Seth Godin always seems to be one step ahead; I love that about him! In The trap of social media noise, he points out:
Now that everyone is a marketer, many people are looking for a louder megaphone, a chance to talk about their work, their career, their product... and social media looks like the ideal soapbox, a free opportunity to shout to the masses.
While some churches effectively use technology and social media to engage with others, too many churches are just creating noise. They are using--probably not intentionally--Facebook and Twitter as a free, electronic billboard rather than a tool to engage people and lead them towards something meaningful. Traditional marketing is based around the idea that organizations have the right to interrupt your life because they know what's best for you. Social media has shifted the power back to the individual, which means you have the power to tune in or shut someone off completely. (That includes the church!)
Noise leads to a very impassioned conversation with... yourself.
This has nothing to do with leadership and is not a strategy to grow and build your church. People don't want more to sift through, they want to easily stay connected with the people and organizations who have spent the time and energy necessary to build their trust.
When a church chooses Church Community Builder as their Church Management Software, we begin a deep dive into their community, habits, and patterns. Often it reveals communication silos where everyone thinks they are communicating with the whole church when that's not the case. If everyone is talking at once, who is left to pay attention? We've designed and built CCB to connect people using technology to accelerate relationship development, not disintegrate it.
Sometimes I'm asked why a church should use Church Community Builder to connect people instead of Facebook, Google+ or other social platforms. It's a legitimate question with a very simple answer. As one's engagement with a church goes deeper, so does their interaction with other people within that community. The depth and intimacy of that interaction often goes beyond the comfort level and perceived privacy offered by popular social platforms. These deeper, more intimate relationships also require a more robust set of tools which can facilitate more than just events and conversations. Facebook is a terrific place to begin the relational process but you need to drive that process into something with more depth as things progress.
Another huge advantage is the intelligence the leadership can learn through the data provided by Church Community Builder when people use it in this fashion. This helps leaders know how people are connecting and where they aren't. If your goals are based on connection outcomes, you have a good chance of driving engagement with people. If the goals are based only on social activity, then you're likely to fall into a rut of creating noise. The end result will be that you are ignored.
How is your church ensuring that you're moving toward engagement and simply not creating more noise for people to sift through?