How To Tweet – Part 2
In my last post, I explained the basics of the Twitterverse. Now that you’ve found your way around the site a bit, I’ve come up with a few hints on how you can use Twitter to really dig into what’s going on. These are more etiquette things, but they will hopefully inspire to use your tweets to capture the attention of both your congregation and community.
Engage your congregation:
Twitter is all about engaging (i.e. reaching out and generating conversation with) your followers. As a pastor, you want to use Twitter to converse with your congregation on more than just Sundays, so let them know that you’re now on Twitter. Add your handle to slide presentations, websites, bulletins, whatever. If someone you know (not a spam bot) follows you, follow them back. If you post a link, and they respond, ask them questions. It’s all about conversations. Keep the conversation going.
Don’t always talk about yourself:
Nothing gets more irritating than someone who is always tweeting about their woes or celebrations, so try to add in some conversational topics. Ask others what they think about a news article or a scripture you read that morning.
Secondly, followers like to see that you are human, so tweet about something funny that happened that morning. Often, this might generate more conversation than posting about a scripture. Humorous tweets always catch my attention, especially if they are linked to something else like a blog post, picture or video. If your youth had a chubby bunny contest, take a video and post it. If your children’s ministry had bowling night, take a photo and tweet about it.
Take a look around:
You might find out information on Twitter that you wouldn’t see otherwise. Someone might tweet about spending the night in the ER before calling his or her pastor. Someone also might tweet about it being the anniversary of a death or a high school graduation. Either way, it connects you to the thoughts of your congregation, and you can respond accordingly.
Reach your community:
There’s lots of ways to do this. Feel free to get creative here. Hang out at Starbucks one day, offering to buy one free drink for anybody who shows you your tweet. Gather feedback about an event or let people know when you’re having a local block party. Word can spread faster through a retweet than through forwarded emails.
Consider a church handle:
Personal handles are great, but if you aren’t committed to tweeting frequently, it might be better just to use one for your church. You can tweet about worship services, special outreaches, mission trips, Bible studies, blogs from your pastor, videos from the youth lock-in…anything! I’ve seen it done where pastors will take questions at the end of his sermon through tweets via the church handle or a hashtag created for the service.
Well, there you have it. The basics of Twitter are easier to understand once you start using them on a daily basis. You can engage your congregation on new levels when you implement Twitter in your sermon. You can learn about events in the lives of those you follow faster than trying to reach someone by phone or email. Get started today and reach the community on a new, digital level.
Follow Jessilyn on Twitter
I love the Church. As the CEO of d2design, I work to equip the church on mission through innovative communication and church marketing strategies. I have spent over a decade working with pastors and church leadership, helping them discover the most effective ways to connect with their communities.