Social listening evangelism is one of the most powerful tools in social media ministry.
Many churches and ministries are using social media to reach new believers and share the gospel with unbelievers but they aren’t using social media to its full potential.
They’re just posting Bible verses, songs, and quotes to their social media audience.
Social listening is a great way to get a deeper understanding of who God is speaking to online. It helps us understand what topics people are talking about, where they’re coming from, and what kind of content they’re looking for.
This information will help us connect with people in a meaningful way and ultimately bring them closer to Christ.
In this article, I will explain what social listening evangelism is, how to use it effectively, and why you should be using it.
What is social listening evangelism?
Social listening evangelism is a process of monitoring conversations happening online, either through search engines or social media sites. Social listening allows you to listen in real-time to what people are saying about your topic and respond accordingly.
The best way to use social listening is to monitor online conversations, especially those occurring on social media sites. Then, when you find a discussion that relates to your topic or service, you can jump in and evangelize.
For example, let’s say you’re running a church youth group and want to reach out to young adults interested in Jesus Christ. You might start by searching for conversations on Twitter about “Jesus Christ.” Then, once you’ve found some relevant tweets, you can reply directly to them and ask questions about Jesus Christ.
Why is social listening evangelism important to your ministry?
The internet is the most crowded place on earth, with over 4 billion people on it at any one time. That presents a massive problem for digital content creators like you and me.
We’ve already established how crucial creating content that people are looking for is. Still, the question is, “how do you know what people are looking for?”
One of the biggest hurdles many solo or small ministries face is time and resources. Let’s face it; most ministries hardly make any money to sustain their operations. As a result, many people give up after spending so much money and time without any results.
I don’t want that to be you, and the answer to this problem is making sure your ministry meets people’s needs. And the only way you can meet people’s needs is by knowing what their needs are in the first place.
Social listening is crucial because it allows you to discover people’s pain points without quickly walking the streets or reading all the blog posts.
How can a social listening evangelism strategy help your ministry?
Social listening evangelism can be a powerful ministry on its own. It’s like street evangelism where you go out to meet people, listen to their stories, and share then Jesus with them.
In most cases, you may never even meet that person again but knowing that you gave them something essential and everlasting is what evangelism is all about.
With a social listening ministry, you can spend 30 minutes every day going through your social media and answering people’s questions, and offering them Jesus at the same time.
Here are some ways social listening can help you reach people with the gospel:
- Use social listening to identify people who might need Jesus.
- Find people who are already interested in your topic.
- Build relationships with people who are already interested in ministry.
- Connect and engage with people around the world.
- Use social listening to get feedback on your content.
- Social listening will help you determine whether your content is resonating with people.
- Use social listening to evaluate the effectiveness of your outreach efforts.
- Measure the success of your outreach efforts.
How to social listen for free.
You can get started with social listening evangelism for free using the platforms you’re already using.
Step 1 – Sign up and create your profiles on the following platforms.
Step 2 – Search and engage.
Once you have signed up for all of the above platforms, go ahead and search for relevant keywords. These keywords should relate to your topic, product or service.
For example, if your ministry is about helping Christian parents, search for “Christian parenting” in the search box.
Then, as you see new posts appear, click through to read the post and comment on it.
If you don’t feel comfortable commenting, share the link to the post so others can also read it.
Step 3 – Follow other users.
As you interact with people on social media, you’ll notice that many will follow back. So, when someone follows you back, make sure to reciprocate.
This is an opportunity to grow your network. If you’re trying to reach people with the gospel, this is an excellent way to connect with those who may be open to hearing from God.
Step 4 – Get insights.
Now that you have built a strong relationship with people on social media by interacting with them, you can ask them questions. Questions such as “what’s something you struggle with?”, “what would you like to hear more about?”, “do you have any questions?”.
The answers to these questions will give you insight into their interests. You can use this information to understand your audience better and tailor your content accordingly.
Step 5 – Create content.
When you know what topics interest your target audience, you can create content around these topics. This could include articles, videos, podcasts, etc.
Content creation doesn’t necessarily mean writing. There are plenty of tools available today that allow you to create quality content without writing anything yourself quickly.
For example, you can use Google Docs to create documents, slideshows, presentations, etc. You can even add images and video clips to enhance your presentation.
There are also online services that allow you to record audio and video easily.
Step 6 – Share your content.
After creating your content, you need to share it. Sharing your content on social media helps you build credibility and authority within your community. It also allows your followers to discover your work and learn more about you.
Step 7 – Engage.
Finally, after sharing your content, engage with the comments left by your followers. Respond to comments, answer questions, and provide value to your followers.
You can do this by replying directly to the person who commented, retweeting their message, liking their post, and leaving a reply.
In summary, social listening gives you valuable insights into your audience. Once you have identified your target audience, you’ll want to learn more about them.
Social media is a great platform to learn about your audience. It allows you to follow people, engage with their conversations, and ask questions. You’ll gain valuable insights into your audience’s interests and needs.
Automated social listening.
These tools allow you to listen in real-time. They monitor keywords and phrases across multiple social networks and alert you whenever they detect new activity related to your chosen keyword or phrase.
Using automated social listening tools can save time and focus on other tasks while still getting alerts when relevant conversations occur.
If you don’t have the budget for paid software, free options are available.
There are many social listening tools out there but the best one is Google Alerts a free service provided by Google that allows you to receive email notifications whenever specific terms appear online.
Google Alerts is great for those interested in finding new information related to their topic of interest.
Alerts are sent via email; therefore, you don’t need to log onto any websites to see what’s happening. You need to set up your alert once and then forget about it.
When you receive an alert, you can click the link to the conversation or article.
How to get started with social listening evangelism?
Getting started with social listening evangelism is relatively easy. You can get started in no time, even without any tech skills. Here is a step-by-step list.
1. Come up with a digital ministry niche.
Your niche should be something that will help you reach your target audience. Choose something that aligns with your values and beliefs.
2. Find your target audience.
Once you’ve decided on your niche, think about who would benefit from reading your material. Do some research and come up with a list of potential audiences.
3. Create your ministry keywords.
Choose 3-5 keywords that describe your content. These keywords will serve as the basis for all future posts.
4. Build your website.
Create a landing page for each of your keywords. Make sure that your pages contain enough information to attract visitors.
If you need some inspiration or information about building your blog, check out this article.
5. Build your social media accounts.
Create profiles on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, etc. Make sure you include links back to your site so that your followers can find out more about you.
6. Start listening for your keywords.
Now that you have everything ready, it’s time to start listening. You can use different methods depending on whether you’re looking to nurture or convert new Christians.
7. Create your initial content.
Once you’ve got your niche, your target audience, and the type of content they are consuming figured out, start creating content.
8. Engage and send people to your website.
There’s nothing like “build it, and they’ll come in cyberspace.” Your website will not receive any visitors unless you promote it.
You’ll want to make sure that your content is engaging enough and addresses the concerns of your audience to keep them coming back. They’ll be more likely to share your content with others.
9. Monitor your results.
Monitoring your website and social media engagement is crucial to the success of your online ministry. You have to pay attention to the posts or content getting engagement and produce more of it.
Keep listening to what people are saying, and in most cases, this may shift your initial plans, niche, or keywords, and that’s fine as long as you’re reaching people.
In conclusion, social listening is a powerful tool for any ministry looking to connect with their community. It lets you see what people are saying about your church or ministry online and gives you insight into what people’s needs are.
This information can be used to inform future programming and events and help you understand where you might need to improve. Social listening evangelism is a powerful tool for churches, and it’s only going to become more prevalent.
Are you already using social media in your ministry? if yes, then congrats! if not then you are missing out. Maybe you’re not a social media kind of a person and that’s fine, that’s why we have 7 more digital evangelism methods for you here.
Used with permission from Nelson Musonda.