The Ten Commandments of Mobile Engagement
by Reece Anderson
Published on August 14, 2014
If you are a church, non-profit, or other membership driven organization, almost all of your members have a smartphone. And for many of them, their phone is the first thing they look at when they wake up and they last thing they see before going to sleep! Whether you are struggling to remind your volunteers of upcoming meetings, motivate your members to get involved, or just sharing your victories and challenges, these 10 rules of mobile engagement and communication are sure to help you out.
- 1)DO get your own app. Having your very own branded mobile app will create a more intimate line of communication between you and your members. It also gives you the ability to send out push notifications that will likely be read by everyone who has the app installed! It also doesn’t require an internet connection to view all the content (unlike a mobile website).
- 2)Having a Facebook page should never be your one stop shop to mobile engagement. I know many pastors, Executive Directors, and other leaders who couldn’t understand why their Facebook page had very little “likes” and interactions after putting it out there for a few years. ***Some side tips on this: if your status updates are just one liners, quotes, and don’t have any photos for people to share or short videos telling people your story, nobody wants to follow your page! Also, the best way to get a LOT of legitimate likes within a few days is to personally invite your FB friends to like your page. If you go to the organization’s page and look on the righthand side, you will see a column that contains an invite button for all of your friends. You can’t send out a mass invite…get a drink and get comfortable because it is worth it!!! Once you have done that, round up 12 leaders within your organization and ask them to do the same. You should have 1,000 new likes by the weekend if you and your team actually follow through with this simple idea.
- 3)DON’T assume that emails have been read. I was involved in a worship and creative arts team at church where the leader would frequently send out last minute emails to cancel practice or make a change. Guess what? 80% of us did not get the memo! While email is very important, text and push notifications are the preferred method for alerts and important communications. Mass texting packages can get uber expensive though…It would be much cheaper to get your own app through www.EZCustomApps.com where you can upload your own logo and add any customizable feature you want for a very affordable monthly fee…
- 4)Remember the “Why” and the “Cause” when trying to communicate with millennial members. As our communications get shorter, we have to really make it count! If you are a church, rather than posting a single scripture with no commentary, try posting up a challenge, question, or short video that tells a story.
- 5)Eat the elephant one bite at a time. Especially when you fundraise through a mobile campaign. When you put a need out there through social media or on your app, you may not get any big checks. However, if you involve your members in the process and track your progress through some kind of thermometer or other graphic that shows how far you are from reaching goal, you might be surprised when 20 people commit $10 per month!
- 6)DON’T drive your members to a website that is not mobile friendly. I mentioned having your own app earlier…but at least make sure your website appeals to visitors with a mobile device. I would encourage you to install google analytics on your page if you haven’t already. It will show you exactly how many of your visitors are mobile. You will be shocked!
- 7)DO get offline every once in a while to meet with your team about mobile engagement strategies. I have been with several organizations who just assigned a staff member the task of social media and mobile engagement. None of the other members on the team could care less about how many new page interactions we had last week! I believe this is a big problem. It takes a village to create a presence (see point #2)
- 8)DO Give your members something to respond to. Successful mobile engagement means interaction. If you have an app, put some good content up there. Ask questions. Toss out bones that people can SHARE! Post photos of your volunteers regularly and tag them on a regular basis.
- 9)DO track progress and measure outcomes. Use some kind of analytics (many sites like facebook provide this automatically)…once you identify some strategies that really work for your organization, keep on improving!
- 10)DON’T lose your push notification privileges!!! If you have your own app, push notifications will be your best friend and worst enemy. If you are a pastor and you want to send out daily scriptures and words of encouragement, your members will uninstall your app quickly! Make sure your communication via push notifications are VERY important and not too frequent. If you want to blog, add that feature to your app. Your members who want to read it will!