Why use Social Media in Young Life?

Once thought of as a fad, social media is now here to stay.  Social Media is an important part of the communication strategy for your Young Life area.  You can use Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in association with your paper newsletters, email newsletters, Club flyers, etc. to communicate what you are doing in your community.  Social Media should not be the only communication tool for your area, because you will risk alienating some parents, donors, and community members who do not use social media.

Whether you are a social media pro, or newbie, here are some tips and tricks to use social media as part of your mission to reach kids with the message of Jesus Christ…

Young Life Area Social Media Strategy – When thinking about your Young Life area and social media, consider the following questions:

  • What are you wanting out of having a social media presence with your Young Life area? How do you want it to benefit ministry to kids?
  • Are you the right person to manage social media for your Young Life area?  If not, do you have the right person in your Young Life area to take this on?
  • Are you willing to put the time and effort into being consistent with your social media platform?  Are you willing to put all the “chips in” for doing social media effectively?
  • What do you want to communicate over social media?  What things are you going to share with your audience?

Personal Ministry with Kids Social Media Strategy – Every leader can have a personal strategy to connect with kids that they have relationships with in social media.  This does NOT replace the face to face contact with kids.  That should be primary.  We encourage our leaders to use social media with kids in the following ways:

  • Campaigner meetings, times and places
  • Conversations with kids
  • Reconnecting with kids that have fallen out of our Young Life circles
  • Connect with Young Life alumni

Social media consistency breeds creditably – Don’t start a social media strategy if you are not willing to be consistent about what you have taken on.  Sending a message out 4 hours before club is not having a social media strategy.  Sharing great content on a consistent basis, in order to keep people informed, is having a social media strategy.

When do I share updates in social media? – When we talk about kids and social media, know that they have a lot of information coming to them continually.  Most kids have between 600-1,000 friends on Facebook.  So how does Young Life get noticed in your high school, jr. high or college friend’s Facebook newsfeed?  The key is to set your Facebook updates to go out at specific times.

You don’t have to be the person that manages all of your Young Life area’s social media – If you have some tech savvy leaders in your area, they can take the charge in this area for you.  Take note of two things you will want to do if you have a leader take the social media lead for your area:

  • Meet with this person and have a discussion on what their vision is for social media in regards to your Young Life area.  What are they going to communicate, and when are they going to communicate it?
  • Make sure you are included in ALL social media communication they are doing.  Don’t be left out of anything.  Make sure you are included in all Facebook Pages, Groups and Events.  Make sure you have access to all tweets.

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