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Episode 1- How Can Churches Use Social Media Better with Rashawn Copeland

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In today’s episode, Katie Allred speaks with Rashawn Copeland, Digital Evangelist, on ways to increase your social following as a church and how to leverage social media better.

 

 

 

Transcript:

Speaker 1:

Welcome to the Church Communications Podcast. We want to help you become a church communications expert. We understand it can be a challenging and ever-changing role because we’ve worked in the church too, which is why we built a community with over 25,000 church leaders that are ready to support and cheer you on. Your hosts for the show are Katie Allred and Kenny Jahng who wants to help equip you to reach more of your congregation and community. This is the place where we’ll talk shop with fellow practitioners and professionals. Are you ready? Let’s get started.

Katie Allred:

Welcome to Church Communications. I’m Katie Allred and I am joined today by Rashawn Copeland. Rashawn, he is an amazing social media influencer. I mean the stuff Rashawn does I am so grateful for, God has just done some really amazing work and in Rashawn’s life and I can’t wait for you to hear about it and how you can help your church grow on social media. So Rashawn, I want you to tell us a little bit about yourself.

Rashawn Copeland:

Totally.

Katie Allred:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Tell us your story, start from the beginning.

Rashawn Copeland:

Okay. Sounds good. Thank you for having me again, Katie. It’s incredible the audience you’ve cultivated. That’s one of the toughest things about all social media, you can grow these platforms and pages, but to really have an audience that will laugh together, cry together, get to know each other. It’s next level.

Katie Allred:

Right, right. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, thank you.

Rashawn Copeland:

So glad to be here. So I would first start off by introducing, and I’ll say I’m a digital evangelist.

Katie Allred:

That’s what I love about you. I love evangelism, I love sharing the gospel.

Rashawn Copeland:

Totally. It’s not limited to the digital space where I’d get this, I have the strong passion about it because God met me there. So I met Christ there, but also met my wife there, so I know the power of it, amen?

Katie Allred:

Okay.

Rashawn Copeland:

That will preach. So I’ve just enjoyed building out platforms for Jesus. I’m meeting people right where they are and hopefully getting the gospel in their heart. But here’s the big thing is that I’ve always had a problem getting them connected with folks. So we have these 90 properties online, over 70 million folks following these properties, but the thing is-

Katie Allred:

What? 70 million people.

Rashawn Copeland:

But how do we convert them as a business, you know what I’m saying?

Katie Allred:

Yeah, how do we bring them to Christ?

Rashawn Copeland:

Totally.

Katie Allred:

How do we get them the gospel?

Rashawn Copeland:

And disciple them and go along the journey with them. And that’s been my biggest pain point. I came alongside another company, GMO, Unite Life and now we’re coming together, which forms Bless Media, the built these host sites where we can cultivate these relationships and see people get baptized, and all that good. So that’s been awesome.

Katie Allred:

I love that. I love that. Okay. So social media. Why social media?

Rashawn Copeland:

I would say because we’re living in the fastest communications, the largest one since the printing press as my boy Brady was saying. Here’s the cool thing about it is in a given moment, we can just instantly reach people and impact those people we reach.

Katie Allred:

Right. Well, tell them a little bit about your story. How that happened to you. I think that’s so powerful.

Rashawn Copeland:

Yeah. So one night I was at my lowest moment. I was in LA and going through a lot.

Katie Allred:

Yeah, yeah, you were working in the film industry at the time, right.

Rashawn Copeland:

Yeah, film industry. I was a hype man for a guy named Soulja Boy.

Katie Allred:

Oh my gosh, really?

Rashawn Copeland:

For a minute. It wasn’t long, but-

Katie Allred:

You’re like, it wasn’t long. [inaudible 00:03:22]

Rashawn Copeland:

A lot of crazy nights.

Katie Allred:

Oh man. I made a board on how to do the Soulja Boy dance for my science project in high school. I was like, I’m going to teach you how to do this step by step. It was really funny.

Rashawn Copeland:

I love it. Absolutely. But here’s what happened, Katie. I was in this dark moment. I mean, the girl that I was dating, in love with, thought she was going to be wifey, found out the dark and dirty side of Rashawn. I had another woman that I was messing around with and to be quite frank, it was in the porn industry. It was emotionally, I didn’t get to the point where I was, but here’s the thing. Here’s my mess. When she walked out, everything sort of left me because I was in this nice home, in the valley, had a G wagon, but yet I was so empty. And she was like that last thread. She was my god at that point, she walked out.

Rashawn Copeland:

And then I went into shambles, had a bout of depression, went down the hall, went to get a pistol that night, walked down the hall, it felt like an eternity. I get to the room, get on the floor, grab the pistol, put in my mouth. I’ll take my life. I put it back out. I put it back in, I’m shaking. I put it back out and put it back in. And then I’m sitting here. And then all of a sudden my phone lights up in this dark room, I seen the light. It was just young girl from Baylor University. What? The only Christian that I really knew, I mean that knew me, but she writes a message that I tremble to this day reading it, but it says this, “Oh how wide, how deep, how vast the love of God is. And nothing in all creation can separate us from this love, that’s found in Christ Jesus.” And I was reading and reading, I start weeping and weeping. It changed everything in a moment.

Katie Allred:

Oh man. Rashawn, I got a chill about it just hearing it again.

Rashawn Copeland:

For real, God moved.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. I love that. I love that story.

Rashawn Copeland:

It changed everything.

Katie Allred:

And what’s crazy is a lot of people think that stuff is cheesy.

Rashawn Copeland:

Yeah, for sure.

Katie Allred:

And I mean, I get it. You know what? I think you even get it now that you live in it, right?

Rashawn Copeland:

Totally.

Katie Allred:

But at the same time, the word of God is powerful and sharing a inspirational message of hope, it can change somebody’s life.

Rashawn Copeland:

In a moment. In a moment. I love that. I love the words of Jesus, “I came that you may have life.”

Katie Allred:

Right. Yeah, have it more abundantly.

Rashawn Copeland:

Come on, now you got to preach girl. Is that John 10? That’s in the Bible somewhere.

Katie Allred:

It is, yeah it is in John 10. Yeah, yeah, yeah. You’re good, you’re good. That’s right.

Rashawn Copeland:

That’s hilarious.

Katie Allred:

Man. Sorry. I’m just taken back. Yeah. That’s a good moment. That’s good word.

Rashawn Copeland:

Yeah. Yeah. And it didn’t really even in end there, there was a couple of things that happened after that. I was just like, I’m done, I’m sold out for Christ. It was so many beautiful things that happened after that. I ever reached out to the Christian girl, like, what does this mean? What does this mean to follow God? She walked me through it and it was all digital. I’m never met face to face with her after that first initial time, so all digital.

Katie Allred:

That’s wild. Have you met with her since?

Rashawn Copeland:

Since then-

Katie Allred:

There should be a movie.

Rashawn Copeland:

Yeah. Since it’s in my book, Start Where You Are, it’s in there. That would be perfect. But since my book came out, I’ve talked to her one time. She’s in Houston doing amazing things, single, having an amazing life, just serving Christ so hard.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. Well I love that that was a part of your journey and that Jesus came through that. That’s awesome.

Rashawn Copeland:

Thank you Katie.

Katie Allred:

Okay. So what I want to know is social media. How can churches use social media better? Maybe give us like three tips or something.

Rashawn Copeland:

Yeah, I have this little thing that I say content is king, but consistency is key. Hey, come on. I know that rings a little bit.

Katie Allred:

Content is king, but I think queen is engagement.

Rashawn Copeland:

Oh, wow. See, and I missed that.

Katie Allred:

And the queen rules the house.

Rashawn Copeland:

Ooh you better preach girl.

Katie Allred:

All right. Talking about it though, right?

Rashawn Copeland:

That’s real. 100%. But show up, just show up. I know it sounds, people are there, the attention is there, just show up, be yourself, be organic.

Katie Allred:

It’s like kindergarten, right? If you’re going to be a good friend in kindergarten, what do you got to do? You got to show up.

Rashawn Copeland:

Show up.

Katie Allred:

You got to be nice, be kind.

Rashawn Copeland:

Be nice and show up.

Katie Allred:

That’s the rules of kindergarten. It’s the rules of the playground. If you’re not nice, you can get out of my playground.

Rashawn Copeland:

That’s right. That is really good analogy, Katie.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. Well, we’ll been playing this game a while.

Rashawn Copeland:

There we go. I love it.

Katie Allred:

Explain my view.

Rashawn Copeland:

Hey, I’m going to use that. I may give you credit.

Katie Allred:

Anytime, man. Anytime, yeah, yeah.

Rashawn Copeland:

That’s awesome.

Katie Allred:

Okay. So churches, they’ve got to show up, be consistent.

Rashawn Copeland:

Show up. Be consistent. And I would definitely say don’t just, I mean, we hear this a ton, don’t become a billboard, but bring value like that, jab, jab, jab, Gary V right hook type thing.

Katie Allred:

Yeah, it’s a conversation right?

Rashawn Copeland:

It’s a conversation that should be continued.

Katie Allred:

So how do we start more conversations?

Rashawn Copeland:

So I would, I love what you do for instance. I love, I know it’s almost you, when it’s a thought provoking question, or a question that makes me sit back and ponder and think right where I am. You do really good at that.

Katie Allred:

Oh, well thanks.

Rashawn Copeland:

And then I’ll jump here and I’m always interested in reading what other people, how they answered it.

Katie Allred:

Are thinking. I know. That’s why I’m asking these questions because I want to know too.

Rashawn Copeland:

It’s so valuable.

Katie Allred:

What are these people thinking?

Rashawn Copeland:

Exactly. And that’s just the, I wouldn’t even say classically, but it’s a way that has not been pioneered and you’ve done a great job of doing that.

Katie Allred:

Well thank you. I mean, okay, so your pages, talk about your main page. I was a part of it for a little bit. So is it So Blessed Daily?

Rashawn Copeland:

Yeah, that’s what, on our-

Katie Allred:

So Blessed Daily and what I love the strategy behind it, it is like, I know there’s a, like tell me more about strategy. I want to let them know about the strategy. So go check out So Blessed Daily on Facebook and just scroll through it. It’s got memes, it’s got words of affirmation. It’s just-

Rashawn Copeland:

Bible verses. Daily doses of hope. Here’s the thing, it’s like a fountain that constantly drips every hour upon the hour, literally value add content. That’s our strategy to pass X amount a year or seven years or so since we’ve been growing the page, but what’s been awesome, I literally live out what I say from the standpoint of content is king, but consistency is key. But sadly, we missed the engagement part. So now we’re at 6 million followers, over time, just every hour upon the hour, bringing value add content, never asking for things, but just quotes that people can connect with, questions they can answer, things like that and the platform has been growing like crazy. But the thing is we miss engagement and building a strong community like you’ve been really good at doing.

Katie Allred:

Well thank you. Thank you. I think there needs to be a little bit of both of us, right? You can build large spaces, large arenas, but we’ve got to give people platforms to stand on and also create those many to mini connections that we’re looking for, right?

Rashawn Copeland:

A hundred percent. And that’s been really helpful for me too because I know a lot of people through church communications group. A lot of people.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. Well thank you.

Rashawn Copeland:

I look forward to meeting more of them.

Katie Allred:

Yeah, yeah, yeah. If you’re in the group, I mean, come on and hang out with Rashawn. And you probably didn’t even know Rashawn was in the group. Every time I’m like, oh Rashawn is also in here. We got some people in there that I’m just like, what are you doing in here? You’re amazing, why are you here?

Rashawn Copeland:

You’re awesome Katie. Thank you.

Katie Allred:

All right. So, okay. So tell us about Instagram, TikTok.

Rashawn Copeland:

Oh, wow.

Katie Allred:

What is going on there?

Rashawn Copeland:

Those are whole other beasts.

Katie Allred:

Right. Churches mostly are using like Facebook, most of our churches use Facebook.

Rashawn Copeland:

Totally.

Katie Allred:

But do you think churches should use Instagram, TikTok?

Rashawn Copeland:

Oh, big time. Big time. You’re really missing out. And I get it, start somewhere, it you’re going to start somewhere start at Facebook.

Katie Allred:

And do one thing. I get it. I do too. But if you’re like, we’re good. Facebook’s good. It’s going, it’s tracking. What’s next?

Rashawn Copeland:

What’s next? So I would say I love TikTok. I mean, I love IG. That’s my second baby, yada, yada. But TikTok is amazing because it gives you a platform in front of the next generation, I love kids.

Katie Allred:

Yes, 30 and under is on TikTok.

Rashawn Copeland:

Flooding the place.

Katie Allred:

If you’re trying to reach gen Z, that’s the place to be.

Rashawn Copeland:

Totally.

Katie Allred:

Do you think brands work on TikTok though? Do you think it needs to be personal?

Rashawn Copeland:

I would say brands have been effective to a certain degree, but there’s something about personal.

Katie Allred:

It’s about person.

Rashawn Copeland:

It’s always about the person.

Katie Allred:

It’s about the person, right? There’s that one-to-one connection on TikTok.

Rashawn Copeland:

A hundred percent.

Katie Allred:

It’s a little different than Facebook.

Rashawn Copeland:

If the brands aren’t using influencers, they’re losing. They have to get influencer or people to be the face of the brand.

Katie Allred:

Yeah. Of the brand, yeah.

Rashawn Copeland:

Bring it to life.

Katie Allred:

They do. And I think it’s okay to not be afraid of letting the pastor be that person.

Rashawn Copeland:

A hundred percent.

Katie Allred:

I think that churches are so afraid of even getting started because they think longevity is going to kill them. Once the pastor leaves what do we do? Is that our account, is that, I wouldn’t worry about that.

Rashawn Copeland:

Yes, a hundred percent.

Katie Allred:

Let’s worry about just sharing the gospel.

Rashawn Copeland:

Yep. And be faithful with it. It won’t return void. We know that. And what I found out also to be cool is it doesn’t always have to be the pastor. Sometimes it can be the mom from hospitality that can come on and just share her story and her heart for people. Sometime moms on the other side of the screen need to hear that and the pastor may not connect to that as well as that mom.

Katie Allred:

I didn’t think like a church account would work, but now I’m wondering what if it’s a church account, but with stories, right? It’s one-on-one like if somebody just telling their story, their testimonies, right?

Rashawn Copeland:

That’s really, come on now.

Katie Allred:

That’s an idea any church can do right now.

Rashawn Copeland:

A hundred percent.

Katie Allred:

Literally be like, I just want you to record your testimony in one minute. Can you do it? Is there ways you can do it? Because that’s the most powerful thing, that’s how Paul told his story, right? That’s how he opened doors was with his story. So how did Jesus come into your life? Why did it change your life? This is what we need to be sharing.

Rashawn Copeland:

Totally. And you know what’s cool about that. I love that you said that because people can lie about a whole bunch, but they can’t lie about their story.

Katie Allred:

Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Rashawn Copeland:

Or you can have all your different opinions-

Katie Allred:

Right, and we do.

Rashawn Copeland:

You can’t have an opinion about somebody’s story.

Katie Allred:

The crazy thing about church comm is that we’re all different denominations, but the one thing we can agree on is Jesus is King.

Rashawn Copeland:

Come on.

Katie Allred:

Jesus is King and Jesus changed our lives, right? I don’t think that any of us can disagree on that fact that Jesus changed my life, Jesus changed your life and we want to change other’s lives through Jesus.

Rashawn Copeland:

Yes.

Katie Allred:

And we know that that happens. Life change happens in the context of relationship.

Rashawn Copeland:

In relationships.

Katie Allred:

So how do we create more relationships? We do it through social media, right?

Rashawn Copeland:

Yep. And not just surface and this has been my problem, Katie. This is why I come to you. You’ve been the greatest problem solver outside of Jesus. Come on now. But Jesus is working in you.

Katie Allred:

You too. I need to get me a WWJD, I need to get a new one. I know. I was thinking about the other day. I was like, I kind of want to bring that back.

Rashawn Copeland:

Yeah.

Katie Allred:

It’s like a nice reminder, I guess.

Rashawn Copeland:

A hundred percent.

Katie Allred:

And I was thinking about the other, I was like, that’s kind of nice. I need to remember that.

Rashawn Copeland:

And when it was hot, I was a heathen in the world. I didn’t jump on the train.

Katie Allred:

Oh man.

Rashawn Copeland:

I was like, I got to catch up.

Katie Allred:

Oh you’re catching up now.

Rashawn Copeland:

Yeah.

Katie Allred:

Yeah, we’re going to make you a salvation bracelet with glitter, with the beads.

Rashawn Copeland:

Totally. Totally.

Katie Allred:

That’s great. That’s awesome. Sorry, I interrupted you.

Rashawn Copeland:

No, you’re fine. But again, yeah, me and many other digital influencers, even my boy [inaudible 00:15:27], and all types of folk, we are blown away by how God is using the social media realm to reach masses. So many different people. We have so many gen Zers coming up in TikTok, Instagram and they’re doing phenomenal things, but this is the thing. How do we build those deeper, meaningful relationships.

Katie Allred:

We can do it man. Here’s I’ll tell you, we can do it.

Rashawn Copeland:

Yeah, we can do it. There you go. That’s all I needed to hear today.

Katie Allred:

All right, yeah, yeah, yeah. Okay, we’re done. We’re done. Well on that note, actually that’s a great point. Okay. So Rashawn, let’s tell the people, is there anything you want to promote? What can we do to help and support you?

Rashawn Copeland:

Awesome. That’s really encouraging. Thank you Katie. I would say I always got to point it to my book, Start Where You Are because got to get that out in the world, not to be too promo-ey.

Katie Allred:

No, it’s so good. It’s so good.

Rashawn Copeland:

It’s a fun book that I wrote about my story and how I was dramatically impacted through social media and how God met me there, not to leave me there, but to lead me out of it and it’s just been amazing. And then outside of that, if there’s any way we can support you guys growing platforms, even your pastor exploded and we’ve worked with like [inaudible 00:16:43] Show, Bobby Greenwood, Life Church, building out platforms. We do that and also connect them to a digital host. So yeah. If there’s any way we can help.

Katie Allred:

We love it. Is there a website?

Rashawn Copeland:

Website, blessmedia.co or C-O.

Katie Allred:

Dot co.

Rashawn Copeland:

Is that how it’s supposed to go, co?

Katie Allred:

Blessmedia.co. Dot company, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Most high fives I’ve ever done. I’m into it.

Rashawn Copeland:

We’re in it.

Katie Allred:

This is what I’m going to do forever. Give them a high five and I want you to leave.

Rashawn Copeland:

That’s it. Come on.

Katie Allred:

All right. Well this is Church Communications. I am so glad that you were here. Subscribe, like, follow for more. We can’t wait to have you and resource you and hope that your church grows and more people would come to know Christ. See you later.

Speaker 1:

Thanks for listening to the Church Communications Podcast with Katie Allred and Kenny Jahng. If you liked our show today and want to learn more, you can join our Facebook group with over 25,000 church leaders, simply search for Church Communications on Facebook. And if you liked today’s episode, please consider subscribing and leaving us a review. It’s the most impactful way you can help us reach more church leaders and equip them to become better communicators for the church. And finally, don’t forget to check out our website at churchcommunications.com. Thanks for listening.

 

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