If you’re working in youth ministry in the year 2012, you’re probably trying to do whatever you can to get your message out to students and families. The Internet was supposed to make this easier, but it didn’t and right now your communication strategy probably looks like this:
Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, Vimeo, Pinterest, MailChimp, Constant Contact, Traditional website, MySpace, SMS, Postal mailings, Phone trees, Church bulletins, Newsletters, Postcards, Posters and fliers, Sanctuary announcements and videos, Rolling slides, Blogs.
I hope you didn’t actually read that entire list. Point is, there’s a lot of stuff.
My favorite moment in the entire Bible comes when Jesus curses that fig tree for not producing any fruit and the ministry idea is simple – if it’s not helping you build the Kingdom, then it’s not worth your time. Stop doing it.
Of course, it’s tough to tell what’s working and what’s not, so here are five (pretty) easy ways to gauge the success of your different methods.
Twitter. Use BufferApp so that you can see the analytics of your tweets. If you regularly use Twitter to point people towards things like registration forms, you’ll probably want to know if anyone is clicking over.
Your website. Install Google Analytics to figure out how many people actually read your stuff. If it takes you two hours each week to update your website but only six people ever check it out, it’s probably not worth your time.
Your Facebook page. Facebook already gives you usage data. Look at it and try to figure out what you’re doing to cause a spike in interactions or Facebook “Likes”.
E-newsletter. Constant Contact and MailChimp both give you access to email performance data so you know how many people received and opened the message. You’d be shocked at how low these can be.
Print media. Analyze your timing when you release print media. If camp registrations spike two days after you send out a letter, you’ll know why. In the same way, if your church passes out 400 flyers on a Sunday morning and no one’s signed up by the afternoon, you’ll know that’s not working.
The most important thing for you to do is simple to stop doing the things that aren’t producing fruit. Invest that time back into your students again. That’s why you got into this in the first place, isn’t it?