At a recent public speaking event, I was introduced by the vibrant Emcee to the curious audience as a “Baptist Pastor and Social Media strategist“. Those are not two phrases you would expect to hear describing the same person, right? Those terms have incongruity initially, but I think they are a match for a man with a message who wants to improve his impact in 2012. Perhaps you share that ambition?
My 150th blog post is about my use of social media past, present and future.
1. How did you get so involved in social media?
In the last few years, I have had seismic shifts in the tectonic plates beneath my life. People, places and things that were central to my life changed entirely. Like an earthquake, the changes happened dramatically and in a short period of time. These life changes opened windows of opportunity for rebuilding with innovative communication. I wanted to find ways of communicating “who I was becoming” and “what I was doing” in my new life, city and job to the dispersed and diverse range of old and new relationships so that I could find and foster a new community for the future. That was my goal: connecting. I adapted to my surroundings in many ways to ensure my survival, success and service in my new life as a thirty-something single Pastor in Toronto. Social media tools aided me in the quest for communication and community building. A turning point occurred during three pivotal conversations with colleagues. They tipped me into action by modelling and training me in some basic use skills that were enough to get me out there are sharing my life and ministry. It has been very successful so far: Web savvy neighbours have joined the church, local leaders learn about what a pastor does, ideas for event involvement have been promoted, teaching is archived, friends and family feel connected to me. I have creative outlets for sharing my exciting life and ministry adventures. That is the why and how of my social media involvement. At present, I am active with Facebook and Twitter accounts plus WordPress websites. I am not on Google+ or LinkedIn yet. I am a Mac. 🙂
2. How do I plan to utilize social media tools in 2012?
The purpose has progressed from the initial stage of transitioning my personal and professional life into the Toronto chapter (described above). Now, I want to use it to improve and expand my personal and professional impact for this chapter and the next. I am now a Toronto Christian teacher and leader with some street credibility. I want to take it up a notch this year! Statistical and anecdotal evidence indicates that my main readers are leaders. I want to communicate, by example and principle, leadership lessons from my life to service minded people around the city, province and country. They may be interested in politics, religion, education, finance, the arts, sports, health care, law, business, mercy & justice works. I will try to publish events and ideas that others may learn from. The goal has evolved from connecting into impact. Tools that best serve that purpose need evaluation. I think I will focus more on my websites as the content source and use twitter and facebook to drive or draw viewers there. There may be greater future value in that strategy. I am currently contemplating how to optimize my employment of these tools and maybe add more video with VideoPress or You Tube. I am evaluating other media tools for the tool belt in 2012.
3. What is the biggest challenge to your impact improvement through social media.
First, the discipline of editing content that I have created. Second, knowing how and when to use each tool for the optimum impact. In a nut shell, the challenge is consistently sharing the right content through the right tool at the right time for the right result. Each tool has a different place in the timeline of events and target audience that helps me communicate ideas among various people. Email sends correspondence for record keeping, fact exchanges and behavioural directives. Books are a for extended manifestos, stories or “how-to” manuals. Wordpress is like a magazine article forum for essays, reflections or report style updates (like this). YouTube is a video clip sharing database (VideoPress compares). Twitter is an information stream about personal and corporate brands in various markets. Facebook is a social relationship network. The biggest challenges to improving my impact are wisely packaging and shipping the content I create. Threats to improving impact are me sharing too much, sharing too often, sharing too little, targeting the wrong people, using the wrong tools, publishing to early or too late.
Strategy Summary: My impact may improve in 2012 with wise packaging and publishing of leadership lessons and involvement ideas from my life and ministry experiences through optimized social media tools.
Discussion Question: What is your social media strategy for 2012?
- How to Automate Your Social Media Marketing Like the Pros (hubspot.com)
- 5 New Year’s Resolutions for the Social Media Professional (socialmediatoday.com)
- 10 Fundamental Tips for Social Media Community Managers (hubspot.com)
- YouTube Gets Way More Social With Facebook, Google+ Integration (hubspot.com)