I like to think of myself as The Stig (BBC’s Top Gear) when I sit behind my computer and respond to a barrage of social media comments, questions, and messages for the church. I’ve even considered purchasing a lookalike helmet and walking around church events with it, if only for my own personal amusement.
If you don’t know who The Stig is, let me enlighten you. The Stig helps set lap times for test cars on “Top Gear,” as well as appears in a variety of other fun cameos. He never takes off his white driving suit or helmet, thereby staying completely anonymous – even to the celebrities who meet him. (There is one caveat, of course – The Stig was unmasked and subsequently replaced during one season of “Top Gear” – but that’s a different story.)
That’s the magic of “The Stig” – he’s everyone, and no one. Without his suit, you’d never know if he was sitting next to you. With his suit, you automatically connect him with “Top Gear.” He’s part of the brand.
So, I like to pretend I’m The Stig of our church social networks. I put on my metaphorical white driving suit and helmet, wrap myself in a comfy blanket, and sit down for a day filled with social planning and responses. I’m everyone at the church, but no one at the church. When I’m managing our social networks, I am the church.
If you’re managing a social network, it’s important to think of yourself as the brand. When writing posts or responding to comments, take the “you” out of the response and respond as your church or company.
Replace “I’ With “We”
One simple way to do this is to replace “I” with “we.” So instead of telling someone, “I’m glad to hear you enjoyed the service!” consider saying, “We’re glad you enjoyed the service!” It’s a simple change that will make a huge difference.
Write All Posts in Third Person
If you’re a pastor managing your church page, instead of saying “Join me tomorrow as I share a message on the Book of Hebrews,” change the post to “Join Pastor Doe tomorrow as he shares a message on the Book of Hebrews.” If you’re managing a Public Profile page, this suggestion gets a bit sticky and may not work – however, it’s excellent it working with a generic church or ministry (or company) page.
Keep Others From Bringing You In
You may be writing things in third person, responding in third person, and trying your hardest to stay anonymous – but one of your friends decides to comment on a video you posted. Instead of saying how excited they are about the upcoming Bible Study, they decided to tell you – on the church page – “Dude! Your wall color looks AWESOME! Which paint did you use again?” You don’t necessarily need to delete it – but definitely don’t respond as the church or even your personal account. Just leave it (or delete it), then ask your friend to send comments like that to you personally.
How do you keep anonymous as you manage your social media brands?