Communicate: The 4 Types of Church Members on Social Media
As a social media manager, you’re more than likely getting ready to schedule out this week’s social media posts for your church, and are already picturing the comments you’re going to get from a select few people. You can almost guarantee Mr. Smith will have something negative to say and Mrs. Jones won’t say a single thing online but will tell you all of her opinions next Sunday. So, what are you going to do about it? The bigger question is, how does knowing what the types of people who interact with you on social media affect your content and interactions? Does it change anything at all? We think it should.
Here are four of the most common types of church members on social media, as well as some practical tips for interacting with them so your church can continue to flourish online.
1. The Negative Poster
This person is every social media manager’s thorn in the flesh. No matter what type of content you post, the negative poster always finds something less than friendly to say. Normally, this centers around your specific church’s activities, procedures, and/or culture.
Interacting with the Negative Poster
When it comes to interacting with the negative poster online, it’s in your best interest to just expect their criticism. Always respond with grace and patience and never pick a battle with them online. It’s always okay to hide their comments from everyone else, too, so they don’t start a chain reaction. If appropriate, consider approaching the negative poster in person and having a conversation that isn’t born out of anger, but instead, about relaying how their comments affect people’s perspective of your church.
2. The Guaranteed Commenter
You all know the guaranteed commenter. This person is going to have something to say on every post no matter what it is. Post about the church event they didn’t attend? Yep, they’ll say they missed it. Post about the children’s choir concert that their child didn’t participate in? Definitely, the comment will be about what song the choir should sing next year. Their comments aren’t necessarily negative, they’re just there. It’s almost like your overbearing family member.
Interacting with the Guaranteed Commenter
As annoying as it can be, their comments are actually helping to drive traffic to your page. Focus on this instead of being irked by what they post. Like and respond with grace to their comments when appropriate. The last thing you want is to ignore them or respond negatively.
3. The Silent Critic
This person is the one who never misses a single one of your posts, but never likes or comments on anything. The only way you know who they are is because they let you know their opinions when you see them at church on Sundays. It’s almost like they want to have a say in your posts.
Interacting with the Silent Critic
Listen intently to what they have to say each week, but take it all with a grain of salt. Trust your expertise and don’t question your social media strategy just based off of one person’s opinions. In these conversations, encourage the silent critic to start liking and commenting on your posts. Explain to them how that can actually help your church to reach more people online. This will possibly give them some of the control they’re looking for and benefit your church at the same time.
4. The Influencer
The influencer is the person at your church who has a large social media following on their own either because of their job, fame, or their role in your community. Everything they post gets lots of interaction and holds a lot of weight, so if and when they post about your church, you know it’s being seen.
Interacting with the Influencer
If the influencer is willing, they can actually be a part of your social media strategy. Thank this person for sharing your posts and encourage them to speak highly of what is going on at your church. However, be sure that it doesn’t look like you’re showing favoritism to them just because they have a large following.
Managing a church social media account can be a big job. One strategy that works great and drives website traffic is to share links, such as blog posts, from your church website to your social accounts. Download our free eBook, 11 Must Haves for your Church Website, to make sure the site you’re sending people to features the most critical information a church website should have.