Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, Google+, Instagram, Vimeo, Pinterest. Social media sites are everywhere and they are a great place to spread the Gospel. They’re also a really important recruiting tool if used properly. We’re not just talking recruiting for new employees and/or volunteers, though. We’re talking recruiting new members for your congregation.

Plenty of employers, even ministries, are already doing it. Proof (courtesy of Herd Wisdom, Jobvite and The Undercover Recruiter):

• Two-thirds of recruiters use Facebook

• 54% of recruiters use Twitter for their talent search… 15% of them have hired someone through the social media site

• 10,200 applicants (and counting) found their job on LinkedIn

If you don’t really know what you’re doing when you land on these sites though, you could be wasting a TON of time, without the results you desire. Tim Sackett does a bang up job explaining this concept and has come up with a ‘mathematical’ equation to support his theory:

Social Recruiting + Infinity = Bad Recruiting

To read Sackett’s whole post, click here. The gist can be summed up in these two paragraphs he wrote:

“It’s a question most recruiters don’t even consider when they start down the social recruiting path. When your recruiting pool is ‘everyone,’ it changes the way you work. That’s what social recruiting tends to be like. Most begin believing they have a new ‘pond’ to fish in, and find out that pond is an ocean, an ocean where you see fish everywhere, but can’t see the fish you want to catch…. The corollary of infinity (an endless amount of candidates) is zero (so many candidates you can’t even find one).”

So now you’re nodding your head, saying, “Yes! Yes! This is me! This is EXACTLY how I feel! What can I do about it?” Lucky for you we have some tips.

Step #1

Establish a consistent social media image, culture, policy, outreach and communication. For many folks new to your church, this is their first exposure to what you’re all about. Your social media presence doesn’t have to be elaborate, but it should be well-maintained, offer immediate engagement with people, and be trustworthy. It should also do the basics really well: correct spelling, easy to read, nice grammar, provide the who/what/where/when/why’s and have active, accurate links.

Step #2

Build your social media presence with recruiting in mind (even if that’s not your #1 priority). Visitors to your page landed their for a reason. They’re curious. This is the place to make them feel welcome, show your authentic self, and encourage them to come to a service. Make sure to highlight your ministries’ priorities and what sets you apart from other churches. Finally, encourage ‘shares’ – you want visitors to your church website or social media profiles to spread the word. And, you want to make it easy for members of your congregation to stay involved online, too.

Step #3

Promote your church leaders! Ensure that all of these folks have social media profiles that are visible and maintain the same purpose, energy and mission of your church’s social media culture. Encourage your church leaders to engage with people on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter – the so-called ‘Big 3’ in social media vernacular.  This is especially true for Twitter. Remember (or learn about) those #hashtags, too!

Step #5

If you are using social media as a recruiting tool for new employees, make sure you partner with a nationally accredited background screening agency like Protect My Ministry. We can vet prospective employees’ social media profiles and make sure things match up with what they’ve written down and told you in interviews.

Has your church had success with social media recruiting? We’d love to hear from you.

Oh – and see our ‘share’ buttons and ‘tags’ at the top of this post? We’d love it if you could click on a few of those and tell more people about the awesome work we do at Protect My Ministry.