Unitarian Universalists leaders in New England, join me at First Parish in Needham, MA on Saturday, Feb 2, 2019, for my next Social Media and Membership Growth day-long training.
Social media, smartphones, and non-stop access to the internet has changed how people are researching, exploring, and choosing congregations. To help people successfully connect with our congregations we need to bring more of our greeting, orientation, and education efforts online.
We can no longer wait for them to show up in person. We need to show up where they are — online actively trying to determine if your congregation is right for them. To do this, they need your support.
Interested in reaching the majority of adults who use smartphones and are digitally oriented? Join us for this day-long training designed to help bring your membership development efforts in line with today’s digital culture.
Over at the Small Group Lab we are seeking corporations, nonprofits, and other organizations in the Greater Boston area interested holding a Small Group Lab community building event. This is in conjunction with our field testing and ongoing resource development process. What kind of organizations are we seeking?
Organization interested in strengthening their community
Can gather 30 to 150 staff and volunteers in their own space to participate
Has facility with flexible seating for the above number of participants
Participants able to meet for a single two hour session
Participant feedback at the end of session and via questionnaire
There are group practices, activities, and conversations that have a powerful impact on all types of communities, but also context specific opportunities we want to identify, refine, and share.
Why focus on building community? Stronger relationships have many potential benefits including increased communication, collaboration, and creativity. Our ability to work together and the quality of that work is dependent on our relationships.
We are reaching out directly to organizations, but welcome inquiries via referral and this website. Please contact me with your interest.
Here’s the deal. Today we need to be intentionally integrating our social media, visitor greeting and other membership development efforts. If we don’t, we’re in trouble.
Thanks to technology the path to membership is moving increasingly online. How many people visit your website before visiting? Around 100%. And now people are wanting to explore your social media and check you out digitally for a while to judge you before they visit. That’s right, they’re judging you based on what you’re online presence and identity.
Potential members are increasingly making a decision about your congregation based on their digital experience, and then and only then, if that’s good, they’ll visit in person to confirm you are what you’ve said you are online. Increasingly you need to be helping people pre-qualify themselves for membership online if you want them to visit and join in person. And your existing members? They are bombarded with information via multiple communication channels. How do you get them to hear you and to not drift away? We’ll discuss all of this in more in one very full, exciting and useful day…
Think of this training as a 2014-2015 upgrade for your communications and membership growth strategy.
Again, here the dates and registration links. If you have questions, Email me.
What’s that you say? Are these events being lives streamed? No, but I will be turning the content into text and video resources. Make sure you are subscribed to my Leading Congregations E-Newsletter to be updated as they become available.
The following program is close to final for these two events. There may be some small changes in timing and titles, but the content is set.
8:30 Registration & Refreshments
9:00 Opening Worship & Welcome
9:15 Technology, Culture and the Challenge to Congregations How is changing technology changing us? We’ll look at the new technology norms for how people are connecting, learning and making decisions. Understanding these changes is critical to effective outreach, social media use, and membership development.
9:25 Social Media and the New Path to Membership The path to becoming a member in a congregation has changed significantly in recent years. Not in terms of what has to happen for people to connect with a congregation, but how, when and where these connections happen. Today much of what happens in the course of “church shopping” happens online via congregational social media channels.
11:00 Increasing Engagement, Understanding Social Media Today For congregations to maximize engagement with newcomers, members and friends, we need to understand what communication platforms people are using, what they are using them for, and the new norms for institutional communication. We’ll identify the top social media platforms today, look at their use by demographic, and identify key ways congregations need to shift their approach in order to communicate effectively today.
11:30 Break Out Session What have you tried? What works? What doesn’t? We’ll take some time to learn from each other, share successes and challenges. This will also prime our lunch time conversation.
We’ll take a nice full hour lunch to allow for conversations to continue, connections to be made, and to let our brains cool down as needed!
1:00 Report Back When we gather after lunch, we will take some time to hear some of our success stories and insights from our lunch conversations.
1:20 Social Media Storytelling, Relationship and Membership Growth We’ll go deeper into the strategy of communicating with newcomers, members and friends via social media with the goal of building relationships, increasing participation in congregational life, and growing your membership. To be successful at this, we need to master the art and science of telling the many stories of congregational life in ways that are interesting, meaningful, and invite participation.
2:00 Best Practices for Keeping Members Engaged and Coming Back If we’re successful in brining newcomers into our communities, soon we will have new members. Which raises the question, how do we keep members coming back in today’s world with so many competing demands for people’s attention and time.
2:20Developing Social Media Plans, a Small Group Exercise We’ll break into small groups and go through the process of developing a social media plan for one primary event or happening within the life of your congregation using strategies detailed earlier in the day. This may be for a large fundraiser, your monthly newcomer class, or a special holiday event.
2:45 Discussion on Small Group Exercise
3:00 Q & A Time
“Peter provided our team with an opportunity to learn together about social media giving us a common understanding of the benefits and costs of utilizing it. His enthusiasm for social media is infectious, making us feel not only that implementing it is possible and perhaps inevitable as our world continues to evolve.” — Sara Deshler, Church Administrator, Cedar Lane U U Church.
“Peter’s passion for social media communications and Unitarian Universalism is contagious. His vision for our future is something we need to learn and embrace.” – Don Southworth, UUMA Executive Director
Peter’s training on Social Media was clear, instructive, and interactive. He is dynamic, engaging and brings an enthusiasm to his sessions that is contagious. I recommend him highly.” — Mark Bernstein, Regional Growth Development Consultant, Central East Region of the UUA