What's in this session?

  • Meaningful interaction (0:31)
  • #1: Day Of The Year (1:30)
  • #2: The Elimination Game (3:49)
  • #3: Door #1 vs. Door #2 (6:01)
  • #4: Prompt (7:29)
  • #5: Guessing Game (9:01)

Show notes and resources

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The Transcript

Alex Mills: Well, hey there. And welcome to Pro church Daily, the show where in 10 minutes or less, you’ll get a daily dose of tips and tactics to help your church share the message of Jesus, while we try and navigate this biggest communication shift that we’ve seen in the last 500 years.

I’m your host Alex Mills, joined as always by the boss man, it’s Brady Shearer, and today we’re talking about five unusual social media templates for churches.

Brady Shearer: When Facebook introduced the new algorithm in 2018, Zuckerberg came out and said the baseline for what we’re doing on social media should be, and I quote, “Meaningful interaction”.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: That is what you need to aim for with your church’s social media profiles if you want to see success and engagement and attention. And on episode number 125 of Pro Church Daily, we introduced this three step funnel for predictable church growth, and the first step in that funnel was attention. And what we’re going to do in this episode of Pro Church Daily, is present you with five social media templates that are completely like anything that you’ll see most churches publishing.

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: But they are specifically engineered to capture attention and then translate that attention into engagement, which is the second step in that three step funnel for predictable church growth. You need to really focus on those first two levels with social media. Social media isn’t particularly optimized for converting into next steps, but it is fantastic. Probably the best platform you have as a church for gaining attention and engagement, especially when it comes to digital.

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: So let’s talk about these five unusual social media templates. Number one – the day of the year. An example for this would be National Donut Day.

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: On the day that this episode of Pro Church Daily is published, June 7 I believe, today is National Chocolate Ice Cream Day. And so you can do a post that’s relevant to that day. So let’s say it was National Donut Day. You could post four different donuts and say, “What’s your favorite donut?”. And nobody would not want to respond to that, because the clear answer is …

Alex Mills: My favorite donut?

Brady Shearer: Yeah, your favorite donut.

Alex Mills: Oh, I can’t even …

Brady Shearer: This is the problem with gourmet donuts [crosstalk 00:02:05] …

Alex Mills: Exactly, I wouldn’t even know where to start.

Brady Shearer: … traditional donuts.

Alex Mills: We had donuts in the office last week and my favorite was the strawberry rhubarb fritter.

Brady Shearer: That’s the one that I got. Strawberry rhubarb anything is the best.

Alex Mills: So good.

Brady Shearer: My approach to gourmet donuts is take a bite out of every single one of them, and let others just deal with it.

Alex Mills: You do that all the time. You did that at a party once.

Brady Shearer: I was just about to say that, I bought the donuts so I could do what I want, but that’s true when it’s your party.

Alex Mills: Yeah, you’re just over there just taking one bite of the donuts and putting them back. Right, that’s just what he does, don’t worry about it.

Brady Shearer: See, and what’s happening right now was all spurred by that simple question of “What’s your favorite donut?”. The same thing can happen on social. A lot of these examples are what seemingly glib, seemingly non-spiritual.

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: But they spur conversation and meaningful interaction. The same type of interaction that would happen in a small group at your church.

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: The same type of interaction that would happen in your church office between staff. This is real life. We’re humans, we love talking about these fun things.

Alex Mills: So if today’s National Chocolate Ice Cream Day, how do I find out what tomorrow is? Or the next day?

Brady Shearer: There’s a great website for this called daysoftheyear.com. And not every day is going to have anything great, you know. Some days it’s going to be like National Sewing Day. And you think that probably doesn’t apply to most people in our church. Maybe it does and then you can go for that. But some days are just going to be so perfect that you can run with it.

Alex Mills: Yeah, you see a lot of churches take advantage of National Coffee Day. National Pi Day this year which I believe was like the number pi, not like the dessert pie.

Brady Shearer: That’s a classic, yeah.

Alex Mills: But then Blaise Peter took advantage of that and said for National Pi Day, we’ll turn it into National Pizza Pie Day and every pizza $3.14.

Brady Shearer: The best pi or pies, right.

Alex Mills: Yeah, you’re not wrong.

Brady Shearer: If I had to choose one, strawberry rhubarb.

Alex Mills: Yes.

Brady Shearer: Back again.

Alex Mills: Yes.

Brady Shearer: Social media template number two that is unusual. We call this one the elimination game. So choose one and that one thing has to be gone forever. We’ve done this example before. Steak, ribs, fried chicken or shrimp.

Alex Mills: We all know the answer’s ribs.

Brady Shearer: The correct answer is ribs. Also acceptable fried chicken, but ribs is the right answer. Here’s another example. You’ve got to choose one, gone forever. Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Marvel, or James Bond.

Alex Mills: Okay, so you and I haven’t talked about this. I had some time in pre-prep to decide which one was going to, which one I was going to get rid of. It was hard, but I had to get rid of Lord of the Rings.

Brady Shearer: What?

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: The correct answer is James Bond.

Alex Mills: Whoa.

Brady Shearer: Riley disagreed with me. The correct answer is James Bond.

Alex Mills: That’s surprising. I just felt like Bond has like, there’s so many more films and spanned so many more generations, that it was more like transcendent than Lord of the Rings.

Brady Shearer: You just murdered J.R. Tolkien, so I hope you’re proud of yourself.

Alex Mills: (laughing).

Brady Shearer: Which may have also hurt Narnia because he was so close with Clive Staples Lewis.

Alex Mills: You didn’t tell me that the author had to really die.

Brady Shearer: You have to consider the ramifications of your choices.

Alex Mills: Okay, we heard this one on a podcast you and I did the other day. Prince, Michael Jackson, or Stevie Wonder.

Brady Shearer: I don’t know enough about any of those that I’m ready to make a decision.

Alex Mills: I think the answer’s Prince, but I also think that might be wrong.

Brady Shearer: Because it’s wrong.

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: The answer would be Stevie Wonder.

Alex Mills: Yeah. I don’t know.

Brady Shearer: And that’s the point.

Alex Mills: Exactly.

Brady Shearer: And everyone has a shockingly strong opinion on stuff that does not matter.

Alex Mills: Yeah, you can generate like a very heated argument in good Christian love of course on Facebook, and it turns into like really fun interaction.

Brady Shearer: And one practical amazing benefit of this is that once you have people that are interacting with your content, commenting, liking, now that signals to the algorithms of social, hey this individual likes the content that Hope Church is sharing. We should share more of Hope Church’s content with that person. Because we all know most people will not see every one of your posts. Most people won’t see every other post that you publish.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: And so the more that you can get them interacting and engaging and stopping the scroll, the more likely they are to see more posts.

Alex Mills: Exactly.

Brady Shearer: Let’s talk about number three. We call this door number one versus door number two. This is similar to the elimination game, but is just two choices to select from. So you’re getting real controversial here. Pro tip – do not introduce real controversial topics here.

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: This is not a Democrat versus Republican.

Alex Mills: Yeah, don’t go there.

Brady Shearer: This is a dogs versus cats.

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: This a yammy versus laurel. This is an In-N-Out versus Shake Shack.

Alex Mills: That one’s getting into deep water.

Brady Shearer: I don’t think we should actually choose on air In-N-Out versus Shake Shack at risk of alienating all of the church [inaudible 00:06:36].

Alex Mills: Half of our audience.

Brady Shearer: One time I posted about In-N-Out, and it was perceived that I was slighting In-N-Out.

Alex Mills: I remember this.

Brady Shearer: I think I had 87 DM’s that day of people losing their mind.

Alex Mills: They were pretty worked up.

Brady Shearer: Apparently all of Pro Church nation is in the west coast and they’re all rabid fans of In-N-Out, which is the correct take.

Alex Mills: Oh.

Brady Shearer: By the way.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: I have been to Shake Shack three times and I’ve been disappointed three times.

Alex Mills: Okay.

Brady Shearer: You’re a Shake Shack man?

Alex Mills: I haven’t been to Shake Shack.

Brady Shearer: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Well, you can’t listen to what people say.

Alex Mills: No, I’ve read a lot before I first moved to California, I was excited about In-N-Out, but I also did a lot of reading online about Shake Shack and In-N-Out, and how they kind of stack up against each other. So I am excited to try it. We drove by one in LA, but I think we were probably eating In-N-Out, so we didn’t stop.

Brady Shearer: We still have. When internet was still like [inaudible 00:07:27], we’d still have like old fries.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: Alright. Social media template number four that is unusual. Prompt someone to send a text or call an individual in their life, and let them know how much they care about them. So this one is a little bit more spiritually focused. It’s so easy in our day-to-day lives to think about someone. Someone called me the other day. I’m in town, do you want to go get lunch? And I said to this person, I’m so thankful that you called. It would have been really easy for you to be like, I’ve got to get back to the office and not. But you reached out. We had lunch and it was great catching up after a couple of years. So this is just a prompt to say, hey make someone’s day a little bit brighter. Send them a text. Give them a call.

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: Hit them up in the DM, and let them know, hey I’m just thinking about you. You’re great. Hope you’re having a great day.

Alex Mills: It’s funny because we all have those thoughts. I mean life moves so fast and probably, maybe on a daily basis, I have one of those thoughts like, Oh I should text this person or I should do this. Especially in pastoral ministry you know. There’s so many people to care for and talk to. But sometimes instead of doing that, I find myself like spending time on social media instead, and so maybe a post like this would actually encourage me to like, oh I should really stop what I’m doing here and do what I thought earlier that I should be doing. And this really does inspire some good personal habits, and like you said, some spiritual growth here. This is a really good one.

Brady Shearer: I have a principle that I never want to let a thought compliment in my head go unsaid.

Alex Mills: Okay.

Brady Shearer: Because when you think about it, like I’ll think, man Alex did such a great job today. Good for him. I won’t say it to Alex. He doesn’t know I think he did a good job.

Alex Mills: Right.

Brady Shearer: So I never want those to go unsaid. And this is a great way of sharing that value with your church.

Finally, number five we call this the guessing game. Show a picture or a video, a bunch of gumballs. How many gumballs in here, and have the winner get a prize. This is a great way of getting the lurkers to actually comment and engage.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: Because who doesn’t want to win a bunch of stuff. This recently happened to you with coffee beans at a festival.

Alex Mills: So you could do this online, but I mean you could also do it if you’re hosting a big church picnic or some festival or whatever. You could do it in real life. We were at a coffee festival and there was a jar of coffee beans, and it’s guess how many beans are in the jar. And I think you were, I think actually the Roasters Pack was putting it on. And if you guessed you know the closest without going over, you get a free annual subscription to some coffee subscription. And so I spent some time with the jar, and I counted how many beans I saw from top to bottom, like as if they were in layers. And then I looked under the jar and counted how many beans I saw in total, and then multiplied how many beans I saw by how many beans I counted up and down. Added a few extra. I wrote down 2,200 and I haven’t found out if I won yet or not.

Brady Shearer: Wow, okay. Well, you definitely overthought that.

Alex Mills: Thank you. Maybe it’s going to pay off.

Brady Shearer: That’s true.

Alex Mills: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: Five unusual social media posts for churches. Let us know which one is your favorite in the comments below. That’ll do it for today’s episode of Pro Church Daily. We’ll see you next time.

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