Posted in practice on April 20, 2016 12:02 pm EDT

A Simple Social Media Strategy for Church Designers

... one that won't require a team of experts to execute. (As well as five ideal places to find content.)

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TAGS: aec, business, connection, content, marketing, networking, social media,


By Cathy Hutchison

You know you should be doing more with your company’s social media, but when would you find the time? And, where would you start?

After all, you don’t have a whole team of marketers to dedicate to your social media presence, and for many it is likely maintained by a designer in your office who happens to have a passion for keeping it current.

This article outlines a simple social media strategy for church designers designed for maximum engagement without a ton of billable hours. Start by finding a platform your clients are actually using.

Take a look at your top 10 clients and find out where the decision-makers are active online. Not the main church accounts, but the actual people with whom you do business. This litmus test of looking for your top 10 clients (or target future clients) will help you identify the social media platform where you want to focus your efforts. (It will also let you know if your clients are using social media at all.)

By identifying your clients' preferred social media platforms, you can focus on them and let the rest slide. For sure you will want to grab your company’s name and build a profile on all the platforms, but you only need to be active on the one or two that your clients use the most.

Identify your clients’ aspirations and frustrations

Most people in church leadership have an aspiration for deeply connecting with people. And their frustrations? Well, most are frustrated by anything that keeps them from connecting. But that’s a generalization.

As a designer you are producing content all the time—however, you might not be fully leveraging it for social media.

Tracking the social media feeds of the church leadership you would like to work with will quickly reveal in detail what it is that they care most about, so that you can make sure that any content you create will be directly relevant to them.

All of us are scanners of content by nature. It takes more than “slightly interesting” to make us click. And the content with the highest appeal? It typically has to do with our goals, desires, fears, and frustrations. Zeroing in our content on these things ensures value to the people we create it for because it either meets a direct need or helps us get to where we want to go.

If church designers have little patience with things that waste their time, church leadership even more so. Create content that makes their lives easier and their dreams more accessible.

Five easy places to find content

As a designer you are producing content all the time—however, you might not be fully leveraging it for social media. Here are five places to look.

1. Narrative and imagery for a design solution that solves a specific problem common to churches.

2. Photos of newly opened projects. (We are all curious about what our neighbor’s house looks like inside.)

3. Content from a presentation that you’ve given at a conference. (You can also turn this into a series of blog posts.)

4. Creative ideas that will save churches time or money. (Because a lack of those two resources can be a universal frustration.)

5. Perspective on how design thinking can solve problems outside of the built environment. (Designers think differently about solving problems. Share your skill.)

You can post your content directly to your social media platforms, or for longer pieces, post to your website. Having a blog on your site is often the easiest way to do this and has the added benefit of bringing traffic back to your site when you post the link. Another maximizing strategy? Posts on Twitter that have images get 9x better engagement than those without.  continued >>