5 Simple Twitter Tips For Churches
By: Holly Tate August 23, 2014
Social media is ever-changing, and churches need to be aware of the way they are perceived online. I oversee our branding here at Vanderbloemen, and I spend a lot of time on social media interacting with our clients and candidates.
Before the days of websites and social media, your church’s first impression was a new visitor walking through the front entrance. Today, your church’s first impression is a new visitor to your website, twitter, or facebook page. What message is your church sending?
Here are five basic twitter tips that you can do today to spruce up your church’s twitter profile.
1. Profile & Header Pics
Twitter is continually updated their photo dimensions for your profile and header photos. Your header and profile pictures are likely blurry or nonexistent if you haven’t updated them.
Canva is an awesome free tool that always has up-to-date templates for social media header and profile pictures. We use Canva at Vanderbloemen, and it saves us tons of time when creating graphics.
I recommend using your church’s logo as your profile picture, and a picture of your church community as your cover photo. This is a wonderful opportunity to show off how warm and welcoming the people at your church are.
Here are some examples of our clients who I think have great profile and header pictures on twitter:
@LifeChurchtv – LifeChurch.tv
@bafchurch – Bay Area Fellowship
@TheParkChurch – Parkway Fellowship
Your bio is your chance to share your church’s vision with the world on twitter. I recommend including your location, church’s vision or mission, and the link to your church’s website in your bio. For example, instead of saying…
“This is First Baptist Church’s official twitter account.”
“First Baptist Church exists to provide hope to the community of…” or “The love of Jesus is what we share at First Baptist Church. Join us this Sunday!”
3. Custom links
One of the greatest missed opportunities I see on twitter accounts is custom links. You’ll notice on ourVanderbloemen twitter, our links begin with vsearch.ws.
Custom links are helpful for the following reasons:
- They are shorter, so you’ll have more room to type your twitter message in 140 characters.
- You can track the clicks on the link, so you can see which content is most popular.
- They are branded and make your twitter feed look cleaner and more consistent.
- They seem more secure to the reader because they are branded and don’t look like a spam link.
We use Bit.ly to service our custom link, but there are several other URL shortening services you can compare Bit.ly to if you’d like. Here is an article to help you get set up. It does cost money, but it’s a worthy investment if you want to take your church branding to the next level.
4. Tweet Content
Tweeting inspirational quotes or Bible verses is a fantastic way to encourage your social media audience. They also tend to get higher favorites and retweets than other posts.
I recommend your quotes come from content from your church that you can link to a page on your website. For example, instead of posting…
“Every pastor is an interim pastor.”
“Every pastor is an interim pastor” -@wvanderbloemen http://vsearch.ws/1umWLkj
This will enable you to share sermon and blog content with your twitter followers as well encourage those who may not know about your church yet.
By including the person’s name that said it, you provide credibility, and by providing a link with the quote, you encourage followers to read more and engage with your content online.
5. Pin a Tweet
When Twitter updated the desktop interface in April, they also introduced the ability to pin a tweet. It is similar to pinning a post at the top of your Facebook page.
I recommend pinning a tweet that gets the most engagement at the top. Maybe it’s an e-book or a sermon.
Another idea is to pin something you’re trying to promote to the top of your twitter page. A book, a special event, or your worship service times might be a good thing to pin for your church.
The pinning only applies to the desktop version, so you won’t see your pinned tweet on mobile interfaces.
These are just a few twitter basics for every church to consider as you strive to build a good first impression online.
What other tips do you have for churches and ministries on twitter?