At the last Northern Va. Search & Social Media Meetup, I facilitated a discussion of how businesses can use Twitter. After working my mojo on the summary to churcify it, here are the key points translated for church marketers.
How Can Churches Use Twitter for Business?
Determine your Twitter type:
(Based on Jeremiah Owyang’s 4 Twitter Types)
- Pure Corporate
- Mostly Corporate with Some Personality
- Mostly Personal with Some Corporate Ties
- Pure Personal
The consensus of the group was that #2 was the most effective.
What are purposes of a church Twitter account?
- Network Solutions – respond to customer frustrations and problems
- Southwest responds to damaged plane
How can a church get noticed on Twitter?
- Look at your competitors’ followers and start following them; retain those where some interaction is taking place
- Google alerts of your brands, products, competitors to see the conversations taking place
- Follow and use relevant hashtags
- Retweet to gain attention and participate in the community
- Get listed in Twitter directories
- SEO tactics
When is the best time to tweet?
- Tuesdays are popular (Mondays are too busy)
- Depends on your market and audience
- Try different options to see what works for you
Who should own/run a church’s Twitter account?
- Consensus was that marketing/communications should in the way that it’s another channel
- If the account is purely for customer service, it may make sense for that dept. to control it.
Remember, though, that every customer service interaction is still a marketing/branding event.
For churches, it makes sense to have someone involved in the communications ministry to be involved, whether that’s a staff person or volunteer. If the account is the church’s official account then it must be registered with an email address belonging to the church to keep control of it.
How do you handle escalations or hand-offs on Twitter?
- For customer service, provide an email or phone number to move the interaction out of the Twitter stream
- Refer parishioners/guests to a blog or site with more information
How can a church monitor what’s being said on Twitter?
- Google Alerts
- Search.twitter.com (you can grab an RSS feed of any search; you can also save a search inside your own profile for easy access)
- Paid monitoring:
- Remember to build in a process for managing and responding after hours and on weekends
How can a church track the effectiveness of tweets?
- Run specific contests/promotions/coupon codes only through Twitter.
- Mervis Diamonds runs Twitter-only promotions that are different from their Facebook-only ones.
- Use a URL shortener with analytics, such as bit.ly
- Include campaign tracking code in your shortened URLs
What are good mobile Twitter clients?
- TweetDeck mobile app
- m.twitter.com (mobile version of Twitter)
How does a church track the “@names” of their customers/prospects?
- Doesn’t seem to be built into attendees’ customer relationship management (CRM) systems yet, but expected to be another common field soon
Where can I find a Twitter strategy template for my church?
- This is a good start even though it was originally designed for UK government offices:
Follow @NoVaSSM on Twitter for ongoiong tips. And my @churchmojo account for Twitter and church marketing tips.
At the end of the evening, we also turned to SEO and Facebook.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
What are some helpful SEO resources?
- SEOmoz On-page Optimization (distributed at the meeting)
- Jon Cassady recommends Search Engine Marketing, Inc. by Mike Moran/Bill Hunt
- Google Tools
- AdWords Tool https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal
- Google Insights http://www.google.com/insights/search/#
- Google Trends http://www.google.com/trends/hottrends?sa=X
3 Pillars of SEO
- Good content
- Links from other sites
- Your site’s architecture
Anyone using Bing as their primary search engine? No.
Should I create a Facebook Page for my business?
What’s the difference between Facebook Pages and Groups?
If you had been there, what would you add to the discussion? What challenges do churches face in social media that are different than those of small business?