Some of you may be thinking, "Social media!? There's no way I can use that as a ministry tool. I'm too far behind already." But guess what... if you are reading this blog post, you're already more savvy than you think.
YOU are reading a blog post-- and according to our data, chances are good that you got to this blog by Google searching for VBS or clicking on a link on Facebook or Twitter. So how can you use what you already know about the Internet to connect with your parents, volunteers, and community? Let me show you the way!
1) Just have a social media presence. There are many options to choose from, but Twitter and Facebook are the most commonly used social realms. I would say most parents use Facebook rather than Twitter. But determine what your parents and volunteers are using and sign up. Make sure it's clear that the Facebook page or Twitter handle belongs to your ministry. Be sure to use a familiar logo so that users can easily identify the account as yours.
2) UPDATE, UPDATE, UPDATE! Twitter and Facebook are FREE ways to communicate--great tools! But those avenues are useless if you aren't using them. Use your "status" to inform parents and volunteers of dates/times and ministry needs. Make sure that you update regularly and respond to questions from parents and volunteers.
A good example of a status update might be: "Amazing Wonders Aviation VBS kicks off in just one month!! We're looking for excited volunteers to help us take flight! Interested? Let us know! "
Interested volunteers could then interact with that status by responding and expressing their desire to help with VBS. This is especially helpful if you use youth and college students to help with VBS; most students that age are constantly receiving information from social media outlets!
Here are some other great examples:
"Don't forget!! VBS volunteer training TONIGHT from 6-7pm in the Fellowship Hall. Can't wait to see your smiling faces!"
"Registered to send your little camper to CentriKid yet? Deadline for registration is May 30th! Scholarships available. Contact Katie for more information."
3) Have fun! It may surprise you how much fun social media can be. When you show excitement about your new-fangled tool, others will be excited to communicate with you. Enjoy "being part of the conversation" and engaging parents and volunteers in this way.
4) Follow US! If you're on Facebook, make sure you check out the pages for LifeWay Kids, LifeWay VBS, CentriKid Camps, and LifeWay PreTeens. They're great places to get updates about the latest stuff going on, ask questions and get in on the conversation with other folks in ministry. If you're on Twitter, make sure to follow @lifewayvbs, @lifewaykids, @centrikidcamps, and our new curriculum, @gospel_project!
So there are the basics. Think you're ready to get started? If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment here or email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I'd love to help you out!
I'll be back soon with more tips and tricks--stay tuned!