What's in this session?

  • Ministering in one of the fastest growing and youngest cities in America (5:50)
  • Social Media Post Idea #1 (8:28)
  • Social Media Post Idea #2 (13:10)
  • Social Media Post Idea #3 (16:40)
  • Social Media Post Idea #4 (20:31)
  • Social Media Post Idea #5 (24:33)
  • Social Media Post Idea #6 (27:47)
  • Social Media Post Idea #7 (31:21)
  • Social Media Post Idea #8 (34:32)
  • Social Media Post Idea #9 (36:45)
  • Social Media Post Idea #10 (39:04)

Show notes and resources

3 Instant Takeaways

    1. Ask for social proof. Seth used a Facebook post to ask his church’s audience why they had originally come to their church, and why they stayed. Not only did this post create incredible engagement but it also gave his church feedback on what they were doing well and the impact it was having.
    2. “We’re tired of hearing about your mission statement.” Millennials want to see your church in action. Show them what you’re about rather than tell them. Social media is a great tool for showing what your church is about at its core.
    3. Behind the scenes. People want to see what it’s like to be at the church all day throughout the week. They’re interested in what the church is like as a workplace and what you and your team are up to on days when you’re not running services.

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The Transcript

Intro: This is the Pro Church Podcast, session number 179, 10 Unusual Ideas for Church Social Media Posts, with Seth Muse.

Brady Shearer: Well hey there, Pro Church Nation, and welcome to the Pro Church Podcast. You’re now part of a small group of pioneering churches doing everything we can to seize the 167 hours beyond our Sunday services. Why? Well because we’re living through the biggest communication shift [00:00:30] in the last 500 years, and what got us here won’t get us there. I’m Brady, your host, and this is session number 179. You can find the show notes for this session at ProChurchTools.com/179. In this session we’re joined by Seth Muse, discussing 10 unusual ideas for church social media posts. Let’s dive in.

[00:01:00] Welcome back to another session of the Pro Church Podcast. Pro Church Nation, it’s great to have you here along for the ride. My name’s Brady. I am your host, and we like to start off each and every session of the Pro Church Podcast by sharing with you a pro tip or a practical tool that you can begin using right away in your church or ministry.

Today I want to share with you a tool, and it’s called Vufine. It’s spelled V-U-F-I-N-E. V-U, Fine, [00:01:30] Vufine.com is the URL to check it out. Basically, Vufine is a wearable set of glasses that you can plug into any number of difference devices. We’ve seen this with AR when it comes to Google Glasses, Snap’s Spectacles, stuff like that. Vufine is specifically made to kind of connect with an HDMI, for instance, compatible device that outputs an HDMI signal [00:02:00] and the reason that I’m telling you about it is because it can be especially cool when you’re using gimbals and drones.

You could for instance use this with the Ronin-M, or the Ronin, any really gimbal. It happens to do more with the camera than the gimbal itself. Instead of mounting an actual monitor onto the gimbal like we do, we have the SmallHD 702 monitor that we mount onto the Ronin itself. You could actually have this Vufine, this set of glasses, that’s [00:02:30] directly out of your camera. For instance, the A7S or whatever camera you’re using that’s HDMI-out enabled, and that could be the monitor that you use to monitor the footage that you’re shooting.

Because you can’t see the Vufine, allow me to do my best to describe to you what it looks like. It only goes over one eye, and it’s basically the size of a USB stick. Imagine holding a USB stick horizontally, so length-wise. That is about the size of the Vufine and it [00:03:00] goes right in front of your eye and only in front of one eye. That’s kind of what it looks like, the size and description of it. You can go to Vufine.com. Again, V-U-F-I-N-E.com to actually see it for yourself.

Basically we haven’t tried this out personally, I just saw kind of from a friend or connection on social media and I though, hmm, this is interesting because the SmallHD 702 monitor that we use for instance, that’s not a cheap monitor. It’s $1,500. Recently it broke the SDI, the SDI connection kind of got ripped out. We’ve just been using it too much. [00:03:30] We actually looked into it. Google apparently said that this is kind of a known problem, so we contacted SmallHD, sent in the monitor, they sent it back for free and fixed it, which was amazing, great customer service. Still within I think the two-year warranty that they allow, but mounting the monitor is cumbersome and it adds additional weight to the Ronin gimbal that we use and the Ronin, when we attach the URSA Mini 4.6, it’s already pretty heavy and then you’re working with another mounting bracket to get the monitor on there.

You know, I haven’t worked with these [00:04:00] Vufine googles or view finders, whatever you want to call them, firsthand, and so they may be unbelievably trash, but it does seem like a cool option and you can do the same thing for let’s say your Phantom drone or something similar. Feel free to check them out online. Vufine.com.

With that being said it’s time for our interview, and today we are joined on the Pro Church Podcast by Seth Muse. Seth is the communications director at Hope Fellowship Church in Frisco, Texas. He’s also the host of the Seminary of Hard Knocks podcast and he writes over at SethMuse. [00:04:30] com on church communications. Especially in social media, and that’s what he’s here to talk about today in this session of the Pro Church Podcast. 10 unusual ideas for church social media posts. Seth has an e-book that he’s released recently. This huge number of social media posts that you can kind of model. 88 different ones, in fact, so what I asked Seth to do was kind of pull out 10 from the actual 88, 10 of his favorites, and we were going to discuss them.

[00:05:00] As he was going through them I was like, “Man, these were not kind of like the cookie-cutter, same old, oh, sermon quote kind of stuff that I expected.” It’s 10 very unique and unusual things that I hadn’t heard about before, and so I think you’re really going to enjoy it. Ten unusual ideas for your church and what you’re doing on social media. We’ll be back in just a moment with my interview with Seth Muse.

Well hey there, Pro Church Nation. Welcome back to another session of the Pro Church Podcast. Today we are joined by Seth Muse. Seth, welcome to the show.

Seth Muse: What’s up, man? [00:05:30] Thanks for having me.

Brady Shearer: Thrilled to have you here, Seth. If people are unfamiliar with you, can you lay out a little bit about yourself? Introduce yourself to Pro Church Nation.

Seth Muse: Sure. I’m in Texas and I work at Hope Fellowship Church in Frisco. We’re one church in three locations. We have Frisco and McKinney, which are number two and number three fastest-growing cities in America right now, I believe.

Brady Shearer: Say that again?

Seth Muse: We are one church in three locations. We have two campuses in Frisco and one campus in McKinney, [00:06:00] and those are respectively number two and number three fastest-growing cities in America.

Brady Shearer: Wild.

Seth Muse: I know.

Brady Shearer: Frisco and McKinney.

Seth Muse: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: I mean, you don’t think of … I don’t know, what would that be? Second or third-tier cities in Texas as places that are going to the fastest-growing.

Seth Muse: Right. Yeah, it’s really crazy. Our church is very unique in that it’s in a unique area. The median age of our community and our church is 37.

Brady Shearer: Wow.

Seth Muse: [00:06:30] Yeah, lots of young families, lot of kids.

Brady Shearer: I love it. I love it, Seth.

Seth Muse: 48% of our church is below the age of 18. If you can get your head around that.

Brady Shearer: Oh, man. Say that one more time.

Seth Muse: 48% of our church is below the age of 18, if you can get your head around that.

Brady Shearer: Man. Sounds like my church in high school when it was just like all youth group. We took over that church.

Seth Muse: Yeah. It’s very young. A lot of young families, a lot of teenagers, a lot of college students.

Brady Shearer: Awesome. Alright well, sorry to cut you off there. Feel free to keep going. Those two things were just, [00:07:00] they stood out to me so much I wanted to make sure that I heard them again and everyone else got to, to make sure they didn’t gloss over it.

Seth Muse: No worries. I mean, it really has changed how we communicate, and that’s actually my role there. I’m the communications director at Hope Fellowship, and also podcast, The Seminary of Hard Knocks podcast on communications for churches, and blog at SethMuse.com. I’m kind of doing a lot of things right now that are all communications related. Finding out I had a church that was [00:07:30] eating up social media and eating up how we communicate on the cutting edge, was really exciting when we started doing these demographic studies.

Brady Shearer: Yeah really, and so you’re doing a podcast, you’re doing your role at church, and you’re doing the blogging, and you’ve also got this resource which has kind of triggered the conversation for today, and this resource is called 88 Ideas for Church Social Media Posts. We’re going to spend the bulk of this conversation, Seth, working through kind of 10 that you’ve picked out. Hand-picked, earmarked [00:08:00] for Pro Church Nation in particular, and then of course if people want to download the full PDF, where can they access that?

Seth Muse: They can go to SethMuse.com. There will be a pop-up immediately when you get there, and you can just sign up for that list and get it that way.

Brady Shearer: Perfect. SethMuse.com, but we’re going to through 10 right now that Seth has pre-chosen for this session of the Pro Church Podcast. Seth, without any further ado, we’ve got 10 to work through. I don’t want to waste too much time. Take us away with this first social media post idea.

Seth Muse: Sure. [00:08:30] When we go through these it’s important to know these are ideas. It’s not just Facebook or Instagram. It’s a way to start and kind of take it and run with it on whatever platform you think it can work for your church. There’s some leeway there.

Number one is tell us how you came to our church and what made you decide to stay. I did this at a previous church. I made a graphic and put it out on Facebook, and this one worked really well on Facebook. We used a lot of the response as testimonials for our website, so it kind of did double-duty for us. [00:09:00] It was super responsive. A lot of people were really excited to tell us how it came to your church and why they stayed, and we got a lot of great words about our pastor and a lot of endorsements about other ministers and ministries in our church. I mean, it killed it. It killed on Facebook and did pretty well on Instagram as well.

Brady Shearer: How many people do you have following on Facebook? Or liking your page on Facebook?

Seth Muse: At Hope Fellowship where I’m at now we have [00:09:30] around 7,000 people that have liked the page.

Brady Shearer: Okay, and what kind of engagement numbers were you seeing on this post? Like, shares, comments, all that stuff? I guess comments would probably be the most frequent interaction that you had on this post in particular.

Seth Muse: Right. The comments we got were maybe 30 to 40 comments. You know how the algorithm kind of works against you on Facebook. We didn’t pay a dime for that.

Brady Shearer: Right.

Seth Muse: That’s decent. That’s pretty good for organic. Then as far as shares go, we got about 15 to 20 [00:10:00] shares on that post, so that helped a lot too.

Brady Shearer: Yeah, and when I think about a post like that, I think about all of the ways that you could repurpose the type of answers that you were given. Right? You’re getting real people’s stories about your church. Really what you’re getting is testimonies slash social proof that can be repurposed in so many different ways. I mean, you could take one of the responses from this and use it as the main headline on your church’s website. You could take any number of those responses and turn them into their own social posts [00:10:30] with the actual pictures of that individual or family.

Seth Muse: Absolutely.

Brady Shearer: You could take and turn it into any type of really thing that needs a testimony, and that I think is widely underused in churches. We talk about ourselves a lot, but we have these people that love us and come hang out with us every single week, and allowing them to talk for us is one way that we can leverage our brand and kind of create the branding that we want without making it seem like we’re talking about ourselves, right?

Seth Muse: Right.

Brady Shearer: A post like this, [00:11:00] one, it’s going to be a great social media post when you check it out and when you try it out, but then two, there’s going to be tons of ways that you can repurpose it after the fact.

Seth Muse: Yeah, and that’s biblical. I mean, we want to create evangelists for what we’re selling rather than just followers, right? We want people to talk about us. We want people to share us with their friends and when we’re using their words, it’s like okay, we’re not just saying we’re great. These people are saying we’re great. That’s how a lot of people make decisions about movies they watch, restaurants they go to. I mean, it’s word of mouth. It’s what their friends are doing.

[00:11:30] I was a student minister for a long time and man, every time I said there was an event coming up, the very next question from a student’s mouth was, “Who else is going that I know?”

Brady Shearer: Yes. I asked that question so much in high school during youth group that my pastor had to start challenging me, being like, “Look, you’re a leader in this group. You need to start showing up for things regardless if your friends are there or not.” I was like, “Alright, fine. That sounds fair.”

Seth Muse: Yeah, I’ve had that conversation a lot too.

Brady Shearer: With kids or like, being talked to?

Seth Muse: With kids.

Brady Shearer: Yeah, see, you weren’t the problem. I was the problem. I was one of those [00:12:00] problem kids.

Seth Muse: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: Well and even beyond just repurposing the content, I think those type of responses would be just so helpful for market research. To think, okay, we now have 30 to 40 responses, or whatever you get, to think that we have this many responses and now we know, because it’s out of their own mouths, how they found out church, why they came, and then maybe most importantly, why they stayed.

Seth Muse: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: I’ve been doing these Pro Church Podcast Coaching Editions, every Thursday a new one comes out, and a lot of the times conversation leads to follow up with guests. [00:12:30] It’s like, okay, we got someone to our church. How do we get them to stay? How do we get them to come back? How do we get them to become a fully-integrated part of our church family? Well, when you know how that’s happened for others, you can then kind of reverse-engineer how you can make it happen for these people that maybe won’t come back unless you orchestrate it for them and find a way to get them on that right path. When you know that they’re not on the right path, but you can only know the right path if you know what’s worked for others in the past.

Seth Muse: Exactly, and you said reverse-engineering your posts is the way to start. I mean, just why does this [00:13:00] work? What else can it do for me? That’s what a lot of these attempt to be on this list.

Brady Shearer: Well speaking of the list, let’s move on to the second post idea.

Seth Muse: Alright. Number two, do a post about a person in your church, and it could be a staff member or a regular just lay person or whatever, who is living out one of your values. A lot of churches have values and mission statements, so it would be easy to just say, “I think this guy’s killing it at work. He started a bible study at work,” or something like that, and you go, “Being a [00:13:30] light in the workplace. That’s one of our values.” Or it might be somehow showing one of your values.

Go and take a photo of him at work. Just say, “Hey, can I come show up?” Or ask him to do it. Take a selfie. It doesn’t even have to be super high-quality. Just get a photo of him in bible study and then come back in with the caption and just talk about how this guy, let’s call him John, at work is living out our value. This is how he has taken the initiative to live out [00:14:00] this value at work, and here’s how you can do that too. It’s just highlighting what your church is about and educating your people on why we exist and what we’re trying to get you to do. It’s easy to stand up and say it, but when you show it, it has so much more power.

Brady Shearer: I’ve called this the unsung hero post in the past, simply because there was this one, this specific tweet that I saw once of a church, of an individual within a church [00:14:30] really, kind of using this, putting this into action. Basically it’s this picture, if you can imagine, I think it’s a church from England actually I believe. Just imagine it looks like it’s a church in the middle of a city, it’s this really small church, and it’s like, dawn in the morning on a cold winter day. There’s snow everywhere, there’s barely any light, and all you see is this silhouette kind of from afar, if you were taking this picture from across the street, of one person in a coat with their hood up, shoveling the church’s driveway [00:15:00] with only like one light on and it’s like the church’s front door light.

Seth Muse: Oh, that’s cool.

Brady Shearer: Basically the tweet reads, “With four hours until our church service begins, I’m amazed by this man already out shoveling the parking lot,” and hashtag servant-hearted.

Seth Muse: Hashtag bliss.

Brady Shearer: Yeah, exactly. I think about that, it’s like, there’s this narrative that we’re trying to create with our church mission statements and vision statements and so often they can be a little bit too formal or corporate and one way to bring them to life with a narrative that really [00:15:30] speaks to people is to see people actually living it out, right? How can we put some flesh on the bones of this kind of foundational ideas for why our church exists, but what does that look like? Any way that you’re able to actually find a way to bring that to life, it’s going to really kind of create and paint a clear picture in the rest of your congregation’s mind and it takes the focus off you as a church and puts it on the actual church. Right?

Seth Muse: Right.

Brady Shearer: Which is always a good thing that we can do.

Seth Muse: Yeah. I read this article yesterday about why millennials are leaving [00:16:00] churches. You know there’s a million articles like that, but this was written by a millennial that says, “Here’s what we’re trying to tell you.” One of the things that it said was, “We’re tired of hearing about your mission statement.” I think that’s true. We’re tired of hearing about it. They want to see it. Social is a great way to show them what those mission and vision values look like, and it kind of proves that yeah, we’re not just going to a church that talks about it. We’re going to a church that actually here, look, we’re actually doing this. Look at what’s happening.

It’s so much more powerful, especially with [00:16:30] younger generations, to see what’s happening and social is the window into the church anyway. That’s a great place to put that kind of thing.

Brady Shearer: Perfect. Okay, let’s keep on the journey. Social media post ideas. Let’s go number three.

Seth Muse: Number three is highlight a local business and its owner and either tag them in a post and ask your people to send prayers to them or just go visit their restaurant or just reach out to them in some way. If you take a group of staff [00:17:00] members there for a lunch meeting, tag them and say, “We love this place.” We did this at a place called Super Chix recently, and Super Chix liked the post and they were really excited to see that. It builds this relationship with local businesses in the area and I think churches are really trying to find ways to branch out in the community. Well, local business owners would love for you to help them tell people about their business. I mean, nobody will say no to that. It’s free advertisement. In a way you’re blessing a business [00:17:30] and you’re also getting some exposure from their fans too when they start to interact with you.

It’s a mutually helpful situation and one of the greatest places to do this is Instagram Stories because of the geo-tag you can put in the story that could then be picked up by a city story that could then be picked up by a state story, which has happened to us a couple times. If you’re promoting a business that gets picked up in the city story, they’re going to love you forever.

Next time you’re like, “Hey, we need catering for [00:18:00] this event,” you call up Super Chix and you’re like, “Hey, yeah, we’re Hope Fellowship,” and hopefully by that time you’ve built this relationship. There might even be some benefits, but if there’s not, hey, it’s just mutual friendship and you’re involved in the community and people know who you are.

Brady Shearer: I think that churches often say, “We’re a community church. We’re a church for the community, for the city, for this region,” and a lot of churches even put it in their name, right? Like my church, Central Community Church. It’s one thing to put that in your name and say that you care about it, but similarly [00:18:30] to the second post we talked about, putting flesh on the bones of an actual foundational statement, what does that look like? This is one of the things that I love seeing done on Instagram and across social media.

You brought up Instagram. I’m glad you did because it works there in particular, particularly well there, is that you are just as much of the community as the lawyers office or the real estate office or the cool restaurant that you go to, and building relationships with those types of places through social is just one of the best things that [00:19:00] you can do.

I’ve done this with the place that I eat lunch at every single day and they’ve kind of learned about what I do and who I am and so they’ve asked in the past about, “How can we kind of kick our social media into gear a bit more?” Every time they do something on Instagram, and I know who’s in charge of their Instagram account because I talk to her when I go and get my food, and I just always encourage them, like, “Great, keep doing this. You’re doing well.” Even though it’s just a simple clapping emoji that I send back saying like, “Way to go.” That’s just a connection that we can make beyond [00:19:30] the moments of where I’m buying my Mexican salad every day. Social allows us to be in the community in such an amazing way that wouldn’t have been possible 10+ years ago.

Seth Muse: Yeah, and don’t underestimate the power of a clapping emoji. That is the most powerful response.

Brady Shearer: Agreed! Do not.

Seth Muse: That is a powerful response. That is still very good.

Brady Shearer: Alright, keep going.

Seth Muse: I’m going to eventually make my way back into Super Chix and say, “Hey guys. I’m from Hope. I don’t know if you’ve noticed, I’ve tagged you a few times. Who [00:20:00] runs your social?” It’s just simple conversation like that when I’m there that’ll just bridge that gap.

Brady Shearer: Now I have not heard of this place, Super Chix, but I’m going to make a guess that it’s about chicken and not scantily-clad women.

Seth Muse: Right. That is a good point, I should clarify. It is like they’ve taken the Chick-fil-A model and tried to make it designer.

Brady Shearer: Oh, okay. Okay, perfect.

Seth Muse: It’s one of those kind of places.

Brady Shearer: For anyone who was unfamiliar with that brand, just wanted to get it out there.

Seth Muse: That’s good. That’s a good point.

Brady Shearer: Let’s zoom past that into [00:20:30] social post idea number four.

Seth Muse: Number four. Take your phone, walk around your common area before services or after services with Facebook live on, and just talk to people. You can set up a script of things you’re going to ask. “What’d you think about the sermon today?” Or “What was your big takeaway?” Or “Can you introduce your family?” Or whatever. You have to be careful with that because of kids, but you can also just take your Facebook live game to the next level if you have some people lined up to talk to. Maybe [00:21:00] even after your service, stay backstage and wait for your pastor to come offstage and go Facebook live immediately, like, “How’d you feel about that? What are some things you wish you could’ve said? What did you not say?” Let them kind of go on a little further, because they all have time limits, et cetera.

Just get on Facebook live and walk around, talk to people in a natural, off-the-cuff way, and your followers will eat that up. Plus Facebook really loves it when you do that so they’ll help you get in front of a lot more people.

Brady Shearer: I really like this idea because it reminds me a lot of documentary [00:21:30] filmmaking. It reminds me of the local news when you’re on the ground talking to someone that just saw whatever it is that is being reported on. You see this at the beginning of sports events where you’re talking to the people that are attending the actual event in the arena or waiting outside the arena. It’s like, how can we get the focus, again, off of us? People are going to hear a lot from us today, whether I’m the commentator for the sports thing or I’m the newscaster. They’re going to hear a lot of me. How do I get someone else’s perspective? It seems like so far three of these [00:22:00] four posts have been getting the perspective off of you, or even all of them, really, and then on to someone else which is something I absolutely love, so kudos to you, Seth.

I think these are kind of unique and different ideas for social media, right? That’s what I like about them because we need to begin expanding our horizons and if we don’t keep experimenting on social, like we’re pioneering this new world. If we’re not continuing to push the limits and experiment, we’ll never discover things that we may or may not know will work for us.

Seth Muse: Right, and I think there’s an overwhelming sense out there that [00:22:30] the church has been a billboard for so long and it’s all about us, and people are tired of that. We kind of know that people are tired of that, but we just don’t know what else to do. That’s the heart behind this, is that let’s make our people the center of attention in our social. Not off of Jesus, obviously. I don’t want to … Leave room for the Jesus [inaudible 00:22:50] in there, but still, I want to make people in our church kind of the hero of the story. Like, “Here’s what’s going on in your lives. In your life.” It’s the church’s life, so I want to show [00:23:00] that because that’s what people come to social media for. Their friends, their family. Not your church. They don’t come to your, even follow your page for that. They come so they can see other people in your church. They don’t come to see your vision statement or come to see your next announcement or your next event. They really could care less about that.

Brady Shearer: Facebook live and so much of social media gives us the infrastructure and the technology to do it in a way that’s so affordable and accessible. Like, if I’m thinking about documentary filmmaking, interviews [00:23:30] with fans before the game, news on the scene, that’s always a three or four person operation. You got the person that’s holding the microphone in front of the person that’s talking. You’ve got the person holding the light. The person with the over-the-shoulder camera making it all happen. Not to mention, because that’s live, that’s got to be sent back to the booth and the booth is monitoring the levels of the video and the audio and putting it altogether and then … Well, you can just do it with your phone, and that’s amazing.

Seth Muse: Yeah, and all that other stuff you were talking about, it just makes people tired. I mean, to listen to it. [00:24:00] Even the description of how to do it. You’re like, “Oh, no, I don’t want to do that.”

Brady Shearer: Because that is the key. We got to find the intersection between a great idea that is accessible for the every church and that’s the key because we can talk about so much of amazing ideas. Like your church really should do a feature film. Wait, no church can do that. Okay, well then let’s [crosstalk 00:24:20]. There’s no point in talking about it.

Seth Muse: Well, goodbye youth ministry. Your budget’s been absorbed.

Brady Shearer: I mean, and maybe with a church of 48% youth, I mean that would be enough money.

Seth Muse: Maybe so. [00:24:30] Maybe so. Yeah, so number five. Staff behind the scenes at the office. It’s amazing how much these little trivial things matter, but just showing your staff when you’re hanging out talking. I showed a couple of video clips on Instagram yesterday of our staff doing a meeting where we were talking about goal-setting. It was like, we’re setting goals. Then I showed the crowd. Everybody was like, “Hey, what’s up?” Then I went over to the staff [00:25:00] member who was leading it and said, “Hey, here’s a camera in your face. Tell us what you’re doing.” She was like, “Well, we’re going to talk about goal-setting,” and she kind of went through it a little bit. She has a lot of personality so I knew it would be good. Then I posted that.

People love to see just what it’s like to live at the church all day as a workplace. They like to see the behind the scenes. They like to see that the polished version on the stage isn’t always polished and they enjoy seeing you as real people. It humanizes the church to show just the simple, stupid things.

A pastor was [00:25:30] like, “Here’s a picture of me in my office. I’m studying for Sunday.” That sounds dumb, but people love that because here’s a guy just sitting at a desk. “Hey, I sit at a desk.” It connects them to you as a human instead of an organization.

Brady Shearer: I think this is valuable for two different reasons. The first is that it humanizes all of the people that work at the church and serve at the church. Then secondly, it’s different than what other people are seeing. One of the biggest things that I recommend churches focusing on when it comes to social media is [00:26:00] just three simple words. Stop the scroll. One way to stop the scroll is to do something out of the ordinary. When things become a little bit too repetitive, it’s easy to keep scrolling because your mind will just go in the half second or, you know, one millisecond that someone sees that post in the middle of their scroll, “Oh I’ve seen that before. I don’t need to stop.”

When something’s unusual and different, it kind of forces that stop of the scroll and that’s when you’ve got their attention and you can work on engagement from there. Showing something that people don’t normally see, behind the scenes of the church, the offices, the people that are, “Oh look, [00:26:30] they’re dressed a bit differently. Oh, they’re not on stage. Oh, it’s not a Sunday morning.” That’s different. That’s unusual. That’s what can be a part of stopping the scroll and then you can take it there with the attention that you’ve grasped.

Seth Muse: Yeah, and sometimes just seeing your pastor not in a robe or not in a suit is enough for me to go, “You know what, I think I could talk to that guy about my marriage problems.” You know, and it’s like that’s the only barrier. That sounds ridiculous, but that’s how people are. We’re ridiculous. We let things block our paths that shouldn’t, and that’s one of those things. It’s like, [00:27:00] my perception of you is your otherly. And we’re not. We’re people. It just bridges that gap a little bit more to see, here’s the natural environment. Here’s a real person.

Brady Shearer: Yep, the dehumanizing aspect. Or, is dehumanizing the right word?

Seth Muse: I don’t know if that’s right.

Brady Shearer: That doesn’t sound right, now that I said it a second time.

Seth Muse: It’s the …

Brady Shearer: Oh, it’s the regular humanizing.

Seth Muse: Humanizing. Regular humanizing.

Brady Shearer: Don’t dehumanize them.

Seth Muse: Yeah, don’t do that.

Brady Shearer: Did I say dehumanize the first time? My goodness.

Seth Muse: No, I don’t think so.

Brady Shearer: Oh okay, good. It was just one mistake, and then I caught it right away. Okay, either [00:27:30] way. What I meant to say was humanize. Do not use social to dehumanize. There’s enough of that.

Seth Muse: Do not. Do not.

Brady Shearer: Like, the [inaudible 00:27:37] app is doing that enough already, okay? We don’t need the churches to jump in on it as well.

Seth Muse: Oh, man. Looks like it [inaudible 00:27:44].

Brady Shearer: Yeah okay, well let’s breeze past that into, what are we, halfway through now? Social media post number six.

Seth Muse: Number six. Think about timing. Right after service is out, post, “We know you’re checking your phones at lunch, so take a photo and show us where you went to eat. You can [00:28:00] show your people you’re with or you could show your actual food.” I know people are like, “Please don’t. No more food photos on Instagram,” but people do that.

When they’re at lunch checking their phones right after, they’ll probably see it. What do you do when you go out to eat after church? You’re sitting at the restaurant, you eat, and then when everyone’s done, everybody’s got their phone out until it’s time to go. I know that teenagers do especially. If you’re going to be on your phone or right when you get home, take a photo. Like maybe you took photos. Who knows? Just ask for what they’re [00:28:30] doing right then.

This is kind of related. Here’s bonus to the just take a picture of your perspective right now. Where are you at right now? That’s a good post too. It just kind of shows, “Hey, here’s what we’re all doing right now. Here’s where we are as a church. We were together in one room. Now we’re all spread out, but here’s where we all are.” You can kind of see, “Oh, they went to this place. I know them.” You know, it’s just fun.

Brady Shearer: This is like, [inaudible 00:28:53] the 167. It’s like the first one after the one out of the 167. You just had your one-hour worship service [00:29:00] and you’re just heading into the rest of the week. We’ve always found with online, with website and stuff, when someone signs up for a download, like for instance, the 88 social media posts, so we can use Seth as an example. When someone is listening to this and finds that this content is so great that a member of Pro Church Nation says, “Man, I want this full PDF guide.” They go to Seth’s website, SethMuse.com and they put in their first name and the email into that signup form that pops up. At this point, this is peak time [00:29:30] for Seth to grab their attention and talk about what he’s up to because this is probably going to be the most engaged they are ever going to be with Seth and his brand.

Similarly, the second someone leaves church, church is still so fresh in their mind and so you can immediately keep that attention flowing and rather than catch up with them again on Wednesday, you can immediately check in at 12:08 on Sunday after service ends at 12:01, and you can just keep it going as they head into the week. This is where timing does come into play [00:30:00] and not every single moment of a week is made equal. Especially when you’ve got someone’s attention, it’s much easier to keep someone’s attention than it is to get their attention to begin with. Recognizing that state and where they are and where your church is at in that moment, you can leverage that to your benefit.

Seth Muse: Yeah, and that’s what’s hard sometimes when you’re sitting in an office thinking about social media. You have to get outside. In your head you have to get outside the office and think, what’s going on in their life? What’s happening right now? Like when do I send an email? Well, [00:30:30] what are they doing right now? Are they going to check it right now or are they not checking it and they’re at work. You know they’re not going to check it, so let’s send it another time. You’re thinking about that kind of stuff outside. What is their rhythm like? It helps you to kind of go, “I’m going to insert our church into that moment when I know they’re checking.” Like at 9:00 at night is peak Facebook time for all of our people. By peak, I mean it’s like 100 more people than regular because there’s no real bad time to post on Facebook, really. It’s just what do you want to do with the post? If I want somebody to interact with a post [00:31:00] all day, I’m going to do it in the morning. But if I want to go, “I want you to read this,” then 9:00 is a good time at night. I just want you to read this blog, or something.

Thinking about the outside, what’s happening in your week, in your regular rhythm is valuable when you’re thinking about social media.

Brady Shearer: Yeah, absolutely. Okay, let’s keep the ball rolling into the seventh social media post idea.

Seth Muse: Number seven is a classic tell them to stop scrolling. Parents, stop scrolling. Kids, stop scrolling. Whatever. This one says parents, [00:31:30] stop scrolling. What’s the best advice your parents ever gave you about friendships? Simply asking a question is a great way to get responses. I know that is not a profound statement I just made, but we don’t ask questions on social, and because we don’t ask questions on social we don’t get people to tell us what they think on social.

We have to ask them, “What do you think about this?” It could be any question. In this one I put, “Parents, stop scrolling.” I put the big stars around it. Or you make it bold, or it’s all caps. [00:32:00] Something that, like you said earlier, when they’re scrolling through, you stop the scroll. It’s interruptive.

I know [Alejandro Arrechas 00:32:06] likes to, on the first of his video, he likes to swing his arms around and look like he’s going absolutely nuts. People go, “What is this guy doing?” They want to stop and read and pay attention at least for a second to see what’s going on.

That’s what this post is really about. Asking a question. “Parents, stop scrolling. Tell us something valuable your parents told you about friendships.” Then when you get those answers, that’s a great feed [00:32:30] into your youth series for your youth pastor. Or into a relationship series that your pastor’s working on. Ask and crowdsource and you get a lot of great info that’s going to connect with your people later when you talk about it.

Brady Shearer: Similar to the firs social media post idea that Seth shared, this is also great for encouraging conversation and spurring engagement on social. When we’re in church on a Sunday morning, it’s very much a one-way dialogue. There’s the worship happening from [00:33:00] stage and we, the people in the pews, are engaging with it. There’s the pastor sharing the message. We are engaging and listening to it. There’s the individual or individuals delivering the announcements and promotions and welcome and giving, and we are listening to it. There’s not too much dialogue, but what social allows is for dialogue. It’s so easy to make this happen. There’s a section of comments right there. Social is dying for you to spur on engagement and dialogue if you’re just willing to do it. This [00:33:30] is where it goes back to don’t be a megaphone. Don’t simply talk about yourself. What I love about all of these ideas so far is that they’re great at kind of encouraging that dialogue because if it’s missing on Sundays, maybe we can encourage it and leverage it on those 167 hours.

Seth Muse: Yeah, and until church really experiences a huge shift in how we do Sundays, this is one of the only real avenues for dialogue at a mass scale from your church’s organizational point [00:34:00] of view. If you’ve got a church of 100, count yourself blessed because you’ve got a very strong pool of people that are probably able to respond and you’re able to field that ball a lot better than a huge church. If you’re in that situation in a smaller environment, then this is a great idea for you to crowdsource and ask questions, because otherwise it’s all spectator on Sunday in a lot of ways.

Brady Shearer: Heading into the home stretch, we’ve got three more ideas I believe. [00:34:30] Which means let’s start first with number eight.

Seth Muse: Number eight is what is your favorite worship song? Another question, but what we do, and a lot of these you’ll notice are two steps. They help kind of create other posts after them. After you get a crowdsource, ask them to link. I did this today with ours and we’re getting some great songs. We’re doing a series on emotions, so I said, “What is a song that’s clean and always puts you in a good mood?” We’re getting links in like crazy. [00:35:00] I’ve listened to some of them and I feel good today. It’s a great day. I’m going to take all those and make a Spotify playlist and then just share that list later. “Here’s all the songs that you guys put up.” I’m not going to put them all up because some of them are terrible, but some of them are really great so I’ll make a list and go, “Here’s some of the ones that we crowdsourced from you.” I get two posts out of that.

It gets people talking like … It’s like, the church wants to know what I like. That’s why that’s kind of valuable, is we’re not asking you for something. We’re asking you who you are. That’s what is at the heart of a lot of people.

Brady Shearer: We’re [00:35:30] recording this on the day that the new Taylor Swift single came out, so I imagine you’re going to put that on the playlist. Right, Seth?

Seth Muse: I’m going to see if it comes up naturally, and then if it doesn’t I might go in and kind of go, “Hey guys, I like this song.”

Brady Shearer: “I don’t know if you’ve heard of it. Do you know this artist?”

Seth Muse: Yeah, I’ll get a lady in our office to do it or something. Like hey, I’m a dude. I’m 38. I love Taylor Swift.

Brady Shearer: Hey Tay.

Seth Muse: Okay.

Brady Shearer: Seth is a Swiftie and he’s announcing it to the world here on the Pro Church Podcast. Now everyone in Pro [00:36:00] Church Nation knows that Seth Muse is a Swiftie. Self-declared. Self-declared.

Seth Muse: Yeah. Really by proximity. I have an 11-year-old daughter.

Brady Shearer: Whatever you say, Seth. Whatever you say, big guy.

Seth Muse: I take my cues from Brady Shearer.

Brady Shearer: I will also proclaim to be a Swiftie and I do not have an 11-year-old daughter, so what’s worse here, right? I could blame my two year old but she ain’t listening to Tay Tay yet. That’s all me. This is being published, you know, let’s say 17 or 18 days after the conversation, but today, and you cannot escape [00:36:30] Taylor Swift on social. There’s just nothing you can do.

Seth Muse: No. She denominates. Man, her marketing team is killing it.

Brady Shearer: Unreal. Well, enough of Tay Tay. I mean, I would love to stay and talk more. Stay and talk about Tay, but let’s go to social media post number nine.

Seth Muse: Number nine is find out what national day it is that day and just figure out a way to post about it. In fact today would be a great day to post about Taylor Swift. If your church is okay with doing something like that, [00:37:00] make some mention of her and I promise it’ll be great. But if you’re looking for like, hey, it’s national doughnut day. Like, “Hey, show us a photo of the doughnut you got this morning,” or “Where’s the best place to get doughnuts on national doughnut day?” Something like that, and just talk about it. That’s all you got to do is just talk about it, ask questions. I mean really, just act like you’re talking to a real person when you’re on social and making posts, because then they will surprisingly talk back to you like you’re a real person. Just find out what national day it is. There’s [00:37:30] a big list. You can go online and just say, “What national day is it?” Or calendars or whatever, find the national day calendar, and just figure out what day you want to post on and create something about it.

Brady Shearer: Yeah, and there’s multiple days every single day. There’s multiple things that are being put on and saying today is this.

Seth Muse: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: Like, today is banana split day. This is for the day we’re recording this. Today is kiss and make up day. Today is whiskey sour day. Choose one and tomorrow you’ll get to start all over again. Tomorrow is going to be, apparently Seth, [00:38:00] cherry popsicle day, franchise appreciation day, women’s equality day, and dog day. That’s just today and tomorrow.

Seth Muse: Oh, wow.

Brady Shearer: There’s always an option for you to go to. I’m on daysoftheyear.com right now. We’ll put that in the show notes. Daysoftheyear.com.

Seth Muse: I’m excited about cherry popsicle day.

Brady Shearer: Well tomorrow is also, I didn’t say it but I feel compelled now, web mistress day.

Seth Muse: Yikes.

Brady Shearer: Oh wait. Oh, web mistress is just a female [00:38:30] web master, so there you go. It sounds worse than it is.

Seth Muse: Okay. That’s a terrible name.

Brady Shearer: Yeah. Don’t celebrate that day, maybe. Unless there’s an amazing female who runs your church’s website. Though maybe don’t call it web mistress day.

Seth Muse: Yeah.

Brady Shearer: The optics of it aren’t great.

Seth Muse: Web mistress day. Web mistress day. Oh my gosh. If that were real. It might be somewhere. Oh, gosh. That’s awesome.

Brady Shearer: Well we’ve only got one left [00:39:00] Seth, I believe. Social media post idea number 10. How are we closing this out?

Seth Muse: Number 10. It’s the only one that really is advertisinal. That’s not a word.

Brady Shearer: Yeah, I think you’re looking for the word dehumanizing.

Seth Muse: Dehumanizing. It’s dehumanizingly advertisinal. It’s a selfie-type video where you’re interviewing a staff member about an upcoming promotion, event or something that’s happening at your church. Instead of creating the classic graphic with all [00:39:30] the information and the caption, “You don’t want to miss it.” Please don’t say that, because most people do want to miss it.

Brady Shearer: Yeah, the default position is I want to miss this.

Seth Muse: Yes. I want to miss it. You’re right, because that requires me to actually get out of my house. I’m an introvert, please don’t talk to me. I don’t want to get out and go anywhere. Don’t say that. But if you interview someone like, let’s say you’re launching a reengaged marriage ministry and you want to talk about it and you’ve put out all the fliers and people have seen it on [00:40:00] your video announcements, et cetera, et cetera. On social you don’t need to do that again. Right? Just get the guy who’s over it spend two minutes talking about it in a selfie-style on your phone. Or if you really want to, get a DSR camera, set it up, do it real nice if you want to. You don’t have to.

Just talk to him. “Why is this ministry important for our church? What’s going on with this ministry? Tell us about it. Who should be part of this?” That’s your announcement, and here’s a guy just talking about it and then [00:40:30] they’re seeing, this is a person I would be interacting with if I were to come to this. Maybe you’ll hear something you wouldn’t hear in a graphic, because there’s limited space, so you hear a little bit more in a short amount of time. Plus, by the way, video’s killing it on social right now. People want to watch videos, so why not? It’s just a better way to make announcements and thinking through how are people going to watch this? Instead of, here’s how I want you to behave on social, and here’s my stuff. Instead of doing [00:41:00] that, we think, how are they actually behaving on social? Let’s do something that they’re likely to watch and likely to interact with.

Brady Shearer: I love it, Seth. A great way to close it out. That was just 10 posts out of your 88 total, so there’s 78 additional social media post ideas for churches in your PDF. You can go to SethMuse.com and then just enter your information into the pop-up when it comes up to download and access that PDF. I’m looking at it right now. I highly recommend that you go pick it up, Pro Church Nation.

Is there anything else that you want to talk about [00:41:30] Seth? Things that you’re up to and places we can connect with you online?

Seth Muse: Yeah, you can connect with me on Instagram, is where I’m most active. TheSeminaryofHardKnocks is my Instagram handle, which is the same as the podcast. I put up communications stuff and ministry stuff that’s going on in my life there. I also have a personal Instagram. It’s just SethMuse. I keep that public but you know, I have more of a business side of things on the other. That’s just going [00:42:00] to be pictures of my kids and random cartoons I’m watching, whatever. That’s the best place to connect with me other than the website.

Brady Shearer: Is there anything that you want to leave with Pro Church Nation that I have not yet asked you? I didn’t really ask you anything. We talked about these posts. Is there anything you want to leave with us before we sign off?

Seth Muse: I’ll just say people do not lack information, they lack inspiration and it is our job on social to inspire them. To, if you’re a marketer, nurture those leads into calls to action. Get the people excited [00:42:30] about something and move them towards something. It’s not the end goal a lot of times. That’s one of the things social media I’ve learned in the past year, in doing my own brand and doing things for churches. It’s just not a place where you’re going to see a lot of, you know, we’re buying products and signing up for stuff. It’s a good place for churches to teach and educate and entertain, delight, all that stuff of their people online.

When you do it that way and you use it as a step in the process instead of the end of the process, [00:43:00] you end up having a lot more success on social.

Brady Shearer: Yeah, that’s huge. I really like that. Using it as kind of that first step, not try to get that final transaction, the conclusion to happen there. That’s great. Great place to leave off, Seth. Thanks so much for coming on the Pro Church Podcast. It’s been a blast.

Seth Muse: Thanks, man, I really appreciate it.

Brady Shearer: Well, there you have it. My interview with Seth Muse, discussing 10 unusual ideas for church social media posts. I really do hope that these were inspiring and helpful for you. I know that social media requires so [00:43:30] much of us, right? Every single day you sit down to a blank canvas and social media is like, hey, you’ve got another at-bat. Which is great, but you’re only as good as your last at-bat. You need to show up and really prove that what you’re having to say is worth paying attention to again. It’s this never-ending kind of hamster wheel and so getting new ideas, fresh inspiration, wherever it’s from, is always helpful. Especially when the ideas that are being presented are unique, unusual and kind of out-of-the-box because that can lead to stumbling across more ideas [00:44:00] and experimentation which just leads into things that you never thought were possible, which is all great and required for social media. Pioneering a new land, a new space where we’re still just figuring it all out as we go.

A big thank you to Seth Muse. Make sure to head over to SethMuse.com, enter your email and get those full 88 posts because if you like these 10, there’s 78 others that Seth wants to share with you. Head over to SethMuse.com to check that out.

With that being said, it’s time for our review of the week and this one comes from Cole_A [00:44:30] from the USA, five stars. It says, “I started listening to this podcast about two years ago and it was the biggest encouragement. I suddenly realized I wasn’t alone. Others were pushing just as hard and caring just as much as myself in the church creative world. This podcast launched me into becoming a better leader, creator and communicator. Do yourself a favor and start listening every week. This podcast could change your church.” Well thank you so much for those kind words, Cole_A.

We publish three new sessions of the Pro Church Podcast every single [00:45:00] week. We’ve got a new interview session with an expert in his or her field, just like this one, every single Tuesday. A Pro Church Podcast coaching edition every single Thursday where I’m coaching and consulting a church in real time and you get to sit in on that coaching call with us. Then finally a new episode of the Ask Brady Show every single Saturday. For questions from the people of Pro Church Nation, co-hosted by Roxanne Wiedemann, my co-host where we answer your questions as they come.

I highly encourage you to head over to [00:45:30] ProChurchPodcast.com, subscribe to the show. It means the world. It’s really the best thing that you can do to help this show grow. We just surpassed on a consistent basis 50,000 downloads a month for this show, which is great, especially considering we’re publishing less than we used to at one point, which means more people are listening. I really think we’re beginning to hit our stride with this show, three years in. I guess that’s good. That’s one of the things with podcasting. If you’re podcasting at your church you know, it’s one of those things where the analytics [00:46:00] and the metrics just aren’t as appealing as an article or a social media post. You can’t really go viral with a podcast episode. It’s not about quantity, it’s about quality and so you really have to put the work in.

There are hundreds of thousands of podcasts out there. The audience is growing every single year in a big way. I think the last thing I heard, I think I heard it from Alex Bloomberg, the CEO and founder of Gimlet Media, was it’s growing kind of like 20% year-over-year, or at least it has been. That’s amazing because podcasting [00:46:30] is its own unique thing. It’s unlike any other type of content. If it’s reading, if it’s video, if it’s social media, if it’s Netflix, if it’s a movie, if it’s YouTube. All of these things are fighting for the same attention. Your eyeballs and your attention with your eyes, but podcasting is unique. It’s fighting against radio, music and audio books, but really the actual kind of drive for attention is in its own unique category because you could look at something while listening to a [00:47:00] podcast.

This is why podcasts are my number one preferred medium of choice when it comes to consuming content, because I can workout, I can cook, I can play catch with the dog, while taking him for a walk, I can be in the gym, I can be driving the car. So many different things while listening to podcasts and so thank you Pro Church Nation for being a part of the Pro Church Podcast. We’re 3+ years in, 200+ sessions, three new ones every single week. Like I said, I really think we’re beginning to hit our stride and offering a ton of valuable content. Great things to come ahead. Thanks for being a part of it. If it [00:47:30] wasn’t for you, we couldn’t do it.

We’ll talk real soon. This is Brady, signing off for now. Love you so much.



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