Put Twitter to Work
What’s the purpose of Twitter in your ministry?
Most say that it’s to get their message out.
This begs the questions what message and why.
Technology is an enabler of your purpose.
Technology helps you get more done faster.
Technology can broaden your scope.
So start with the basics.
Why do you do what you do?
You have a ministry.
You perform a service that helps people.
Your ministry also has a purpose to spread the Gospel.
Reaching people is, therefore, critical task.
Twitter does function as a communication and audience building technology. But there is an issue. You do not own what you post. Twitter does. The same is true for Facebook.
Now if you’re quoting scripture this is not a big issue since you do not own it. But you want to own the messages you create.
That’s why a blog is important. A blog should serve as the hub of your messaging. More on this in another post.
With Twitter you have to think about how the messaging works in relation to what your audience wants or needs to hear.
You follow people and people follow you. Only the people who follow you see your tweets unless one of your followers retweets your post to his or her followers.
The people who follow you typically agree with your messaging and want to see more of it. If you quote scripture the followers you gain are acceptable to reading scripture. They are Christians. Your purpose then is to encourage them. I don’t know how, but the Spirit will lead you to quote a verse and also get the message to the people who need to hear it.
Reaching the lost with Twitter is a challenge. You have to really concentrate on your tweets and how you attract followers.
Your tweets should be written with non Christians in mind.
Encourage your audience to retweet your posts. You’ll increase the chance of reaching a person who needs Jesus. You may never know who your messages reach. God tells we will produce fruit. There is no guarantee we will know who receives it.
The objective is to capture the interest of an individual, plant seeds and let God do the heavy lifting.
God takes care of getting your messages to the people who need them.
Without a doubt this is work. Every day remind yourself of why you are using Twitter, what messaging you need to post and who is your audience.
How to Better Use Twitter In a Ministry
Convince and Convert is a source of information I use to stay on top of content marketing and social media.
Jay Bear has written an article based on a comprehensive survey done by Edison Research.
Here are the findings and some ideas on actions you cant take.
Twitter is well known – 87% of respondents knew of Twitter. (comparable to Facebook)
But not many use it – 7% of respondents use it. Sounds rather small but this extrapolates to 17 million Americans. Now a Gallup survey says 77% of Americans identify as Christians. Statistically this says that 13 million Christian Americans use Twitter. Worth paying attention to, right?
49% of Twitter users follow brands and interact with them. People will follow you and interact with your tweets. Find ways to acknowledge them. Thank them for re-tweets. Re-tweet their posts. Recommend them as a potential follow for your audience. Tweet an encouraging word. Tweet something about them.
42% of Twitter users seek information about products and services. Your bio and your tweets should have keywords people would use to find you.
41% provide opinions about products and services. Make your blog posts tweetable. Put your Twitter ID on your marketing material. Anyone who hears you speak can tweet about you.
19% seek customer support. When you get a question answer it. Work on getting people to your blog.
53% never post anything but they do reading tweets. Here again keywords make it easier to find you.
63% access twitter on mobile devices. Your blog needs to be responsive to mobile devices. Meaning your blog display must change based on the size of the device accessing it. If someone clicks on a link to your site and they see a tiny version of your full site they will most likely say good bye.
You can find the article here 7 Surprising Statistics About Twitter in America
What Happens To Your Tweets
You post a new tweet.
What do you expect?
Will it go viral? Will anyone read it at all?
The life of a tweet is not that long.
Somewhere between a few minutes and a couple hours.
Whether someone reads your tweet or not depends on:
The number of followers you have.
When these followers get online and access Twitter.
The number of followers your followers have.
Say you post a tweet at 8:00 am.
If most of your followers get on Twitter at 9:00 am, they won’t see your tweet.
If some do get on Twitter at 8:00 am whether they read your tweet depends on the number of tweets in their time line.
Those with a small number of followers may see it.
Those with a large number of followers will have a challenge picking out your tweet from all the others in their timeline.
Another factor is your influence on your followers. if they like what you have to say they will look for your tweets.
How do we increase the probability our tweet will be read?
First, understand when you followers access Twitter. In the United Sates, it is generally between the hours of 2:00 pm and 11:00 pm on Wednesday through Sunday. Good Article Here.
Find out when audience of followers get on Twitter.
Analytics On Twitter should help. It shows the number of impressions for each tweet. Check this against when you sent the tweet.
Try some general recon. When you get on Twitter look at who is on your timeline and the level of activity (how often does Twitter refresh the timeline and how many tweets are added for each refresh.)
Second, engage in conversations. Reply to tweets.
And don’t forget to:
- Add images to your tweets.
- Link to your blog and to articles you read.
These are general guidelines. More specifics to follow.