“Ok, Google . . . How do I effectively engage volunteers in social media ministry?”
Wow! By now you’ve seen the big changes happening on Facebook and you’re already clicking all the different reactions to let others know how you truly feel about things.
Yes, I already dove into old posts to see if a “Like” truly expressed how I felt about certain dancing puppy monkey GIFs.
If you are in church communication, you're probably thinking to yourself, Oh great, just as I was getting better at targeting “Likes” on every post, now I have to figure out how to get people to like, love, laugh, be amazed, cry, and get angry.
I think it’s awesome. Better expressed, I think it’s WOW.
The reactions that Facebook just laid out are really the emotions that get all of us to share something anyway. The sad truth is that we’ve been thinking so long and hard on how to get people just to like things, that we haven’t put a lot of time in the thinking how we can better share our messages.
Loads of research already points to the fact that these emotions are already in play even when the LIKE button was the only option we had.
As Stanford researcher Jonah Berger says, “When we care we share.”
Have you ever shared something that no one would ever really “Like?” I know I have. Tragic new stories, the passing of a faithful servant. In reality, we’ve been limited up till now.
When we share our story as churches, schools, and organizations, we are really sharing a larger narrative that includes news stories, cultural developments, and other items that hit people different ways. As stated above, when you are sharing the news of a faithful servant passing away, you will be hard pressed to get likes (would you want those anyway?), but that doesn’t mean people don't care.
Until today, you may have not been able to measure whether or not the content you’re sharing is connecting with people, simply because they had no way to react. Sure, we all want people to engage with our posts by writing meaningful comments, but let’s accept the scrolling nature of the news feed and move on.
If you haven’t read the book Contagious by Jonah Berger, I highly recommend it. He lays out several key points such as:
#1 The person sharing the content will use that content portray reflection of themselves
#2 Emotions drive people to action
Honestly, I think it’s a little overwhelming. Facebook is taking a deliberate step toward turning us into better storytellers. The days of sympathy likes are behind us. As the days and weeks ahead will reveal, we are going to see exactly how our posts are making people FEEL.
We've always wanted to target these emotions because we know they trigger something in the brain. Now the evidence that we are successfully triggering them will be plain to see.
Are you ready?
Facebook “reactions” will make fans and friends brutally honest about our capabilities as storytellers. Learning the truth may hurt, but I believe that we’ll be better for it.
Infusing our posts with emotion and passion will help us discover how to share the Gospel message in new ways that have previously been limited by the “Like.”
Take a step back and consider the amazing message we have to share with our communities. Knowing if and how people will help us shape the way we communicate in the future.
All I can say is, “Wow.”
So what’s your real reaction? I'd love to hear what you’re thinking in the comments below.
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