Once upon a time, having a presence on the internet was a bit of a gamble. You had to have a domain name, an internet-service-provider, software to develop a site and/or a web developer to create and maintain the site. Lots of things to consider and not so cheap, depending on how you wanted your site to look and feel. If you weren’t luck enough to have a talented, trustworthy geek in your congregation, getting updates to your site could be costly.
Fast forward to 2011, having an internet presence is more affordable and user-friendly than ever, so there is no excuse for not jumping into the social media arena to get God’s message out there. If my 73 year old dad can have Facebook, so can you! If you have a passion for social media and you have personal accounts, doing this for your church or favorite charity will be easy.
For the organization with a small budget, the good news is most social media platforms are free. It costs nothing to setup a Twitter, Facebook or blog (Worpress/Blogger) account. Nothing. Zero. The only investment is your time and your content. If you don’t populate and update your pages, no one will be interested in repeat visits. Content can be pictures, video, audio or text. Most everyone has access to smartphones with cameras and video and audio recording. Digital cameras can provide stunning pictures and quality video. A Flip camera can cost as little as $200 and it’s HD quality video. Our vacation Bible School closing program was recorded every night and uploaded to YouTube for FREE! Editing software for audio and video can be found online for free too. Do a search and see what you come up with. Audacity is a great audio tool and MovieMaker from Microsoft is available to edit your video.
Now, if you want to have a dedicated blog or website with your own personalized name, it will cost you, but not what you may think. It is easy to register a domain name and pick a theme for your site. Our church site is hosted on Pagely and the monthly fee is under $15.00 a month. I purchased the domain and a custom theme for around $50. Do some research and find a blog hosting site, a domain registry company and maybe a theme developer and your good to go. Twitter and Facebook are much easier to start.
Now that you know you don’t have to have a money tree in the back yard, what’s stopping you from pushing your message out to the masses? If you have personal social media pages, why not volunteer to be the point person for your church or favorite non-profit?