#sociallyspeaking: Intro to social media

This begins a new column for Facts and Trends on social media and how some churches are making it work for them. This column starts with the basics – opening accounts

Marty Duren

Marty Duren

A new form of relationship building has stormed upon the horizon in the last few years, and many people are unaware of just how productive and helpful it can be for pastors and other church leaders. Social Media — the name given to online and mobile sites like Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, YouTube and blogs — provides prepared churches a new set of tools for following and creating relationships with guests, keeping up with mission teams and communicating with members.

What distinguishes social media from many websites is that it allows for dialogue, usually in the form of comments and replies. Facebook alone is now the size of the entire Internet in 1994, and it has been noted the number of users on the popular site (more than 800 million) qualifies it as the third largest country on earth after China and India. Almost everyone you know is involved in social media from 13-year-old middle school students to 85-year-old great-grandmothers. It’s hard to imagine how anyone who truly desires to influence people for the Kingdom would not avail themselves of social media.

If you need to open a Facebook account, go to Facebook.com and follow the instructions. To open a Twitter account, go to Twitter.com, enter an email address and password, and you will be guided through a simple setup. In each case choose a password that is at least 10 characters long, consisting of upper and lowercase letters, numbers and symbols. (Don’t use your wife’s name and birthday or “password” as your password. For security’s sake it needs to be something hard for anyone else to figure out.) After setting up your account, start searching for friends and co-workers and experience the astounding relational world that is social media.

by Marty Duren, Communications Department

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