Recently, I had the incredible opportunity to attend the Business Gets Personal event in NYC featuring Seth Godin, Gary Vaynerchuk and Dave Ramsey. I was the guest of Bryan Miles from eaHELP … they help leaders like you by providing North American based executive virtual assistants that you can delegate tasks to, so you can focus on what’s important in your ministry.
Gary Vaynerchuk is co-founder and CEO of a social media brand consulting agency, video blogger, co-owner and director of operations of a wine retail store, and author and public speaker on the subjects of social media, brand building and e-commerce. If you haven’t bumped into Gary and his online antics, you’re missing out. He’s passionate (intense really!) about leveraging social media to connect with people and convert them into devoted fans.
During the conference he ditched his “pre-packaged keynote” and brought people on stage to give them coaching on the spot. It was a master class in communications. Here are a few key insights I gained for church leaders:
1. Gary noted that in today’s hyperlink culture, only those people and organizations that generate helpful content get attention. If your church isn’t producing content that actually engages with your community online, you are at risk of being irrelevant. Check out this post from Connexus Church on a topic designed to get parents’ attention and help them … rather than just talk about what’s coming up at the church.
Take Away: Is your church generating content that tackles the issues your community is facing? Are you packaging your sermons in a way that people can access and share easily.
2. One of the people seeking Gary’s advice was a real estate agent from Los Angeles who asked how his company should leverage social media to reach new clients. Gary pushed the agent to not use Twitter or Facebook to spam links about recent listings or open houses … but instead to become an “expert” in the field and generate content that positions him that way.
For example, rather than sending links to open houses, write an article on “5 Ways to Get the Most Out of Visiting Open Houses” and use Twitter Search to find people who are going to open houses and share that article. Repeat that process … and people will see you as the expert in your field.
Take Away: How can churches leverage content and social media to proactively reach out to people rather than just respond to questions and post links to our latest sermons?
3. Gary stressed that social media at its core is all about relationships … at scale. It’s millions of people talking about their likes, dislikes, passions, aversions and worries. In the past, if you wanted these insights you needed complex systems and expensive reports to generate vague data.
Now you can use free tools to dig into specific topics that people are talking about in your community, such as what questions people near my home are asking on Twitter. Or look at your Facebook Trending report to get a sense of what’s important to people in your social graph. You could even use these tools to poll your people and ask about what’s important to them.
Take Away: How are you using social media to understand your community and the people you are trying to reach? You don’t need to guess … the data is there.