Monday, January 31, 2011

Majoring on Majors?

When I was staff on campus at Washington State, a lot of time went into thinking about what year our students were (Frosh, Soph, etc.) and where they lived on campus. Much less time went into thinking about their academic focus. I think that may have been a missed opportunity.

A sampling of the majors that attended our recent Winter Conference is at right.

How might ministry look different for a business major vs. a nursing major? Outdoor recreation vs a math major? 

What about when they get to the workforce?

In thinking about our conference next year, one beneficial tactic might be to get people of like/similar major together. Imagine a room full of business majors. How could they minister to their peers within the department? What skills/talents/strengths do they have that could serve their campus ministry? Could a group of them connect post graduation to help reach a workplace (or even a city)? What would ministry look like in this area of the workforce? 

Do you consider majors as you work with students? How could we better incorporate this into how we win, build, and send students?

Thursday, January 13, 2011

12 things I've learned while managing a conference Facebook Page

Third child? Check. Annual Winter Conference? Check. Blog updated? Here we go...

My friend Matt already did a post about how we used Facebook to build engagement and community before, during, and after our regional Winter Conference. Here is our January 10th page stat summary:

And here are twelve things I learned over the last few weeks as I helped manage the page:

1. Giveaways are great for building engagement (again, see Matt's post).
2. It takes time for people to feel comfortable posting on your page. They need to trust you first.
3. It is ten times easier to get someone to "like" a post than to comment. Duh. But if they "like" stuff enough eventually they'll comment.
4. The page administrator is like a host at a party. You need to keep things moving, facilitate conversation, build interest, make introductions, help people feel at ease...but avoid dominating the scene.
5. Take lots of photos and post them quickly. Tag a few people to get people's attention (we had a great team helping on this front).
6. Facebook's default setting for Pages is to have photo tagging turned off for fans. For a student conference, you're going to want to get that turned back on real fast.
7. Tag pages and people in status updates and link to relevant sites as much as possible. This adds a dynamic look and feel to the page and is another way to draw attention to your page from other places.
8. Add related pages to page favorites (screen shot at right). This puts your page in context and relationship with others.
9. Video is always going to be a hit. (Matt did a post about this, too)
10. The conference Facebook page will likely be a strategic tool for building community and promoting ministry opportunities around our region all year.
11. In our Greater Northwest context, Facebook is still the place to be if you want to interact with students.
12. Actively managing a ministry Facebook page is a way to disciple people. By what you link to, highlight, how you relate and is another way to influence people towards Christ-centered community and mission.

There are many more, but I'll just add this one: It's a lot of fun. :)

If you manage a Facebook page, I'd love to learn from you. Comment with what you've learned or just link to your Facebook page so we can see an example!