Be Active in Promotions, Not Passive.
It’s easy for those of us who use New Media to be detached from our followers, to just put up information about an event and expect people to come of their own volition. Truth is, social media is passive and best when given to its audience, not just available for the taking. No matter how great the event, or how enthusiastic the audience, some people will miss out simply because of bad timing.
For example, in the young adult ministry I help coordinate, we found that we had a greater turn out when we actively used Facebook Event invitations instead of just linking to event information from our blog on our Wall. The reason is that on any given person’s news feed, countless amounts of stories are being pushed through the bottleneck that is the user’s home page. I myself timed my news feed and found that 300+ new posts go up on my live feed every hour. And, I’m not even certain that it’s a truelive feed of every single one of my friends’ and pages’ posts. It feels as if sometimes I still miss things.
This is not to say that everyone should go out and send invites at every little instance. Early on, myministry’s first compliant was that we invited people too often, that it was too pestering. That’s whatcaused us to stop using invites all together. However, a drop in attendance to our weekly events was quickly noticeable. (It probably didn’t help that we had also changed locations around that time.) At first when our ministry was small, it was acceptable to use invites for everything. But as we grew, not all of our audience wanted to be bothered by some of our smaller get-togethers.
The key is balance. We found it best to send invites to our established regular events (i.e. monthlyyoung adult mass) but not for spontaneous get-togethers. (Not every single fan of our Page is goingto want to go to a Girl’s Night.) In addition, if we made only a wall post, it would only be visible on our audience’s feed temporarily, probably only the day we made it. On the other hand, an event invitation is continuously available to be seen on the home page as the event approaches, lest the busy young adult forget!
And in no way possible should this mean that information be exclusive. Invitations, while personal, should never be to events that are “private” (without good reason). It is counterintuitive to New Evangelization if information is only available to regulars. All information must be openly available to newcomers who are looking to learn about what is being offered (The Good News) as much as it is actively provided to those who are established. New Evangelization is not exclusive.
Active promoting is something that can happen across all new media platforms. Take Twitter @replies and mentions, tagging, and e-newsletters as a few examples but, always keep balance in mind. If you’re going to utilize Facebook Event invitations often (weekly), then consider sending out a newsletter at a more in frequent interval (monthly).
In what other ways can New Media be active? What other best practices would you like to suggest? Please feel free to comment!