Twitter can be a bit of an intimidating field to conquer in church communications. We have to ask ourselves some important questions: Are our intended audiences already “on” Twitter? With a limited amount of time, is Twitter the best way to allocate our resources? How might we use Twitter creatively and effectively?
If your answer to the first two questions is “yes,” than I have some tips and resources to share with you to help with the third question!
- The demographics of Twitter users are a bit different than those of other social media platforms. According to the Pew Foundation’s 2013 Landscape of Social Media Users, more men than women use Twitter, while more women than men use Facebook. Almost twice as many people use Twitter in urban areas as in rural areas. Twitter is particularly popular with young adults, Hispanics and African Americans.
- The Rev. Scott Gunn, executive director of Forward Movement, presented a workshop at the recent Episcopal Communicators Conference: “Characters Wanted: 140 of Them.” Twitter is important in making community connections, said Scott. Plus, he added, “Twitter is pretty good for daily inspiration.”
- Scott also shared a bunch of free resources that can be helpful in determining what role Twitter plays in your church.
Twitaholic tells you the Twitter handles of the top Tweeters in your area. It’s a good idea to connect with and follow those folks.
IFTTT.com is a pretty cool online tool that lets you create cause-and-effect statements through various interconnected channels – including Twitter, Facebook, linked in an dozens more.
Twitonomy provides robust analytics for your Twitter account.
Tweriod shows you when your followers are online so you can determine the best times to tweet.
- There’s something called the 60/30/10 rule of thumb in Twitter. Sixty percent of your tweets should be “retweets” – that is, re-posting another person’s tweets. Twitter is about a dialogue and relationships, so this is a good thing! Along the same line, 30 percent should be a conversation with others. And 10 percent should be for promotional content.
- Here are a few helpful articles on the subject of churches and Twitter.
Tell us – has your church used Twitter with any success? Care to share any creative ways your congregation has relied on Twitter to enhance or promote a ministry?
–Emily Cherry, Communications Director