That is the nickname given to my presentation and talks about use of social media, mobile apps and other collaboration technology in the work of the church. Often, I hear a familiar retort:
“We can’t use technologies like that because our [clients or congregation members--or fill in any constituency] don’t have access to it.”
The truth is—you might be very surprised to find out that they not only DO HAVE ACCESS but they are using it a lot more than you think to gain access to the information and services that are important in their lives. The real truth is that it is the church and not those we minister to who are not making use of technology that better connect us with the faithful.
A case in point is a recent study by Neilsen. Here are the headlines:
“In the U.S., Hispanic consumers’ usage rates of smartphones, television, online video, social networking and other forms of entertainment make this group one of today’s most engaged and dynamic populations in the digital space, according to Nielsen’s recent State of the Hispanic Consumer: The Hispanic Market Imperative report. Mobile presents a significant avenue of opportunity for marketers looking to reach Hispanic consumers – Hispanic mobile users send or receive 941 SMS (text) messages a month, more than any other ethnic group. They also make 13 phone calls per day, 40 percent more than the average U.S. mobile user.
Social is another platform where Latinos are especially active and rising in numbers. During February 2012, Hispanics increased their visits to Social Networks/Blogs by 14 percent compared to February 2011. Not only are Latinos the fastest growing U.S. ethnic group on Facebook and WordPress.com from a year ago, but also Hispanic adults are 25 percent more likely to follow a brand and 18 percent more likely to follow a celebrity than the general online population.”
So the long slow decline in church participation, membership and pledging might have more to do with making the church more accessible and relevant to those it seeks to serve and responding to their needs with information, connections and support when they need, how they need it, where they need it most. Sometimes that is NOT Sunday morning at 10am.
A key finding of the Church Growth Program Action Planning Process was that the single most empowering action the church could take to stop the decline in participation was to throw open the doors to the church in a virtual as well as real sense to make the mission, ministry, programs and services of the church more accessible.
June 2nd, 2012
Grace Cathedral Ordination Day
12:30pm to 2:00pm
We will have another CHURCH2GO workshop presentation June 2nd 12:30pm to 2:00pm as part of the ordination day events at Grace Cathedral in San Francisco. ALL ARE WELCOME.
Guest presenters for the workshop will be:
- Dr. Pascal Kaplan, President, iCohere, a social collaboration software solution widely used in business, educational and nonprofit settings.
- Gary Hunt, Member of the Diocesan Executive Council and convener of the Membership Growth Team of the church Vitality and Growth Project.
We’re preparing a presentation on how such technology can be adapted and used to create a Social Network for the Episcopal Diocese of California that would throw open the doors of the church and create a virtual community accessible to all. Bring your questions and come try out some CHURCH2GO technology you can use today.
Social Media Report: Spending Time, Money and Going Mobile
A key consideration in the the Church Growth Program is how to use social networking to link together church members, give the unchurched access to information and programs that could attract them to the Episcopal Church, and how to use this new disruptive technology to improve collaboration and involvement of church members not just in the Diocese of California but around the world.
I have included linked to the Nielsen study so you can read it yourselves.
Social media not only connects consumers with each other, but also with just about every place they go and everything they watch and buy. Nielsen’s new Social Media Report looks at trends and consumption patterns across social media platforms in the U.S. and other major markets, exploring the rising influence of social media on consumer behavior.
Highlights of Nielsen’s “State of the Media: The Social Media Report”
- Social networks and blogs continue to dominate Americans’ time online, now accounting for nearly a quarter of total time spent on the Internet
- At over 53 billion total minutes during May 2011, Americans spend more time on Facebook than they do on any other website
- Tumblr is an emerging player in social media, nearly tripling its audience from a year ago
- Nearly 40 percent of social media users access social media content from their mobile phone
- Internet users over the age of 55 are driving the growth of social networking through the Mobile Internet
- 70 percent of active online adult social networkers shop online, 12 percent more likely than the average adult Internet user
- Across a sample of 10 global markets, social networks and blogs are the top online destination in each country, accounting for the majority of time spent online and reaching at least 60 percent of active Internet users
For a more in-depth look at the social media landscape and audience, view the complete State of the Media: The Social Media Report.
- Nielsen Releases Their “State of the Media: The Social Media Report” (blogworld.com)
- Social media use increasing mobile (cyberjournalist.net)
- Social networking top online activity in U.S. (canada.com)
- 6 Compelling Social Media Stats Marketers Should Know [Data] (hubspot.com)
- Report: Americans can’t get enough of social networking sites (digitaltrends.com)
- The Foursquare potential: Why I think this could reinvent social (theblogconsultancy.typepad.com)
- Social Networks and Blogs Take Up Most of Our Internet Time (marketingpilgrim.com)
- Social media use around the world (stuartbruce.biz)
- Nielsen report documents dominance of social media (stiel.org)