Using Twitter As a Campus Minister
(Part 4 of a 5-part series: What I Learned From the Industry Experts on Using Facebook Well: An Interview with Michelle Widman of Brandglue)
A few weeks ago Michelle Widman, the Project/Community Manager at Brandglue.com, agreed to sit for a phone interview with me. Brandglue is a social media firm that call themselves the “News Feed Optimization Agency”, and whose client lists include heavy hitters such as YouTube, Intel, Microsoft. Brandglue works with companies and organizations to help them optimize their customer interactions on Facebook. I’ve summarized what I learned from her and am posting it piece by glorious piece this week.
People frequently ask about Twitter and its use in campus ministry, so I asked Michelle what she thought about it. Since she had suggested the idea of expanding our reach in social media to interact with alumni and donors, I wasn’t surprised when that’s where we went.
Limit your time on Twitter and be intentional
Michelle suggested setting specific goals for interaction on Twitter. Instead of just starting with the vague goal of “establishing a Twitter presence”, maybe focus on five or 10 specific donors that you want to get more connected to.
Just like before, she focused on the idea of goals: Why are you on Twitter? Why are you interacting with this particular donor? Why is this time worth stepping away from your other responsibilities?
Twitter, just like Facebook, gives you space for two directions of communication: send updates about yourself and your ministry, and read updates from your alumni or donors. So, like with Facebook, you can set your goals around communicating about yourself or learning about others.
Do it your own way
Unlike Facebook, Michelle was less adamant about there being a “right” way to do things with Twitter. Rather, she emphasized the many ways of interacting with folks on Twitter, saying every minister will have their own bandwidth (amount of time and energy available) and style.
So, think a little about what kind of new interactions you’d like to have with your donors and alumni who are on Twitter. Would you like to just learn about their lives? Get in touch and ask them some questions? Reminisce about their time in IV and @tag them to include them? Whatever it is, figure out your goals for interaction and then take full use of Twitter to fulfill those goals.
That’s all we have for Twitter; it’s obviously much more bare-bones than the Facebook part of the conversation. So, do you have any great ideas to add to this conversation? Questions you want answered? Shoot em out here in the comments.