The short answer is no - the very definition of social media confirms that the purpose of social media is for “users (to) create online communities to share information, ideas, personal messages, and other content”. (Merrian Webster)
So how do you begin to shift the communication to being one way only to a two way highway with your staff and attendees?
- Give them permission to drive on the highway: Ask questions! It could be as simple as asking for people to respond with their favorite flavor of ice cream on #NationalIceCreamDay or as deep as asking viewers to share a personal prayer request or a personal testimony about their walk with Christ. If your social media posts only tell without asking for a response, you will get little to no response.
- Show them how to drive on the highway: Get your staff involved in this process! Use 5 minutes of a staff meeting to ask each member of your team to comment on a particular social media post. Have them pull out their phone and do it right in the moment. Send out a weekly email with a call to action to your staff and key volunteers to interact on a specific post. Your staff and key volunteers set the example for your viewers and can be a positive change in helping people feel empowered to engage in your content. (It also doesn’t hurt to keep the algorithms happy and working in your favor!)
- Ask them to drive on the highway: Yes - make it a part of your order of service to ask for people to follow your social media accounts and perhaps even challenge them to share a post or host a watch party for your weekend worship services. Once asked, we hope you are surprised with the engagement that you will create. Don’t assume that the people that enter your doors or watch online are following your social media accounts or that they understand the impact they can have on their own networks.
The Bible says that we are the light of the world, and even in the digital age we find ourselves in, the digital world needs the light of Jesus more than ever. So open your social media accounts for two way traffic to not only communicate but to listen!