Social media marketing is like manna to an Interim Pastor. Some will look at it and say, “What is it?” Like the manna, social media marketing is free! It’s out there for the taking. All you have to do is grab it and use it.

What is social media marketing? It’s simply using a few powerful but simple tools that make it easy to get noticed in the community, stay in touch with the congregation, and attract church visitors

Don’t worry about if you are a technophobe. The tools have ripened so even a digital Luddite or Interim Pastor can look like a social media rock star. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Instagram and others work hard to be user-friendly.

Since these tools are free they should grab your attention. After all, an Interim Pastor usually serves in churches strapped for cash. Often there’s no room in the budget, even for things that build attendance and  income.

In this post I want to build on guest blogger Mark Wilson’s post, Social media as a church renewal tool by focusing on Twitter.

In this post I’ll briefly discuss what Twitter and describe how an Interim Pastor can use it to build the church. I won’t cover it all in this post, but I’ll follow up in future posts.

Twitter: free PR in 140 letters or less.

Twitter social media marketing for Interim PastorTwitter is a simple, easy way to send text messages. The messages are called “tweets.”

Unlike regular text messages – which go to one person – tweets are sent over the Internet to everyone who “follows” your tweets. If people like what you tweet they sign up as your followers. If they really like one of your tweets they “retweet” (sort of like forwarding an email) to all of their followers. Eventually those folks will also become your followers.

That’s the Twitter magic. That’s the beauty of social media.

Tweets that are pungent, timely notes about the local community will grow rapidly gain a long list of followers. Your list of followers may become larger than your congregation. This free PR channel will expand your ministry’s footprint on the community.

And that’s why you should use Twitter. It allows you to send quick updates, remind people of upcoming events, share your thoughts and ideas with the public and expand your influence in the community – free of cost!

Twitter: the how-to

Step 1: Set up your Twitter account

It’s easy to get into social media marketing with a Twitter account. The first step is to set up a free Twitter account. Click thru to the Twitter website. Fill in your name and email, pick a password and click the “Sign up for Twitter” button.

Don’t worry about your email inbox being flooded with spam. Twitter’s privacy policy is clear. They only share your data with  applications your authorize.

On the next page you pick a username or select one of their suggestions. Then click the “Create my account” button and you’re ready to roll.

Step 2: Gain followers

A follower is someone who tells their Twitter account, “Every time Pastor Gumball sends out a tweet, I want to read it.” So anyone who is a “follower” receives your tweets.

You start by telling everyone in the congregation about your Twitter account. Let them know your username. Mine, for example is @BudBrown01. They use a web browser to find your Twitter account. There they’ll see a “Follow” button to click. Voila! When you broadcast pearls of wisdom they receive it.

Be sure to ask church members to “Retweet” so your messages will go beyond the boundaries of your congregation. As I said, if your stuff is good (and we know it will be) your followers list will grow.

Technophobe, fear not! These simple tools make it easy

We’ll walk thru this together, step-by-step. By the time we’re finished you’ll be a social media marketing maven!

In my next post on this topic I’ll show you how to build your list of followers.

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