Are you discouraged about your social media reach? Do you wonder if your hard work is effective? Here’s some encouragement about what Jesus might say from Blogger Voices Network Contributor Sarah Geringer.
Hey blogger friend, are you discouraged about your social media reach?
I know it takes a lot of work. On an average week, I spend about 15 hours stocking and tending my social media feeds. As a soon-to-be-published author, my publisher expects this level of commitment. I actually enjoy it, but it is work and I sometimes wonder about its effectiveness.
Recently I read a fascinating post by Tim Grahl, an author I respect and follow through email. He listed these findings for authors that have giant social media followings (as in over 1 million followers), which also apply to bloggers with smaller platforms:
- The engagement rate for Twitter and Facebook is typically less than 1 percent of the total. If you get above 2 percent, that’s amazing. Even if you are a celebrity.
- Instagram is where the highest engagement happens. But that’s only up to 3 percent on average. Above 6 percent is unusual.
- Email engagement holds the most promise. He states that the lowest open rates are 15.66 percent on email. See how that’s way higher than social media?
As I ponder these stats, I wonder how they apply to us as Christian bloggers who want to expand our online ministries. Our social media reach can feel like a big challenge. But the whole point is to reach others’ hearts with the message of the Gospel.
As Christian bloggers, our online words are our ministry. We write, and God uses our words to inspire faith, challenge unbelief, encourage the downtrodden, and draw others closer to him. Through social media, we can reach far beyond our local areas.
Our Focus in Social Media Reach
Where does our primary focus need to be in terms of our social media reach?
Jesus told us in Acts 1:8 HCSB:
But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.
Through the power of the internet, we can literally take our messages to the end of the earth. But just like Jesus did in his three years of earthly ministry, we must primarily focus on the people in our closest circles.
Here’s a hint: Wherever you receive the most engagement, that’s where your closest circle of blogging influence lies. That’s where your followers eagerly wait to hear from you. If they’re engaging there, they’ll want to hear even more and be excited enough to share it with others.
Think about Jesus. He spent the majority of his time with his twelve disciples. The next circle was the several dozen others who followed him—the likes of Mary, Martha and Lazarus. Jesus preached to small, medium and large crowds—remember the feeding of the 5,000? He also ministered among great throngs of people in Jerusalem during the annual Passover pilgrimage.
Yet Jesus poured his deepest heart and most profound teachings into his closest circle. The heart of that circle was Peter, James and John. Look what the disciples did to spread the Gospel message! Their words literally affect us today when we read the Scriptures the Holy Spirit inspired them to write.
Your Social Media Reach
I challenge you to consider how Jesus wants you to handle your social media reach. Spend your time spreading his encouragement on several platforms, if that’s what you feel led to do. But focus your best efforts where your closest circle lies. Ask God to show you where that circle is and what you can do to best serve those followers.
I’m making a change this season to nurture my closest circle, which is my email subscribers. It’s not my largest circle, but it is my most loyal and personal circle. I’m putting more prayer, preparation, and love into writing my weekly emails because God has shown me it’s my primary area of ministry.
We can’t always be focused on finding new followers to expand our social media reach. We must keep tending to the people who want to hear from us most in the smaller circles. Our reach will organically grow if we are faithful to our most devoted followers. Just like Jesus was.
You can apply Acts 1:8 to your blogging ministry and your social media reach. How can you serve your inner circle, your disciples? What will you do bless the people in your Jerusalem? How can you expand into Judea, Samaria and the end of the earth? In what ways can you work differently to be more effective for God’s purposes?Does the hard work of social media make you discouraged? Let’s look at what Jesus might say about our social media reach.
Please share your ideas for expanding your social media reach in the comments below. Blessings to you, friends!
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