Is Social Media More Like Reality TV or Reality?

There are still people who think social media is more like reality TV than reality. Usually these are people with an aversion to social media, are unplugged or out of touch and don’t understand how it works. They are not “in” the digital culture, and that’s why they don’t understand it.

So I’m always a little surprised when someone who relies on social media for a living equates it to reality TV. Yet such was the case in a recent article by Chris Martin who is an “Author Development Specialist at LifeWay Christian Resources” (ya, I don’t know what any of that means either. But it sounds fancy).

Are social algorithms the end of your influence?

3 Reasons Instagram's Algorithm Is Good For You

In case you missed the news, Instagram announced that it will begin sorting images in its feed according to the content that Instagram thinks its users want to see the most.

In other words, like Facebook (who owns Instagram), Instagram is developing an algorithm that takes several factors into consideration such as

“… the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting and the timeliness of the post…”

What this means for you as a user is when you open Instagram, rather than seeing posts in chronological order with the most recent post at the top, you’ll see posts organized according to what Instagram thinks you will want to see the most.

But as a platform builder, ministry entrepreneur or church communicator, what this means for you is that people might view your content less (or more) than they are now, depending how much your followers like your content.

As soon as Instagram made their announcement entrepreneurs, small businesses, churches and ministries panicked. I even saw a thread of church communicators titled “Farewell, Instagram.” And posts began showing up in my newsfeed of people practically begging their followers to “turn on notifications.” (My advice, don’t go there.)

But you don’t have to worry. Instagram’s algorithm isn’t the end of your influence. I fact, it might just be the beginning.

And here’s why:

1. 70% of your followers currently don’t see your posts.

Instagram claims that people miss 70% of the content in their feeds. If we reverse-engineer that number, it means that only 30% of your followers ever see your posts. Because once you post something it starts at the top of the newsfeed and begins its journey down into the abyss of pasts posts.

By the time your follower logs into Instagram, your post has been buried under a pile of more recent posts (unless they happen to log in around the time that you posted). So the current situation isn’t very good as it is.

2. The number of people who see your content may go up.

Because the current situation for you isn’t very good as things stand, Instagram’s new algorithm means that in all likelihood, things will only get better for you.

If your fans follow you because they actually want to see your content, then Instagram will move your content closer to the top of their newsfeed which will result in you having more (not less) influence.

3. It’ll force you to be better at what you do.

People love free exposure. I know I do! But just because I force myself in front of people doesn’t mean that they actually want to see my content. And I think so many brands, businesses and ministries reacted to Instagram’s algorithm announcement because it suddenly caused us to stop and ask ourselves, “Is my content good enough to make the cut?”

And the fear is, it’s not.

So if we want more than 30% of our followers to see our content, we need to attract a highly targeted follower base, and post really good content. I think it’s good that Instagram has not separated “brands” from average users like Facebook has. Everybody is on equal footing. Because Instagram is just now beginning to roll out its new algorithm-based update, this is the perfect opportunity to get better at posting.

Become good now so you don’t slump down later.

a) post content frequently.

b) post high quality content.

c) post content your followers will want to see

Don’t be discouraged by Instagram’s new algorithm update. If anything, see this as the opportunity that it is.

Do you need a degree to minister and be heard?

Hey, recently I read about a guy who hated writing and who dropped out of college to become a bestselling author. Yes, you heard that right. He hated writing, but he dropped out of college to become a bestselling author.

And from that book he launched a business and career and influences hundreds and thousand of people every single day.

Today he has courses online. He teaches. He has other bestselling books.

And he doesn’t even have a college degree.

Isn’t that crazy?

Why would so many people read a book written by a recent college drop out?

It used to be that if you wanted to be heard, you had to have “something under your belt.”

Even if you wanted to start a ministry, nobody would take you seriously if you didn’t at least finish Bible college.

But that’s not the case anymore.

There’s a young homeschooled girl here in my hometown who recently graduated high school and when she did she started a ministry using nothing more than a blog and social media.

In one year her Facebook page grew to more than 3,000 followers, her blog has exploded. She developed a team of ministry partners and leads and facilitates online Bible studies.

Why would so many people gather around, follow and be influenced by a young girl fresh out of homeschooling?

The answer is we live in a world radically different than anything before.

Today people will judge you on your passion before they judge you on your level of education.

If you’re passionate about helping people, you win. It really is that simple. The more passionate you are, the more you win.

Technology has made this possible.

We no longer need permission from gatekeepers to have influence, get our message out and help people around the world.

All you need is to use the technology that is already at your fingertips, And when you combine that with the right strategy, you’ll have a fool-proof recipe for…

  • Launching a ministry
  • Planting a church
  • Writing a book
  • Teaching online courses
  • Leading online Bible studies
  • Creating innovation within your local community
  • Starting an apologetics or evangelism ministry
  • Running a discipleship program
  • Beginning a coaching ministry
  • Or whatever else you can imagine…

And the best part is nobody is standing in your way.

But there are people willing to help you. And I’m one of them.

I took a college run class on social media (heck, I could have taught the class, but I wanted to see what it had to offer), and here’s the thing: the curriculum for the class was only six months old and already it was outdated!

In the past this wouldn’t be a problem. Post-secondary curriculum would often be good for a decade or so. Maybe longer.

But after six months the material used to teach me in this college class last year on social media was already out of date!

There goes $500 bucks!

Today’s challenge and opportunity

If you’re in ministry – whether you’re a pastor, small group leader, evangelist, youth leader, etc. – or if you want to start your own ministry like the young women I mentioned above, you need to stay on top of the best ways to use this technology for God’s kingdom.

You need to stay current. You need training.

But traditional education will take up too much of your time. Too much money. And by the time you enrol the material will already be outdated!

So that’s the challenge. And that’s why I created iGospel Academy. iGospel Academy is a cheap and highly effective solution to your greatest challenge: how to continue to innovate and use today’s technology for God’s Kingdom in a way that’s affordable and flexible with your time.

iGospel Academy is a ministry-training and empowering website designed to help mission-minded Christians learn to use today’s technology and leadership tools to reach more people for God’s Kingdom.

In the Academy you’ll find interviews and presentations by church leaders and social media practitioners who are having amazing results through their unique approaches to ministry.

Learn what they are doing, learn from them, discover how they are doing it and then follow the accompanying action guides that will help you produce similar results.

In the Academy…

  • Vince Antonucci, pastor of the Verve church in Las Vegas, will teach you how to do innovative church services for people who don’t like church
  • Jason Caston, author of the iChurch Method, will teach you how to launch an Internet Church Campus
  • Anna Powers will talk about Periscope and what live video can do for your ministry
  • Janet Sewell, a missionary and apologist in Greece, will share with you how to Evangelize in the digital space
  • Keith Webb, author of The Coach Model, will show you how to become a ministry coach
  • And that’s just to name of few of the many presentations in the Academy.
  • Plus you’ll learn:
    • How to launch a ministry with a book, and get it on one of Amazon’s #1 lists
    • How to increase your Facebook organic reach
    • How to grow your Twitter account fast with maximum impact
    • How to be more consistent and save time on social media with content buckets
    • And more…

My goal with iGospel Academy is to bring solid, high quality training to ministry leaders and mission-minded Christians at a price anybody can afford.

If this sounds like something you’re interested in then let me tell you about an early bird special that ends Wednesday, March 16th, at midnight (EST). You can scoop up a membership into the Academy for only $15 a month, or $130 a year or $400 for a lifetime membership (which is cheaper than taking one class at your local college!).

Plus, if you enrol before midnight Wednesday, you won’t pay anything for 30 days. This will give you some time to check out the content in the Academy to see if it’s right for you before you pay.

Today is the best time to join the Academy. After Wednesday the price will go up (slightly) and the first month free option will be gone.

So click here if you want to learn more or to take advantage of this opportunity.

LEARN MORE!

I hope to see you on the inside!

Facebook Debating Is A Bad Idea

ChristianWeek
February 2, 2016

Recently I contributed an article for the Canadian Christian online magazine titled, “Facebook Debating Is A Bad Idea.”

You can check out the whole article by clicking here.

But if all you need are the cliffsnotes, here are six reasons why Facebook debating is a bad idea:

1. Everyone with an keyboard and an opinion can chime in

“It’s difficult to have a reasonable conversation with a high percentage of people on Facebook. And if we’re going to be honest, that sometimes includes us too.” ⇐Tweet That

2. Some people just want to debate

“When someone wants to debate, lives to debate, thrives on debate (for God only knows what reasons), they will never stop. They live and move for the last word.” ⇐Tweet That

3. It accomplishes nothing

“Almost nothing good ever comes out of debating on Facebook.” ⇐Tweet That

4. It destroys testimonies

“It’s a relational buzz-kill. If you’re trying to build credibility and relationships, don’t get caught up in petty debates.” ⇐Tweet That

5. A Facebook debate is not a debate ⇐Tweet That

“In real debates no one expects that either side will change their views (I don’t know that it has ever happened in a professional debate). The purpose of the debate is so that the audience can hear the opposing views and make an educated opinion on who has the stronger arguments.”

6. Faceless Facebook

“I have seen relationships ruined over a debate that could have been better served up and resolved over a cup of coffee.” ⇐Tweet That

Read the full article here. And if you liked this content and found it helpful, why not subscribe to receive them right in your e-box. Click Here!

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Facebook or Twitter? Where Should Your Ministry Focus?

Why your ministry should focus more on Twitter

If you had to choose to devote your energy, your money and your ministry efforts to either Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, but you could only choose one, which would it be?

For most people there’s no contest. Facebook is the obvious choice.

After all, Facebook is the biggest social media platform in the world with by far the most active users. And unlike Twitter and Instagram which use the impersonal “Follow” terminology, Facebook prefers using the term “Friend.”

And Facebook is a place for families and friends to stay connected. It’s a place where people share ideas and share their lives. The Groups, Pages and Events features help build community.

For all of those reasons, choosing Facebook is a no-brainer, right?

And so you’d think it’s the perfect platform to invest your ministry into if you want to have a far-reaching impact, right?

Wrong.

That’s not true anymore.

4 Ways You Can Invest Your Money In Social Media

Church, Money, Social Media - Part 2

In the previous post I wrote about 3 reasons why your church should invest in its social media ministry. Today I’m going to talk about 4 ways you can invest money in your social media ministry.

A few years ago churches (and businesses) saw social media as a free ride. A “blast’er past her” marketing tool. (You know, “blast” out your announcements to anyone who will listen.) I’ve talked before about the dangers of using social media like a bullhorn.

But my point here is that if you want to have real impact, you need to be willing to invest in at least a little bit of money into your social media ministry. And if you’re not sure where to start, here’s a few suggestions.

3 reasons your church should invest money in Social Media

Church, Money, Social Media - Part 1

Jesus said where your heart is, there your treasure will be also (Luke 12:34). And that means the reverse is also true: where you put your treasure says a lot about where your heart is.

So here are three reasons why your ministry or church should invest some of its treasure into social media.