Archives For Social Media


Are you having trouble getting people interested in your social media content? There’s a reason no one cares.

Do you know what it is? Gather in close. I will tell you.

If no one cares about your social media content, it’s because you aren’t responding to them. You aren’t listening. The secret to social media success is this: Responsiveness.

That’s right. Responsiveness. In other words, when your online community tweets, comments, or messages you, you respond back.

It’s not timing (oh, how I loathe “timing” studies). It’s not post length (although that can help). It’s not the tools you use. It’s not any factor that lives “out there,” just beyond our grasp.

It boils down to being a living, breathing human being connecting on a one-to-one level with other living, breathing human beings. That’s responsiveness.

The people who understand the need for responsiveness are the ones who see results. It’s the great differentiator. You can’t easily “scale” responsiveness, which is why it’s so precious. The brands and business who respond will win. The ones that do not (or will not), won’t.

My thinking on this has shifted through the years, but I have people like Gary Vaynerchuk and Jon Acuff to look at as role models. They have audiences much larger than mine and somehow, they find a way to respond. If they can do it, I can do it.


When faced with the responsiveness question, many organizations will give excuses like:

  1. But Justin, we don’t have enough time to be responsive.
  2. But Justin, we don’t know what to say–what if someone says something bad about us?
  3. But Justin, there’s no one on staff who can do that right now.
  4. But Justin, won’t that take a lot of time (short answer: YES).

You know what that is? Bullsh*t. All of it. (And many of you need strong language like that to shake the cobwebs off. Did it work? Do I have your attention now?)

If you are too busy to respond to your online audience, you are too busy to see results. Period.

Look at these folks being responsive:


Jon Acuff


Delta Airlines

Gary Vaynerchuk


Ann Curry


If you don’t respond to your audience, you’re no better than telemarketers—you want the results without building the relationship.

Social media is not a “free” marketing channel to endlessly blast your poor, tired, marketing-weary audience. It is a living, breathing connection to the people who have chosen to be a part of your community.

Give them the respect they deserve. Start responding. If no one is tweeting at you or commenting on your stuff, go out and find some people to talk to (they’re out there).

The social media of the future will be responsive. Don’t get left behind!

UPDATE: The original version of this post had the curse word spelled out. I changed it because, even though I believe what I wrote, it made folks I trust ask questions. I’m super passionate about this topic, thus the strong language. The edited version still makes a strong point while being a little more palatable. I am sorry if I offended you.

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I was talking with a client recently who said something that felt like a cold glass of water on a hot Iowa summer day.

We were looking at a social media report from another agency and he said:

All these likes, retweets, reach metrics, whatever—they don’t mean anything. At the end of the day, it looks great, but how did it help us accomplish our goal?

He’s right.

Likes, hashtag reach, and even comments do a poor job at reflecting the true value of social. They make the content creator(s) feel good, but it’s a small step in the overall social media metric journey.

Truthfully, the metrics of social media deal with intangibles: Trust, Authority, Affinity, and Loyalty. These are squishy relational terms that defy categorization. But to get down to the real-deal-value of social, you need to be able to put numbers to online relationships.

We do this already, though. It’s not a new way of thinking. Think about it: when you go to a conference or a networking event, what’s the “metric” we use to evaluate if it was worth our time?

How many new relationships we formed. That’s what. How do we “measure” that? With business cards. That’s how.

Social media is no different. For instance, one of the ways we measure Trust with our clients is by looking at how many times their content gets shared on Facebook. More than likes or comments, a share signifies a different level of relationship a fan has with your business.

A share is a proactive recommendation of an organization’s content. The sharer says to his or her community, “I agree with what they are saying. I place my seal of approval with this content piece and, thereby, the issuer of the content.”

Essentially, when someone shares your content, they are saying they Trust you to speak for them. Wow. What an amazing privilege!

[Tweet “When someone shares your content, they are saying they trust you to speak for them.”]

A ginormous (technical term) relational dynamic (TRUST) wrapped up in that one little share on Facebook. Huge.

Oftentimes, determining the value of your social media content takes stepping back from the big picture (results) and asking, “when someone shares/likes/RTs/views our content, what does that mean from a relationship perspective?”

When you know the answer to those questions, well, that’s when things start to get fun.

Interested in Social Media Consulting? Click Here »


We need to start thinking differently about social media in our churches.

Social media has been vilified, championed, and everything in between in our churches, and with good reason. It’s new, and anything new–especially substantially new–is usually feared at first.

But I believe it’s time to start thinking (and talking) differently about social media in our churches. My guess is you feel this pain as well. With Facebook turning 10 recently, social is maturing. Our attitudes and approach to it must mature as well.

If you need a starting point for social media in your church, start with the following list. Print it out at and give it to your staff. Send it to your lead pastor. Let’s take a look at how we can start thinking differently about our churches and social media.

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