Archives For Social Media

“Asking for the close on social media is like making out in church. You can do it, but it’s highly frowned upon.”

My friend Brad can be credited for the above quote. And you know what? He’s right.

Why Social is Not for Sales

Many people make the mistake of seeing social as a sales channel. It’s not! I have said it before and I will say it again. Social media is a relational platform.

The goal is to start, grow, and nurture relationships. It’s not about timing studies. It’s not about mindlessly joining every new platform under the sun.

If you are using social media to generate direct sales you will be continually disappointed. That’s not social’s purpose, so it is simply not what you will get as a result.

As you may know, our company offers done-for-you digital marketing services. One of the ways that we try and set this up for those clients is by using the Know-Like-Trust-Build spectrum. Those are relational terms that we use to judge effectiveness for a relational platform.

Know Like Trust Build Spectrum

  • Know is about increasing awareness. How many people know who we are?
  • Like involves engagement. How many people like who we are and interact with us?
  • Trust is conversion or commitment. How many people are converting or committing to what it is that we put in front of them?
  • Build is all about advocacy. How many people are advocating on our behalf? Who is taking action when we ask them to take action? Who is willfully telling people about us on social without any coercive measures?

Realigning your view of social media to this relational perspective nullifies the ROI question, or at least puts it in a different light.

The Cost of Doing Social Wrong

Social media is one of the biggest assets an organization has. Almost everybody makes the ROI-obsession mistake. Everybody gets this wrong because they just blast social media with information, product, or blurbs about how great they are. Just know, this mistake costs everyone.

Not long ago, I looked at a company’s  social media accounts and could tell that they must be pouring hundreds, maybe even thousands, of dollars into content marketing on a monthly basis. Yet all of their content marketing is geared towards telling people how great their product is.

I would be shocked if they are making the money they are spending on those tactics back. Additionally, they are alienating tons of potential allies by that kind of billboard marketing!

Trust me when I say that I would rather have the most cobbled together content that focuses on building relationships with people than spend any amount of money to praise my own products on social media.

I know from my own and from client experience that the payoff of social media is in building relationships, and it’s so much more than financial.

This week, take a step back and look at how your organization is doing social media. If it looks more like a billboard or self-praise, it is time for a shift. Remember, nobody wants to see you making out in church.

Josh Burns coined the title phrase, and I have been using it ever since with one tiny addition. Social media is a relational platform – not an advertising platform.

Many times when we first start working with a client they will naturally look at social media as an advertising platform. Their focus is primarily on driving clicks, views, eyeballs – however you want to say it. They ask us time and again: “How do we drive clicks to our product/site/store?”

That type of thinking comes out when you hear things like “How many likes did we get this month? How many followers did we add? What is our click-through rate of our Facebook ad?”

The Primary Function of Social

Now, let me clarify: the above are not bad questions to ask. In some ways, social is another marketing tool.

However – that is it’s secondary function. The primary function of social is to establish, build, and nurture relationships. That’s it.

Social works in the same way that we meet someone at a party and nurture that relationship towards friendship. When we’re at a party we’re not thinking (at least non-skuzzy people aren’t thinking) “How do I get something out of this person?” We’re thinking something along the lines of “This person seems interesting and I’d like to get to know them better.”

To put that paradigm on social: it’s like having that dinner party conversation infinitely with the people in our social communities. It’s not about baiting them to buy. It’s about building a relationship. You and I both know when we’re being sold to. People in your social media communities know when you’re selling.

If you want to drive business with social you have to put in relational effort first. Think of it this way: I don’t mind if – in fact I cherish it – when a friend comes to me and says “this is what I do professionally, I think I can help you, here’s what it would look like.” But for that to be something I value and will be open to, months and years of personal relationship have been established. Social media contacts function the same way.

KLTB

Seth Godin calls it “permission based marketing.” Gary Vaynerchuk calls it “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook.” We call it the KLTB spectrum: Know, Like, Trust, Build.

Basically, we wanted to have a relational metrics for a relational platform. When we work with clients we use KLTB.

This spectrum was born of these four questions:

  • How do we get people to know who you are?
  • To like who you are?
  • To trust who you are?
  • How do we get people to build alongside you?

Under each one of these queries go specific metrics but it is crucial to keep in mind that the point isn’t the metrics. The point is the relationship. The metrics help support the ultimate goal which is establishing, building, and nurturing relationship.

The Efficacy of Social

Is social media effective at *insert your ultimate objective here* (sales, donations, more members, attendance, book sales, etc.)? Absolutely 100% freaking yes! But you have to remember that it looks different than a broadcast platform like radio, tv, print, and billboards.

The key is knowing the difference between the two.

Social media is there for you to find like-minded individuals and to connect with them. It’s there for interaction. It’s there for relationship building. Let that truth sink in as you schedule your social content this week!

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At Think Digital, we’re all about learning.

We read blog posts. We talk to other marketing professionals. We read books. But nothing beats learning from people IN PERSON and face-to-face.

Part of understanding social media strategy is making the decision to never stop learning.

And that’s why I’m taking my team to the Social Fresh WEST Conference in just a few weeks. Not only are we PUMPED to go to sunny San Diego, but we cannot wait to learn from people like Peter Shankman, Sarah Evans, Clay Herbert, and podcast guest Jason Keath.

Unlike many conferences that run simultaneous workshops, Social Fresh has ONE track for EVERYONE to go through. You don’t have to miss out on any of the speakers. Errrrbody all up in the same place, yo.

There will also be opportunities for you to connect one-on-one with speakers and attendees throughout the three days of the conference.

If you’re looking to grow your knowledge and understanding of social media, this is the place to be! The Social Fresh WEST Conference is Tuesday, October 28 – Friday, October 30, 2014.

WAIT: Use the special promotional code, THINKDIGITAL, when selecting your ticket to get 10% off. Oh yeah. It’s like that.

For full information and registration: socialfreshconference.com.

We hope to see you there!

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Church friends! We have an BRAND NEW online training coming your way at the end of the month. Best part? It’s FREE!

On October 30th from 1-3 PM Eastern, we’re launching the Social Church Live. It’s an online training event to help your church, ministry, or faith-based nonprofit build a digital marketing strategy and increase ministry results.

Reserve Your Seat

Why Social Church Live?

Social Church Live exists for one reason: your church. We’ve assembled a unique blend of church and ministry digital marketing experts who want to show you how they leverage digital tools to further the cause of the Church.

This free online event will get you access to the movers and shakers who know what it takes to assemble a faith-based community online and influence their action.

Each learning session will give you practical tips and battle-tested insight you can use immediately to increase your online effectiveness for your church, ministry, or nonprofit.

At Social Church Live online event, we’ve worked hard to bring you solid concepts and actionable teaching from knowledgable speakers to help you learn:

  1. The easy-to-implement principles all successful churches use to create ministry results online
  2. How to attract new visitors with your social media content
  3. How to determine the value of your social media content (social media ROI)
  4. How to build an audience that has your back
  5. What pitfalls to steer clear of on social media
  6. How to get unstuck if your community-building efforts have plateaued
  7. Why your email list is one of the most important assets your organization has
  8. What social media metrics are the most important (and which ones you can forget about)
  9. Practical examples from world-class online communicators
  10. Plus so much more!

Reserve Your Seat

Who should attend Social Church Live?

The list is is short, sweet, and simple: anyone who wants to achieve ministry results with their digital and social media content.

This includes:

  • Pastors
  • Church communicators
  • Nonprofit leaders
  • Volunteers
  • Administrative assistants
  • Seminaries
  • Charitable organizations
  • Creative directors

You will hear from speakers spanning dozens of different industries who have built up their influence and reaped tangible ministry results from doing so!

Reserve Your Seat

Frequently Asked Questions, yo.

How will I get access to the online event?

Once you register, you’ll go into our system and receive instant confirmation of your registration. On the day of Social Church Live, we’ll send you an email with a unique log-in link to access the training and download the conference workbook.

What’s the cost for Social Church Live?

There is none, it’s FREE! There’s no catch. You get access to all this amazing coaching for free. The only investment you have to make is your time. Why are we giving away this jam-packed training? Because we know some of the people who sign-up will eventually want to upgrade to become Social Church members and take their ministry results to the next level. But whether you decide to upgrade or not, you get access to this event for free. Take it as a free gift from our team; no cost and no obligation.

What results can I expect after attending the online event?

Through the free training and practical wisdom you’ll get from our team of speakers, you’ll learn how to attract new people to your audience, engage more deeply with your online community, and influence your audience to take action when you ask.

Can I attend this event with my team?

Yes! In fact, we find people who attend our online events are more successful at implementing the material when there’s a team involved. The more the merrier =)

What if I have other questions which aren’t answered here?

Get in touch with us using the contact form on this site and someone from our team will respond within 24 hours. We hope to see you on October 30th!

Reserve Your Seat



I am deathly afraid of snakes. I hate them. Can you relate?

I was mowing the lawn at my house last summer and nearly mowed over a snake. I didn’t see it at first, so I got closer to it than I was comfortable with. Once I saw it, I shrieked like a child and literally ran away screaming.

I knew I had to end the life of this wriggling, cold-blooded, meat pipe, so I did what any red-blooded American male would do: called my brother-in-law to come kill it.

The thought of shoving a shovel blade through the snake’s body was too much for me to bear. When Ben arrived, I gave him my garden spade and the battle cry of “make sure you cut his head off.”

I had only heard that in movies, but I wanted to pretend like I was being helpful.

Ben struck. I heard the same kind of crunch as when you crack a glow stick open. The snake perished. I picked up its disgusting, lifeless body with a snow shovel and threw it in a plastic grocery bag. What a way to go.

When you cut the head off a snake, it starts wriggling around, thrashing all about. It might even be comical if it wasn’t so damn disgusting.

To quote Morpheus, “the body cannot live without the mind.”

This is true for you and me as well. While our brains account for approximately 1 percent of our total body weight, we could not live without this vitally small percentage.

So much power packed into such a tiny space.

I find this to be true in other contexts as well:

A tiny rudder is responsible for steering a big ship.

A match can set blaze to a forest fire.

An axe can chop down a giant tree.

The tongue speaks words that start wars.

I was sitting in church yesterday and found myself thinking about the Think Digital productivity sheets I’ve been working on for the past few months. It’s a system I’m developing to help me get the most out of each day.

A few months ago I started realizing regular to-do lists just weren’t cutting it anymore.

I had tried every app you could think of—nothing seemed to work.

So I started experimenting with good ol’ fashioned pen and paper and noticed an instant improvement in what I was able to accomplish.

I’m on version five of the system and so far it’s helped me to obliterate my to-do list on a daily and weekly basis.

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