Monday, December 29, 2014

5 Tips to Improve Your Church's Social Media

"Social media" is one of those buzz phrases tossed around by media consultants and churches are encouraged in some way to engage their community with it. But, what is the purpose of social media for the church and how do you use it?

The first question is easy enough. Social media is the wild west of the internet. There are no real rules in the realm of Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, YouTube, LinkedIn or Pinterest, to name a few of the more popular sites. People post what they want, when they want, with very little direction and quite often no moral compass. People are belittled, insulted, given bad information and terrible guidance on problems they face; yet it thrives.

And the purpose, as we see it at Speiro Communications, is to use this unwieldy force as a tool to simply let your community know about your church and God. Think about it this way. With all of the darkness you find in social media it should be pretty easy to strike a match and light that world at least a little bit. As a result the church needs to use this form of communication to show the world a different and better perspective.

And we do have a better perspective. We are a purchased possession of God and as a result we turn the other cheek, give to those that ask, pray for those that persecute us and love our enemies (Matthew 5:38-48). If that does not light up a social media site then I have no idea what would. We can use social media tools to demonstrate the difference that God makes in our lives and a better way for all mankind.

The "How" of social media takes a bit more understanding but can be helped with the inclusion of these five points:

  1. Don't just start signing up for all sorts of social media! If you are not ready with a plan it will look like you are fumbling your way through. If not done right you can find yourselves embarrassing the church. Remember the world is watching.  
  2. Determine your target demographic and how you can speak to them best. There is a difference in Google+ users and Facebook users. Figure out who you want to reach and the best vehicle for you to reach them. We can help let you know who goes where, but most social sites are pretty easy to figure out. Let me give you a small hint, if you are starting a Men's Ministry, Pinterest is the wrong place to promote it.   
  3. Get your congregation on board. One church started with 100 Facebook "Likes" and with a Sunday geared toward outreach they were able to triple that number in just a couple of months. Their numbers are still great and the members are using Facebook to reach beyond the church walls!
  4. Have content in mind weeks in advance. This does not mean that spontaneous posts cannot happen. But never get in the position of the well running dry. And never, and I mean never, resort to, "Like this post if you love Jesus."  Instead be fun, be inspired, be giving and be loving. 
  5. You must commit and be consistent. Sporadic posts will halt your efforts faster than anything else. This is especially true if the congregation is on board and things are going great for a few weeks and then no one posts or comments on posts. People will stop checking in. Build a team to help you post, comment, favorite and generate interest. 
With the tips above you should be able to hit the ground running and start opening doors to people in your community and that really is the point. You will ultimately become an alternative to some of the junk out there and God will be glorified!

For other how's or to talk about the church and social media email us at or visit our site at

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Merry Christmas From Speiro Communications

Every year at Christmas we break out the old songs of the faith and sing with our loudest voices carols like Oh Come All Ye Faithful, Go Tell It on the Mountain, Hark the Herald Angels Sing and Away in the Manger to name just a few. It is impossible for the hardest heart not to be melted by the words and music as we recall the true meaning of the manger.

It is our hope and prayer that each and every person will take advantage of this special season to search their hearts to find room for Jesus!

Happy Holidays from Speiro Communications.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Talking to People Where They Are

Fear can depend on perspective.
We had a young teenager come to live with us because he was having some difficulties in life. He was from a significantly different background than our family, but needed a home. We live in a very rural setting, a 200 acre farm, miles from the nearest city. He was not from a farm and as a matter of fact rarely went outside let alone go for a walk in the silence and open spaces of a farm.

To help familiarize him with the property, he and I went for a walk through the rolling hills and bean fields that he would be calling home. As we topped a small roll in the landscape at the edge of a dark green soybean field, a fairly sizable buck rustled to his feet and then bounded off into the woods. My pride swelled at the picture of our farm with abundant wildlife and such a picturesque site of the multi-pointed deer hopping through the field. I turned to the young man and said, "Well...what do you think of that?"

He quickly replied, "I think we should get out of here before he comes back."

I suddenly became acutely aware of the societal differences between he and I.

Our churches have the same problem of societal differences and speaking to a new, younger generation is difficult at best. But, we are not to ignore the next generation or people in it that are different than us and the best example of that is Jesus himself.

Think about how Jesus grew up. Nazareth was not mentioned in the Old Testament and it was not even a foot note in writings of Josephus or Philo. Also, archaeological artifacts are scant in the area leading to the right conclusion that Nazareth was a very small town or community. Yet Jesus knew his message had to travel outside of his small town and possibly beyond even his comfort zone.

But, Jesus did not let social factors or his small town roots get in the way of his message and we can all list some of the various cultures and people he was in contact with. The Samaritan woman at the well, Zaccheaus the reviled tax collector, the unclean lepers and the big city folks of Jerusalem were all touched by the small town man with the message of hope.

We too are called to go outside of our comfort zone and speak to the various cultures that surround us and we don't have to travel far to do so. Regardless, of where your church is at physically, you are surrounded by a new mission field, a generation that is hard to talk to and very difficult to understand. This mission field is the Millennial and younger generations. They are in constant communication, find answers to every question on small plastic boxes, and have more information available to them than in any other time in history, but are lost. I feel they are ready for the message of Jesus, but we have lost the ability to communicate with them. If you doubt me try to read one of their texts.

To go where they are, we need to start engaging in a planned social media campaign. We need to invite Millennials currently in our churches to help in this new mission field and more broadly get our church speaking in a way that this younger generation will understand and respond to. This does not mean that we alter the message! It does mean that we should think more deeply about how we convey that message. Don't delay. A new mission field awaits.

For more information about Speiro Communication go to or email us at

Monday, December 1, 2014

A Simple Test to See If Your Church Is An Alternative

Many churches today are not even an alternative to the lost people of their community. It is unfortunate, but a fact that many Christian Churches and Churches of Christ in general, do not appear on web searches or have websites, let alone have websites set up for mobile devises. Some church leaders will stop reading right there, and will not modernize the way they communicate.  They do not realize that the ear of young people in their community has been lost.

This is despite the fact that of the 77 million Millennials (people born between 1980 and 2000) in the US, 85% own smart phones. This information comes from a Nielson poll taken in the second quarter of 2014. Not only that but 71% of all adults 18+ own a smart devise.

Keep in mind that these devises are not just toys but tools as many young people are using their phone to make important decisions. A June 2014 study by Mitek and Zogby Analytics, revealed that Millennials attempt to access a business's mobile site at a very high rate: 24% - Multiple times a day, 20% - once a day, 27% - few times a week and 12% monthly. Churches are not a business, however this reveals Churches have been behind the curve in this mission field. What if a young couple looking for a church, used their tablet or phone in their search? How would you do?

Don't worry I am not letting church members off the hook, personal evangelism is the most important aspect of spreading the gospel. However, just like the printing press forever changed how we interact with people so too has electronic communication.

So, are you an alternative to those looking for a church or a deeper relationship with God? Here is a simple test to find out. Don't worry, everyone can do this as it is no more than a simple search with a few caveats.

1. Turn on your laptop, mobile devise or desktop computer. If you don't have one borrow the youth minister's or a friend's.

2. Empty the cache of the browser (Chrome, Firefox, Explorer, Safari, etc.). Have you ever been shopping for a new drill on the internet and then later in the day all the ads that pop up seem to be from hardware stores? Your "cache" is the reason why. We need to empty it before you do your search otherwise it will skew the results. This website can help you if you don't know how. Click Here

3. Open your browser that you just cleared the cache for and type in the search space "churches in ____________"  fill in the blank with your city or town and hit enter. 

4. Examine the results. If your church appears on the first page of results multiple times congrats! If you are on there once, good job but there is work to be done. If you are on the second page, you have a lot of work to do. If you are on page three or more, you will not even be considered and you are not an alternative to many in your community.

Now what?
Don't get discouraged. Many of you didn't even know to check on this before today. Second, take control. Website builders often can make a great looking site, but lack the knowledge and expertise to drive traffic to the site. If they have the knowledge, they don't have the time. Find out how willing they are to help by requesting a plan to increase search engine optimization that involves volunteers from the church. Also, your site may have been built by someone that did not understand the goals or purpose. Re-think why you have a site. 

Third, find help. To increase your search engine placement (move you up on the list) it takes an organic effort with several people pulling their weight. You need to have an effort that is consistent and in place for the long term. This means developing content, posting links to social media, commenting on subjects posted and generating interest in the social media/website campaign. It can be done. A church that did not even appear in the first twenty pages of the search is now on the first page, with our help and a steady effort in just six months. 

Last, every church can do this regardless of size! And we need to start right now. A generation may be slipping through our fingers. 

If you need help to get started or for more information, take a look at our website at or email us at      

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Your Church Should Have a Webite

A website needs to be a place to store.
by Russ Ward
"Your church should have a website." That is the refrain echoed by many supposed experts in marketing churches. That advice is then usually followed by, "and engage in social media." While in general terms what they are saying is true, that sentiment often overlooks the fundamentals of marketing and public relations.

For instance, one of the first credos of professional public relations and marketing is "First, do no harm." Unfortunately, in the rush to complete a website many churches are hurting their efforts. Just one example I recently found was a church website with a photo caption that read, "Making homemade pizzas." Harmless enough, but the photo above the caption was someone holding a big snake!  Not very appetizing to say the least and that mistake could leave a bad taste in someone's mouth in more ways than one.

Additionally, harm can come in other more subtle forms, such as not knowing the purpose of the website before you start to build it. Without a specific purpose you will never know if it is accomplishing your goals. So, the first step to making a website is to ask the question, "Why do you need a website?" Without the answer to that simple question your site will not produce the results you desire.

There are many purposes for church websites: inform the congregation, be visible on searches, give the youth minister another thing to do, prove you are hip, demonstrate your desire for missions, inform the community about your church, and general outreach are just some. At Speiro Communications we feel that all of the above can be accomplished to some extent but the overarching purpose of a Christian Church website must be to reach the unsaved in your own community. We need to be about sowing seed. Keep in mind that this is not an overt sales pitch to the lost, but a velvet glove approach. Remember the advice that Jesus gave to his apostles before sending them out was to "be as shrewd as snakes and innocent as doves." We must learn to speak with purpose, gently.

Identifying who you are speaking to through your website is the second step. In marketing terms this is called the target demographic. By understanding the audience of your website you can tailor your content to match those that will be reading it, hearing it or viewing it. This means that a website for a rural church may be different than for one in the suburbs or city. The generational make-up of a community may alter the design. This does not mean that you ignore other demographic groups, but it does mean that we start focusing our efforts more effectively and we begin to think, more critically, about who we are talking to and how we can talk more effectively.

Once you know why and who, you can start thinking about the message of the website. The message should reveal the purpose to those you can reach in your community. A simple message is often expressed in a vision statement or mission statement. However, the professional designer of a website knows that the message is not just represented in the words, but also in the design, color palette, font choice and layout.

The purpose, target demographic and message should come together to speak to your community about Jesus and His church. Once you have worked through this process, then your church is ready to have a website!

If you need help with the above contact Speiro Communications. Our mission is to help Christian Churches sow seeds in their community.

For more info on Speiro Communications click here.

If you have questions call us at 618-201-1534 or email us at

Monday, November 10, 2014

Speiro - Reaching Your Community with Techology

When contacting church leaders to do research, we recently spoke to a pastor at a large Midwestern Christian Church and discussed the need for our services. He said that marketing and social media are desperately needed. But, he went on to say that at the Christian conferences he has attended, they were usually long on advice but short on information the local church could use to implement a plan. In the breakout sessions about reaching into the community the discussion leaders always say, "You have to have a website, engage in social media and have a plan to use current technology to tell others about Jesus Christ and your church."

The problem is that many of the seminar leaders are long on advice on what to do, but rarely understand the nuts and bolts of accomplishing what is needed especially in the medium and small sized churches. These churches have limited resources, limited staff and no real training as to how to accomplish marketing goals and implement plans. Also, very few churches have a paid professional on staff that understands current technology and if they do, they are not professionals at using that technology for measurable results.

There is no doubt that there is a real need in churches today.

That dilemma for the churches is what led to the creation of Speiro Communications. Speiro comes from the Greek and means "to sow" and our guidance for our new venture comes from Matthew 13:3-9. We as Christians and by extension the local church is called to sow! But in our current culture, the church in many respects has fallen behind the technological curve and we struggle with speaking to our own communities and specifically the Millennial generation.

Speiro can help with a plan, content, web creation and assist with social media. We can help you sow seeds into your community.

For more info on Speiro Communications click here.

If you have questions call us at 618-201-1534 or email us at