4 Ways Your Church Can Leverage User-Generated Content
User-generated content has become the “next frontier” in digital marketing circles. Check out some of these impressive stats from Ipsos MediaCT’s report on social influence:
- Avid social media users consume five hours of user-generated content every day!
- 30% of millennials’ media time is spent with content created and curated by their peers.
- Millennials spend more time with user-generated content than on television!
- User-generated content is 50% more trusted than traditional media.
Don’t miss the message behind those numbers … the conversations that we need to generate online are more important than the cool “viral video” your team attempts to make or what is on your next “Instagram Square.”
Your church needs a platform for conversation,
not a megaphone to broadcast from.
This shift is a challenge to the traditional ways that church leaders communicate online or on Sunday mornings. The evidence is all around us: people are more empowered to join the conversation now than ever before. Rather than fighting it, what if we got ahead of this trend? Here are four ways that your church can encourage user-generated content through your social media channels today:
- Ask More Questions // What would happen if every time you asked people to attend an event, you asked two questions to stir up conversations? Rather than seeing these channels as places to broadcast your next series or special event, look at them as platforms for conversation. Recently, we asked people via Facebook what they had been learning through our Sunday services. The results were fascinating and promoted further engagement.
- Share Stories // How can you invest resources to share people’s stories of life change? People love seeing how your ministry is making a difference in other’s people lives. Every time we post a testimony, I’m reminded of the profound impact it makes on our community. We’re using our resources to help people share their stories … I love platforming what is happening in other people’s lives!
- Encourage #Hashtags // Hashtags are decentralized social media conversations. [Read more here.] Encouraging people to engage in the conversation on a unique #hashtag related to your content is a great place to start. We re-post every #LiquidChurch Instagram image to our Facebook page, allowing our guests to drive the content we share with our community. The next level is to encourage people to engage in conversations already happening in related #hashtags. Some examples: #ModernLove, #charliehebdo, #NewJersey.
- Re-post Their Content // Who are the bloggers in your community? Can you re-post their content to your group? What if you watched a dozen Instagram fanatics in your church and regularly re-posted their photos to your Twitter stream? Do members of your staff write thoughtful content on Facebook? Share it! Use your corporate platform to raise up other folks who are creating good online user-generated content.
What are some other ways that you see your online content as a platform for conversation rather than a megaphone for blaring!? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!