Tips and tricks when using Twitter for churches

By | October 8, 2011

One of the struggles that many organizations and churches have is the attracting of followers to their Twitter accounts. Most of that struggle is due to the lack of knowledge of how to market on Twitter effectively and in a way that is engaging to other twitter users. Well here are a few tricks and tips for church es and other organizations who wish to know how to grow their number of Twitter followers.

Tip #1 – Use church web account not user specific accounts (ie…webteam@yourchuchname.org alias)

One of the common mistakes that many small organizations make is not thinking through the creation of their web and social media accounts. Usually what happens is that the first person at the church who thinks about using social media to promote events, will create the accounts using his or her email account and password. This could cause an issue for the organization if the person who created the accounts leaves the organization since all of the accounts are connected to one individual.

The best way to avoid this type of scenario is to create a general business email account and/or username/password combination for your business. The easiest and most effective solution is actually to create accounts using a email alias like webteam@yourchuchname.org that actually is tied to a group of people rather than one person. This will help you avoid the need to change all of the emails associated to your web and social media accounts whenever the account manager leaves the organization since you will simply need to remove their email from the group list. I do however recommend changing the password to the accounts to ensure the former employee no longer will have access to the accounts.

Tip #2 – Unique and focused communications (Sermon outline…build momentum)

Another common mistake that many small organizations make is not adding a unique and uniform focus/communication to their website and their tweets. I listened to a Wordtracker webinar recently, and one of the analogies they used was excellent. They asked the following question: If everything in the supermarket were free, what type of food would you buy? For example, would you buy the generic can of beans or Green Giant? You would definitely purchase the high end products since everything is free. Well, for the most part the Internet is free. Therefore if you create communications, marketing materials and content for the Internet, you want it to be as high of a quality as possible. However at the same time you don’t want to wait until everything your presenting is perfect since information changes rapidly anyway. The key is to strive for excellence, not perfection. Do the best you can to create clean, clear, focused communication online with a constant eye on how you can display the best image possible within your given budget.

Tip #3 – Take advantage of online tools and apps that assist with the management of Twitter

If your a business focusing locally in a specific area, one of the great tools available online is the Clartias You are Where you Live” website. The site defines every neighborhood in the U.S. in terms of distinct lifestyle types and allows you to search based on zip code. It is not an exact analysis (you have to pay for that) but it does offer a great starting point for communicating with the types of people in your neighborhood.

In a previous article I talked about how to identify Twitter trends for use in your WordPress articles. Paying attention to the latest news and trends related to your organizations focus is a great way to increase your exposure on Twitter and the web. Writing posts that are categorized with the correct Hashtags will help people find you and choose to follow you. You can use sites like WhattheTrend.com and HashTags.org to identify and monitor twitter trends and then tweet about popular topics.

The Wordtracker question tool is a great way to identify to the most popular questions being asked about a particular keyword. Simply enter a keyword in the tool and it will give you a list of commonly asked questions and how many times it has been asked online. There is a cost to the service of $69 a month or $347 a year but the information is invaluable. If your looking for a free way to accomplish keyword analysis, you can use the Google Keytool. The Keytool allows you to enter keywords and find out the popularity of the keyword and the strength of the sites using that keyword.

Tip #4 – Develop a system that makes it easier to grow and manage your twitter followers without killing yourself

Finally, one of the struggles small organizations have is finding the time to develop and engage in online communication. One of the best methods to combat this issue is to automate as much of the communication as possible. There are numerous Twitter management tools available including the two most popular, HootSuite and TweetDeck. The tool I use is called MarketMeSuite and used to run around $6 a month. However now it is FREE for up to 5 social profiles so download it today! The reason I choose to use MarketMeSuite is due to the following key features:

Bulk scheduled tweets:
You can schedule your tweets ahead of time so you don’t need to tweet continuously yourself. They have a straight forward system of bulk loading your tweets with a text file containing the twitter message and date.

Zip code reply campaigns:
You can identify trends in your zip code by keyword and setup an auto responder tweet.

Branded tweets:
You can brand your tweets with your church or name. This provides another opportunity for people to interact with your brand instead of the brand of the tool you are using to tweet

RSS Feed tweets (use RT tag)
You can assign RSS feeds of people who relate to your churches mission and automatically ReTweet (RT) their tweets through your account. This is a great feature if there are people you follow that tweet about similar topics to what you are focusing on that week.

In the next article I will focus on how to identify the success of your twitter campaigns using free tracking options like Google Analytics, Bit.ly and QR Codes. Please leave a comment below and let me know if this information was helpful. Now go get your tweet on!! :)

3 thoughts on “Tips and tricks when using Twitter for churches

  1. Randell

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and the rest of the website
    is very good.

  2. Flotrol Aura

    My programmer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.
    I have always disliked the idea because of the expenses.

    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on a number of websites for about a year
    and am nervous about switching to another platform.
    I have heard fantastic things about blogengine.net. Is there a way I can
    transfer all my wordpress content into it?
    Any kind of help would be greatly appreciated!

  3. Joe Sumpter Post author

    Hi Flotel…sorry for the late response but I missed this question. You should use the platform that will be supported the best by your organization. Whether that’s PHP or .NET is based on the resources you have and that are available to support your organization. I would stick with WordPress though since more people are familiar with using it and the interface is easier to navigate for less technical users.