Hosting chats is a great way to interact and engage with our church members and audiences to understand them better and help grow our congregation. It can also be an opportunity for us to promote our churches, as well.
According to a post made by Ben Stapley on our Facebook group, here are some tips to become valid hosts across all platforms.
“Here are ten general best practices for chat hosts across all platforms, along with four particular tips for Facebook and CHoP from Life.Church. Utilizing these practices will make the experience engaging for your guests…”
- Two Hosts At Each Service – This allows the hosts to chat with each other, which will draw additional people into the existing conversation.
- Same Hosts At Each Service – This builds community and consistency week to week. Just imagine how great it will feel when the host remembers you from last week.
- Envision The Guests – See the guests as friends or family members. When you picture the guest this way, you naturally communicate lovingly and respectfully, which will draw them in.
- Encourage Engagement – Encourage guests to join the chat. Once they have, greet them by name. If you know them, personalize your greeting. If you don’t know them, introduce yourself and ask how long they’ve been attending.
- Ask Questions – Where are you watching from? What worship song are you enjoying? How can we pray for you? What’s your favorite part of the service? What message point is impacting you? How are you going to apply this message tomorrow?
- Steer The Conversation – Move the conversation away from contentious topics like politics. It is especially helpful every four years in November.
- Clickable URLs – All URLs should have www at the beginning, so they are clickable.
- Words Matter – Watch your spelling, grammar, capitalization, and punctuation as you host. It helps avoid unnecessary distractions.
- Connection Cards – Multiple times throughout the service, encourage people to fill out your digital connection cards. This allows you to follow up with them throughout the week.
- Don’t Feed The Trolls – If someone is trolling the chat with toxic language handle right away by blocking. Don’t waste your time trying to engage them.
- Pin A Comment – Post and pin a generic comment each service as the church. I like to use, “Please share this experience with others by hitting like and share. Visit YourChurchName to find out.”
- Comment As Yourself – The rest of the comments should be made as yourself. Make sure to use the new host badge feature to indicate you are legit.
- Reply To People – The best way to engage someone is by replying directly to their comments. This avoids the confusion about who you are talking to when you respond to the comment bar.
- Share The Love – Towards the end of the experience, click on share and like and comment as the church with something as simple as “Thanks for sharing the experience”. This encourages guests to share again next time cause what gets rewarded gets repeated.
- Update Your Profile – Use your first and last name along with a good photo of yourself in the profile. No one wants to see a picture of your cat.
- Replying To People – Type @ and then a name when you want to speak directly to someone.
- Live Prayer – Only encourage people to use the live prayer feature if you’re going to use it as well. It’s discouraging to pour out a prayer request and get silence in return.
- Notes – Place reminders and discussion starters in the notes for your hosts to easily access.
These simple pieces of advice could be used as proper training for your team, and an excellent guideline for your future online hosts. Remember to increase engagement and interaction between you and your audience in these platforms, and do not be shy to ask them about their opinions.