Sunday, 26 April 2015

9 things I have learnt about Facebook and Twitter

As a hobbyist social media type person, I have had the opportunity to talk to few great people who are experts in this field. Here are the top 9 things, I can remember them saying (roughly) to me that I have tried. When I refer to Facebook I am talking mainly about Facebook Pages, but some of this stuff can be used with personal accounts.

1. Never link Facebook and Twitter together or visa versa. People using Twitter tend to want to view tweets and not URLS redirecting them to Facebook, because the text was too long to post. People on Facebook don't really want to see '@' mention signs that comes from a tweet.

2. Never update Facebook as often as you would Twitter. I was always told around 9 or 10 status updates a week for Facebook and no more than 14 Twitter updates in a day making sure you don't tweet more than once an hour. It's easy to be perceived as a spammer by over sharing.

3. Spread your posts over a week (if you have time) this will increase your engagement and reach.

4. Interact with your audience on both Twitter and Facebook, If someone responds to one of your status updates its good practice to acknowledge them. It keeps them interested and shows you are friendly.

5. Post a mixture of original and others content (retweets and shares), but remember to acknowledge who has produced it. Original content engages your audience and this can take the form of original thinking about someone else's work, e'g a review or response to a post you have read/watched or heard.  Always remember to reference them.

6. Use photos with your posts that illustrate your point,

7. Think about your audience and what they would like to read, watch and hear, post content accordingly.

8. Read the statistical measurements that are available on Facebook Pages and Twitter, e.g. engagement and reach for each post and have fun experimenting with different content to see what happens.

9. Post different types of media, e.g video, audio, photo and written. Variety really does engage the audience.

The disclaimer, a few people who know me, may say that I  don't always apply these points, and they are right. I think that it's about experimenting in your context (see point 8).

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Struggles and stuff

I was thinking about 2 Cor 12 and Paul's thorn. There is a lot of speculation about what that thorn is, me personally I don't know. But these verses say to me about Paul's struggle and his humaness. A man chosen by God with a clear mission and yet he has his own personal struggle. I find that really encouraging that God has a clear purpose for each one of us, even on the days when stuff seriously gets on top of us, our own personal struggle. God still has a calling on our life.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Just a thought #1 - What should I be thinking right now?

So the preacher has finished his sermon and says, "Let's wait in God's presence, " followed by either silence or music depending on the type of service. Sometimes when I get asked to sit and wait or similar requests, my brain thinks that its a cue to suddenly go off on some tangent. Normally starting with, looking forward to Sunday lunch, broccoli or cauliflower? Or sometimes, planning what I am going to do in the afternoon, grass cutting or something a bit more fun? I may even be looking around to see what other people are doing, should I be doing that? My focus of attention moves ahead of me. What are the worship band doing? The worship leader looks like she or he is into what they are doing. What's that, the band have their eyes closed this must be a serious bit. What's for dessert after Sunday lunch?

That's the thing with the brain you just never know where it will take you. On the other hand, have you every experienced nothingness, where the brain has gone completely blank, in my case it does that very quickly! It's that feeling of numbness, best described as nowhereness (if that was actually a word), a sensation of emptiness. In both situations, I ask where is my God are you in the silence or the busyness of my brain? If I'm honest I don't know, but I know He is not apart of the accusations that I hear in my head on a Sunday morning, "do you think you are any good", "you are a failure" or maybe that voice is saying, "you are beyond God's love".

To cut a short story even shorter, if you are struggling, there is probably someone else struggling and they could be sat next to you. Yes, God does communicate with us in many different ways and not always in our brains. He is always present, we just might not be aware of that sometimes.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Acronyms, I'm confused!

A few years ago I worked in the telecoms sector and remember many a meeting. They were just like meetings in other companies but you knew you worked in the industry by the acronyms that were used, BTS, BSC, TSCs the list was endless. Any ideas what they mean? It was great if you had some experience because you would have a fighting chance of understanding a little bit of what was discussed, having said that I am sure a few people didn't and probably preferred not to show their ignorance for fear of looking stupid. Anyone who had never worked in this sector ran the risk of feeling alienated and disengaged about what was going on.

Why do we do it, that is use acronyms or words that can only be understood by the 'in crowd'? Is it because we are worried about using up too many words or because we just get into a habit of saying them. That's the thing when we become the member of a club or join an organisation, it doesn't take too long before we start using the language used by that group.

Now here is a real problem, what if the group wants to have an open door policy, yet the language used is very much the opposite, it closes doors and turns the group into something that is exclusive. Wannabe members may get the wrong message and think it's not for them because they do not understand the 'lingo' as it were.

As Christians, we are not immune to this situation, words like justification, sin, fellowship, redeemed, and acronyms like CCM, (Contemporary Christian Music) WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) , ACTS (Adoration, Contrition, Thanksgiving, Supplication) are used in churches everyday, and can be difficult to understand (even for the regulars) and be a barrier to people who want to engage with church. Maybe we just need to explain what we mean? 1 Corinthians 14:9 (CEV) leaves us with a challenging thought, "That’s how it is when you speak unknown languages. If no one can understand what you are talking about, you will only be talking to the wind.".