I understand that sometimes it can feel overwhelming when we think about different social media platforms. The fact is that different people use different sites and the number of young professionals who use LinkedIn is significant. LinkedIn is the world’s largest professional network with over 550 million members, and as such it’s the perfect place to showcase your church among the working population. What is even better – we don’t think about LinkedIn as a social media platform for churches but why not? Imagine people advertise themselves and look for work and your church can also reach out and provide support to them through your articles and posts (who said that a blog on our church website have to cover only spiritual issues?)
According to marketing-mojo.com, 63% of users are aged between 25 and 54, so there’s the opportunity to add younger professional members to your congregational network. There are many benefits of having a page on Linked In but here are the top 6.
1) You can network and spread the word
Networking is what Christianity has always been about – Christian teachings were first spread secretly by word of mouth and to be able to share the Good News of Jesus people had to be connected. No matter what we think, evangelism is supposed to do or don’t do the early church went about it in a totally different way. LinkedIn is a powerful and modern network that reaches more than 200 countries and territories across the globe, so it can certainly generate interest in your church and what it does. And as it’s been mentioned – churches don’t use LinkedIn that much so there is a great underused potential to reach out to new audiences.
2) It enables the creation of targeted and shareable content to attract and interest new people
There are two ways LinkedIn can be a great asset to your church’s content distribution. First, as in most social networking sites, you can share content directly from your church website and thus drive some extra traffic. You can also use LinkedIn Pulse as a microblog with content targeted to young professionals.
3) It makes it possible to highlight what makes your church special
What you write about and how you write it will set you apart from other influencers and make it possible for you to grow your number of followers in a very precise way. As always with online articles, a great title, strong introduction and a “what’s in it for me?” ending will go a long way towards helping you stand out from the crowd.
As it’s been stated, it doesn’t have to place where you share your Sunday sermons (although you can test how it works) but think about what people on LinkedIn might need? There are tons of scripture to help and guide people in the marketplace so what not give LinkedIn a try?
4) You’ll be able to find people who can make a significant contribution to your church
LinkedIn has a search feature that allows you to find and easily connect with people from any place or those who are connected to any individual organization. When you send contact requests, personalize your invitation, so the person knows why you are inviting them to join and what value can you bring (and try not to sound spammy). This will allow you to add respected community members to your group and expand your reach.
5) It will help you to check what others are sharing and interact with them
Add interest areas and the names of key influencers to your feed, and you’ll be able to keep up to date with contemporary issues and get some ideas for your articles as well. Online interaction within post threads can lead to incredibly stimulating debate and discussion, and this keeps ideas that you hold dear alive.
6) Expand your influence
It all boils down to the influence your church has. Your church can be a valuable voice in your community and LinkedIn is an amazing platform that can help us achieve that.
Here are a few LinkedIn features that you can also use to make this happen.
- Join and take part in local groups on Linked In and as group names appear on your profile, search engines have no choice but to trawl the titles and share who you are and what you do.
- Remember to collect recommendations because more recommendations will also raise your profile’s search ranking and thus more people will be able to connect with you.
- In the contact information section of your profile, you can link back to your church’s website or blog, and this also drives additional traffic.
- Finally, the SlideShare feature enables you to create PowerPoint and/or video presentations that can be uploaded to LinkedIn and Google really loves Slide Share.
LinkedIn is the perfect vehicle to carry your words on to cyberspace, so what are you waiting for?