blog onto your facebook page’s notes. We chose not to do this because we want to encourage people to visit the blog apart from facebook. But it is a lot easier to get going than the Networked Blogs route. The downside to using Notes is that you can’t edit the notes.

We’ve also connected our church Facebook fan page to twitter. This is pretty easy since Facebook has an internal app for that (click here). From here, you can set the twitter links on a per page basis, and control what Facebook content gets sent to Twitter. It’s really easy and self explanatory.

So, our blogs get posted to Facebook and Twitter automatically, and our Facebook content gets tweeted automatically to Twitter.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask.

2 Replies to “Connecting Social Connections”

  1. How do you battle RSS Spam. What I mean is this: I currently try and actually speak in between the tweets and facebook updates so it just not a RSS Feed on a different platform.

    How do you all deal with this?

    1. I hear ya, man – Twitter, especially is in dire need of more conversation and less promotion. But, both of these are valid uses of the technology. People who follow your ministry need to know the things happening in that ministry. Reminders of upcoming events, reminders of resources, announcements etc. But they also need to see the human behind the account.

      For us, most of our folks don’t even use twitter, but they are FaceBook mavens! So I made the decision to be more conversational on facebook. But as time passed I realized that people were not interacting with me “personally” on the church fan page – they were interacting with “herb halstead” – my personal account.

      So the strategy changed. Our fan page is an announcement page. Anyone who wants to say something to the whole church posts on the facebook fan page wall. And they know they can go there for “news.” They got to MY personal wall to talk to me. We took the same strategy to twitter. @thrivechurch is an informational account, @herbhalstead is the relational account (and yes it is all me – not a ghost poster LOL).

      I don’t think this strategy is what I would call the ideal way to do it, but it did evolve from the way people interacted with us.

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