Can the Church Learn Social Media Lessons from a Pizza Place?

I saw this awesome article, How Promise Pizza made social media pay off, thanks to a tweet by Chris Cree.  The article is written by Suzanne Cordeiro, who owns and operates Promise Pizza along with her husband and 3 other partners.

In the article, Suzanne tells the story of how they started Promise Pizza 7 months ago, tried all the conventional marketing methods, but found that nothing could match the results they got with Twitter.

She gives 3 tips for getting value from social media:

  1. Target your local audience
  2. Get personal
  3. Support other local businesses and charities in your community

Great advice!

The article also stresses the importance of building relationships and listening.

Comments made via Twitter and Facebook have resulted in

  1. changes in pricing; 
  2. modifications in recipes; 
  3. adding/removing items from our menu; 
  4. adjusting our delivery radius; and many more factors.

Two other important lessons I pulled from the article, but are not explicitly stated:

  1. For social media to be effective, you have to have a great product.  Nobody tweets about things that are poor or average whether that’s pizza or anything else.
  2. For social media to be effective, you have to do creative activities.  The article lists a number of specials, events, and fundraisers Promise Pizza did.  Not many people will retweet (or even read tweets) that say “Get a large pizza for $9.99″ but a lot of people will read & retweet ”Autism Awareness Day where a % of our proceeds went to Autism Speaks”

Applying These Lessons to Church

While these lessons are great for local businesses who want to connect with customers via social media, what about local churches?

My observation is that most churches using Facebook & Twitter follow Suzanne’s first tip – target your local audience.  But “get personal” and “Support other local businesses and charities in your community?”  Not so much.  Does yours?

Have you ever heard of a church making changes because of comments left on Facebook or Twitter?  Has yours?

If you’re church is using Facebook & Twitter as a one-way communication channel to promote its agenda, it’s missing the point.  And missing out on a great opportunity.

Paul Steinbrueck is co-founder and CEO of OurChurch.Com, elder of CypressMeadows.org, husband, father of 3, blogger. You can follow him on Twitter at @PaulSteinbrueck and add him to your circles at Google+ as +Paul Steinbrueck.

5 Responses to “Can the Church Learn Social Media Lessons from a Pizza Place?”

  1. You couldn't be more dead on with that post! Excellent.. Businesses and churches tend to view social media as traditional advertising where they do all the talking and customers/viewers just listen.. Social Media is a whole new game.. The businesses have to listen and engage to be effective..

  2. Social Media is all about relationships ~ Churches are all about relationships!
    Any church can benefit from social media, whether in a small town or large city. The rules and outcome are the same.

    Suzanne Cordeiro (yes, I wrote the article!)

    • Suzanne, thanks for stopping by to comment, and congrats on your success with Promise Pizza & social media.

      I totally agree with you. The problem as I see it is that even though most churches say they are all about relationships, many of them are still primarily concerned about programs. Their communciation (including social media) tends to be primarily "Here are our programs. Please get involved."

      Thanks for being a great example of an organization that operates and communicates relationally!

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  1. Tweets that mention Can the Church Learn Social Media Lessons from a Pizza Place? « Christian Web Trends Blog -- Topsy.com - Apr 1, 2010

    [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by OurChurch.Com, Promise Pizza. Promise Pizza said: Absolutely! RT @OurChurchDotCom~Can Church Learn Social Media Lessons from a Pizza Place? (ht @ChrisCree @PromisePizza) http://bit.ly/cNVyJI [...]

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    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by promisepizza: Absolutely! RT @OurChurchDotCom~Can Church Learn Social Media Lessons from a Pizza Place? (ht @ChrisCree @PromisePizza) http://bit.ly/cNVyJI