Providing Good Customer Service

If America is going to survive this economic crisis, businesses will need to change what they are doing. Behind this backdrop is a lack of understanding of a holistic approach in providing good customer service. Companies should not believe that they can provide good customer service while treating their employees badly. Bad treatment of employees will eventually show up in unpredictable ways.  

I’ve spent some time studying customer service as a practitioner and scholar. In fact, one of my star MBA students, Jalene Nemec Davis, and I co-authored book Good Customer Service: The Definitive Handbook for Today’s Successful Businesses.  United States companies are finding it harder to compete abroad. Is there any wonder why some individuals want to give up? This article examines how to create an amazing customer service for sustainable success. What follows will help you revamp your organization and, hence, the focus of your business’ customer service.

Defining good customer service is an essence. Before you can decide what good customer service is, you must first think about what it means to your company or your industry. Defining what good customer service is for any one company is difficult. A hospital’s idea of good customer service will differ from that of a restaurant. To help you determine how it is defined for your company, look first to your mission statement.

Every little detail counts for good customer service.  Paul B. Thornton, a Massachusetts-based business consultant and author of Leadership-Best Advice I Ever Got, suggests, “Customer service should, if written well, state what is most important to your company and why it exists. It should focus on the organization and keep everyone going in the same direction to achieve the same goal.” After all, when it comes to customer service, no matter the industry, isn’t it getting everyone to work as a team believing in the same mission? The mission being to service their customers to the best of their ability, regardless of whom they might be (shareholders, consumers, suppliers, co-workers, etc.). Look again at your company’s mission statement; does it include providing good service to your customers?

Build an organization that is built to serve the needs of the customers and be prepared to see better results. In fact, the business must determine what kind of customer service you and your company want to provide. Businesses should ‘WOW’ their customers. Organizations should create memorable moments for their buyers. Here’s a test. Take out a piece of paper and jot down what first comes to mind. Review your list. Are the items listed those that your customers truly value? If not, that is okay. In business operations, sometimes it is difficult to separate what the company wants versus what the customer wants because most companies only want to see the bottom line.

In fact, review some businesses that are very successful in the realm of customer service and see where they place customer service as part of who they are as an organization. For example, Let’s review Southwest Airlines, one of the most reputable airline companies. This airline states, “Southwest Airlines is a company that is for anyone and everyone that wants to get from point A to point B by flying. Our service and philosophy are to fly safe, with high frequency, low-cost flights that can get passengers to their destinations on time and often closer to their destination. We fly in 58 cities and 30 states and are the world’s largest short-haul carrier, and we make sure that it is run efficiently and in an economical way.”  

With enormous competition for customers, can you afford not to provide good customer service? Does your mission state measure up to the needs of your intended customers? This article demonstrated how to create an amazing customer service for sustainable success. In the end, customers are individuals who determine good customer service. Therefore, businesses should think from the mindset of the buyer, not the seller. Even if you cannot see room for improvement off-hand, what I have to say may strike up some ideas that will prove beneficial to you and your company. I pray that it is not too late.

Please share your insight on this topic.

 

© 2019 by Daryl D. Green

About Dr. Daryl Green:

Dr. Daryl D. Green is the Dickinson Chair of Business professor at OBU’s Paul Dickinson College of Business, teaching leadership, management, and marketing. In 2016, Dr. Green retired from the DOE, where he worked in the Environmental Management Program for over 27 years. He is the author of Amazon.com Hit Job Strategies for the 21st Century: How to Assist Today’s College Students during Economic Turbulence. For more information, please visit http://www.darylgreen.org.

Advertisements

Gaining More Job Opportunities With LinkedIn.com

Today’s job seekers face a landscape of great opportunities as employers look due to growing competition and limited job openings. In fact, college graduates are under tremendous pressure to land a high-paying job to cover their college debt. In recruiting young engineers and scientists at the Department of Energy, I soon discussed a major disconnect between what employers desired from potential employees (i.e., college students) and what today’s job seekers expect of employers. According to a Glassdoor.com survey, each corporate job on average attracts over 250 job applicants. Of those individuals applying, four to six will be called for an interview. However, one person will get a job offer. With that said, individuals need to implement the right job strategies to be successful. This article examines how LinkedIn.com can help you build your professional brand for greater job opportunities.

Are you ready for the competition for your ideal job? According to Business2community.com, 427,000 resumes are posted each week on Monster.com, an online job board; 8 million job applicants said they found their job on Twitter.com. Having an online presence is vital for today’s employment opportunities. LinkedIn is the perfect digital footprint for working professionals. Being the world’s largest online professional network, LinkedIn.com has more than 467 million members in over 200 countries and territories. Professionals are signing up on LinkedIn.com at a rate of more than two new members per second. In fact, 89% of employment recruiters have hired through LinkedIn.com. College students may flock to popular sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. However, LinkedIn is the website that makes them credible to future employers while building their own personal brand.  

Getting started on LinkedIn is easy. Connecting with the right person can increase career networking opportunities with the basic “Six Degrees of Separation” principle. In 1929, Hungarian writer Frigyes Karinthy coined the term ‘six degrees of separation.’ According to Whatis.techtarget.com, six degrees of separation is the theory that “any person on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries.” When a person is established on LinkedIn, the individuals can see how their connections are linked to other influential people. To get the most attention on LinkedIn, individuals need to achieve the “All-Star” status. Some of the requirements include a completed LinkedIn profile, including a professional photo and summary. Below are steps to build an effective LinkedIn Profile:

  1. Submit a professional photo.
  2. Create a catchy headline aimed at potential employers.
  3. Write an incredible summary statement.
  4. Select a unique LinkedIn URL for your profile.
  5. Obtain recommendations from professors, employers, coaches, and other influencers who can speak to your character and leadership abilities.
  6. Post relevant articles on your LinkedIn profile (i.e., LinkedIn Pulse) that demonstrate your critical thinking and writing style.
  7. List appropriate work and volunteer experiences.
  8. Upload presentations and written documents that showcase your professional abilities.
  9. Follow businesses and organizations that are potential employers or contacts.
  10. Join LinkedIn Groups that add to your professional network.

With fierce competition for jobs, job seekers need to present a great image to future employers. LinkedIn provides an excellent gateway to more employment opportunities online. This article demonstrated that LinkedIn.com can help you build your professional brand for greater job opportunities. Unlike traditional social media platforms like Facebook, LinkedIn allows individuals to establish professional networks, obtain needed resources, and foster a professional relationship with prospective employers, clients, and partners. Creating an effective LinkedIn Profile can garnish great career and professional networking opportunities.

Please share your insight on this topic.

© 2019 by Daryl D. Green

About Dr. Daryl Green:

Dr. Daryl D. Green is the Dickinson Chair of Business professor at OBU’s Paul Dickinson College of Business, teaching leadership, management, and marketing. In 2016, Dr. Green retired from the DOE, where he worked in the Environmental Management Program for over 27 years. He is the author of Amazon.com Hit Job Strategies for the 21st Century: How to Assist Today’s College Students during Economic Turbulence. For more information, please visit http://www.darylgreen.org.

Finding Your Ideal Customers

Today’s businesses must build value for customers if they hope to be successful. Yet, value is a moving target. In our discussion, we will examine how businesses should target their ideal customers by building value for their customers. All customers do not have the same measuring stick for sellers to apply a cookie-cut approach. In fact, globalization has created all types of problems for businesses. One of the issues is how to stay ahead of the competition by exploring new markets while keeping the same customer base. Doing this action is not easy. Many businesses build their profitability on this simple equation. Companies seek to reduce their inputs (i.e., outsourcing labor, using better technologies) to obtain greater profitability. Still, the process is often self-serving with little regard to the customer and lesser value on employees. Therefore, many people might insist that some businesses simply stumble on what customer value is and how it affects their business.

Creating value is not that simple. Some businesses seek to take shortcuts in building relationships with customers with marketing smoke and mirrors. Some organizations simply believe that hiring a large sales force is enough. Jeb Blount, author of Fanatical Prospecting: The Ultimate Guide for Starting Sales Conversations and Filing the Pipeline by Leveraging Social Selling, Telephone, E-Mail, and Cold Calling explains, “Lots of salespeople have the intelligence, talent, skills, and education to be top performers. Lots of salespeople are competitive, understand the sales process, and know how to ask for the business. Yet they consistently underperform the superstars… Superstars are relentless, unstoppable prospectors. They are obsessed about keeping their pipeline full of qualified prospects.” Thus, knowing your customers intimately will serve small businesses in creating value for customers.  

Creating value does generate ideal customers.  In identifying ideal customers, businesses target group of marketings who are most attracted to their products and services.  Therefore, businsses tailor their marketing, advertising, and sales efforts for these type of customers. Value is defined as “the total benefit that the seller’s products and services provide to the buyer.” Stephen Castleberry and John Tanner, Jr., authors of Selling: Building Partnerships, argued the critical need for value creation: “Selling is about creating value… The manner in which a product is handled suggests value. Careful handling communicates value, whereas careless handling implies that the product has little value.” Sadly, some business owners do not comprehend how value creation works.

John Jantsch, the author of Duct Tape Marketing, also maintains that building value for customers is no accident: “You can choose to attract clients that value what you offer, view working with you as a partnership, and want you to succeed…” For example, Shawnee’s Chick-fil-A Owner Jeff Madison understands the merit of this concept. Retired U.S. Army Colonel with 26 years of leading U.S. and multinational soldiers and civilians from cavalry scout platoon to the Pentagon, Jeff recognizes the essential of deploying a combat-proven, critically reflective, innovative and decisive strategy in ever-changing conditions. Despite all the MBA type strategies, success starts with building value for customers. Jeff explains, “We create value for our guests by connecting with our guests beyond the transaction (taking their money at the cash registers). We offer genuine hospitality and Matthew 5:41 Second-Mile Service. We carry trays to the table for guests who need assistance.” Madison seeks to build an emotional connection with customers.

With the economic crisis, local businesses need to consider changing what has not worked. In today’s discussion, I demonstrated how businesses can benefit themselves by understanding how to create more value for their customers. Being strategically conscious of these business relationships is stress-free. This process takes everyone’s total involvement. When small businesses place value creation as a high priority, prospecting for winning customers is a lot easier and more beneficial in the long run.

Please share your comments on this topic.

 

© 2019 by D. D. Green

Growing Your Small Business With Fiverr.com: Tapping into the Gig Economy

Bringing in a New Year creates a sense of renewal and opportunities. Yet, many small businesses have a ‘wait and see’ attitude riddled by uncertainty and unpredictability of the future. Most organizations have limited resources and must be cautious about their business growth. If you own a small business, what could you do with an extra stack of cash in your pocket by reducing your expenses while improving the quality of your goods and services? Over the last few years, I have been researching the freelance market in order to assist small businesses with the resource deficiencies that most organizations face.

With uncertainty in the market and competition at a peak, most organizations should rethink their business strategies. December’s outlook was not entirely positive. The fourth-quarter marked the worst start for stocks in 10 years. Many experts are skeptical about the economy for several reasons including: failure of popular tech stocks and the fallout from the trade fight between the U.S. and China. There is a weakening global economy that is wreaking havoc to U.S. companies. According to the Commerce Department in December, U.S. factory outputs were showing signs of slowing down. All of these realities demonstrate that businesses are not safe by maintaining the status quo. Things are changing… like it or not. One of the glaring trends was a search globally for talent. While Fortune 500 Companies have the financial strength for this international initiative, most small businesses could not do this… until now.  In this discussion, we examine how today’s small businesses can leverage the power of the gig economy to secure great freelance talent to maximize their performance. Continue reading

Strategic Leaders for Disruptive Changes in 2019

Are you ready for changes in 2019?  If you are like most organizations, the answer is probably ‘no.’  Yet, today’s challenges require a different approach. In fact, businesses fight to survive in severe economic conditions. Shareholders replace CEOs like they change defective light bulbs. It is frequent and unpredictable.  In hopes of salvaging the latest struggling organization, executives usually implement quick solutions by cutting costs (which translates to mean people) and attempting to stop the hemorrhaging through technology. Yet, can today’s managers continue to do the same things and expect different results?  

Sadly, some managers foolishly rely solely on their experience to read market changes. Yet, the current market isn’t like the past! In many situations, managers are equipped to deal with the predictable.  Change that is either planned or incremental is addressed with a risk management approach. However, disruptive change is the hallmark of today’s markets. Disruptive change is sudden and unpredictable. Therefore, experience becomes a liability, not an asset. Organizations, using the old mode of operations, find themselves vulnerable. Established institutions fail. Unknown companies emerge to dominate new sectors. Clayton Christensen, author of Innovative Dilemma, attributes this phenomenon to disruptive innovation.  Therefore, survival depends on understanding the current markets and future trends.

 

Most organizations need strategic leaders to oversee disruptive changes. Strategic thinking represents a different solution for contemporary managers. Strategic thinking is more than careful planning of the organization’s work. Strategic thinking consists of two components, which are knowledge about the present and foresight about the future. Charles Handy, author of The Age of Unreason, argues “Discontinuous change requires discontinuous thinking. If the new way of doing things is going to be different from the old, not just an improvement on it, then we shall need to look at everything in a new way.”  Watt Wacker, Jim Taylor, and Howard Means, leadership gurus, suggest a visionary leader with the capacity of ‘living in the present’ while ‘living in the future.” Therefore, duality becomes a critical attribute of exemplary leaders in disruptive environments.

In summary, disruptive change is creating problems for most traditional organizations. Strategic leaders are needed.  Clearly, strategic thinking is different than routine planning of an organization. Unfortunately, some managers are unaware how this process can assist them in being competitive. Since contemporary organizations can no longer use outdated methods and cookie cutter solutions in this disruptive environment, managers must reexamine their operations. In fact, leaders must be flexible to sudden market changes. Therefore, effective organizations go beyond detailed planning to strategic thinking.

Please share your ideas on this topic.

 

Following Your Calling in 2019

Are you excited about coming to work? Do you enjoy your job? If you feel under-utilized in your organization, you are not alone. On a routine basis, many employees force themselves to work without a clear purpose. Numerous people work to maintain their daily bread without ever doing what they love. Sadly, many managers are unable to inspire today’s workforce toward greater performance. Manager guru, Peter Drucker, argued for several decades that managers must understand their employees as well as their customers. Few executives listened. Drucker concluded, “Business tends to drift from leadership to mediocrity. And the mediocre is three-quarters down the road to being marginal.” Yet, emerging leaders need to know how to rekindle such emotions in the workplace. In this session, we will discuss how one’s calling can transform an individual’s life in order to improve organizational performance.

Finding the right vocation in life is not easy.  In fact, becoming more productive in life is a function of working in a career that is aligned with one’s abilities. A great many folks are doing jobs that they hate and do not fit their personality. Gareth Jones and Jennifer George, authors of Contemporary Management, explain, “All people possess certain characteristics that influence how they think and their work.” Sadly, many organizations fail to understand this simple principle. Therefore, it is critical to know yourself and your personality. As a consequence, they have people in jobs that do not fit their abilities. Yes, the organization knows the individual’s education and career experience. However, managers are unable to understand the worker’s ability without input from that worker. There is a distinct difference between an occupation and a vocation. An occupation relates to the principal activity in an individual’s life that earns money for living.

Most people settle for an occupation rather than a vocation.  Some people, due to their own financial situation, are forced to work in jobs they hate. Others must occupy jobs where they are overqualified; this speaks to the issue of underemployment in our nation. Yet, many folks are slaves to their jobs simply because of the income. This situation can lead to stress, depression, and unhappiness. In fact, some people take desperate measures. According to one study, more than 30,000 Americans take their lives annually. In fact, this works out to more than three suicides for every two murders.

A vocation is a natural alignment with one’s ability. Vocation relates to a career which a person is particularly suited or qualified to perform. Some individuals credit this special alignment to a divine provocation. In the medieval Christian period, it was believed that God called certain people and their work was a “calling.” This calling was usually reserved for the clergy and the priest. In the secular sense, individuals who can fully use all their talents in a way that liberates them can make great contributions in society.

However, it does invoke a different mental journey. Marsha Sinetar, author of Do What You Love, The Money Will Follow, argues that individuals rarely take the time for introspection: “Most of us think about our jobs or our careers as a means to fulfill responsibilities to families and creditors, to gain more material comforts, and to achieve status and recognition. But we pay a high price for this kind of thinking.” This mental awakening is happening across the nation. Thus, some people are able to tap into their own calling.

Therefore, it is important that individuals take the time to learn what they enjoy and what they are good at. This reality will lead them to their special calling. In fact, one has a calling when he or she realizes what can be done with his or her God-given abilities.  Once this career revelation is realized, an individual can then take the journey toward greater happiness and job performance.

In closing, individuals who follow their vocation will be happier in the long-term.  In this session, we discussed how an individual’s vocation can transform a person’s life. As society pushes people to acquire more things in order to be happy, individuals can become unhappy with life. It is important that individuals take a personal assessment of their own career objectives in conjunction with their own calling. Let’s pray that it is not too late.

© 2019 by D.D. Green

About Dr. Daryl Green:

Dr. Daryl Green provides consulting, guidance, and management training for today’s business leaders. He is the Dickinson Chair at Oklahoma Baptist University. In 2016, he retired as a senior engineer and program manager with the Department of Energy after a successful career. Dr. Green has over 25 years of management experience and has been noted and quoted by USA Today, Ebony Magazine, and Associated Press. For more information, please visit http://www.drdarylgreen.com.

Building Emotional Intelligence in Today’s Leaders

In the movie Remember the Titans, the story follows the integration of two high schools. Herman Boone (Denzel Washington) is hired as head football coach in a very emotionally charged situation. At any point, something bad could erupt. Yet, the movie captures the attitude transformation of the team. The team captain, who was an All-American defensive player, finds himself complaining about the selfishness of another player.

Besides, this captain wasn’t supporting the head coach’s philosophy of becoming a successful team. Only when the leaders on the team supported the team strategy did the team start being successful.  Captains understand how to lead on their ships. In business, many managers do not know how to lead. Therefore, they are always lingering threats of a silent mutiny. How do managers stay engaged with their employees? In this discussion, we will examine how emotional intelligence can help today’s leaders better connect with their followers. Continue reading

Oklahoma Baptist University’s Researchers Reveal Vitalness of Instagram to Both Businesses and Consumers

Oklahoma Baptist University (OBU)  researchers in the Paul Dickinson College of Business ) reveals the importance of social media platforms, mainly Instagram for business growth and consumers.

Oklahoma Baptist University’s Paul Dickinson College of Business recently released research related to social media. This research evaluated the importance of social media platforms such as Instagram in the growth of business and consumers. There are several noted experts in the business college including Dr. Daryl D. Green and Professor Richard Martinez; both professors are established scholars. Dr. Green is an assistant professor while Dr. Martinez serves as the director of the OBU MBA program. The other authors who contributed in the research are Stephanie Dirlbeck, Lauran Evenson, Amalan Khadja, and Lisa MacManus;These individuals are current MBA students at the Oklahoma Baptist University.

In the research on Instagram conducted, the authors show how  to improve the survival rate of new social media platforms like Instagram. Additionally, the study also reveals the effectiveness of social media platforms as a powerful tool for business practitioners. With more than 400 million users on Instagram sharing 80 million posts on average per day, Instagram is here to stay. This research supported the staying power of social media. Given this perspective, social media platforms like Instagram are transforming how today’s professionals will conduct future business. Today’s academic institutions need to better prepare students for this new world.

Dr. Martinez concurs on the need to prepare today’s college students: “We are engaged in research projects that add value in at least two different ways. First, we want to better understand the emerging forces at work in the marketplace – forces that can’t be understood solely through the study of static textbooks. Second, we want our MBA students to understand the role – and value – of research and constant learning in creating opportunities in the midst of dynamic market forces. This project accomplishes both of those goals.,”

Dr. Green, who coordinated this study, argues for more relevant assignments for graduate students as well as undergraduates: “Our graduate students are taught about how to navigate change.  Understanding the digital economy is essential. Social media platforms like Instagram are leaving their marks on society. We want our students meeting the challenges of the future.”  OBU hopes to see more collaborating between faculty and students on critical topics in business.  Most faculty would see the benefit of teaming together with their students.

Stephanie Dirlbeck, OBU graduate students who led her group to complete this article, adds, “What I learned from completing this article is a number thing. The most important thing I learned and I’m sure my group members will agree, is time management. It took a great amount of research to write this article and I’m glad that we all made it a priority to conduct the research needed.  Along with time management, we discovered that social media is a huge outlet for companies to implement their marketing strategies. Marketing is evolving, and it was very interesting to learn about the social platforms we were studying: Instagram, Snapchat & Pinterest. The most difficult of conducting a case study is trying to make it sound like the voice of the article is one. Making the paper flow was a big challenge. Each member of this group had completely different writing styles. Dr. Green and Dr. Martinez did a really great job in guiding me throughout this entire process. As an MBA student, conducting research is still rather difficult but it made a difference to have Dr. Green guide us along the way.”

 

For more information about the research, visit:

https://www.arjonline.org/american-research-journal-of-business-and-management/table-of-content-2018

About Paul Dickinson College of Business

The Paul Dickinson College of Business is part of Oklahoma Baptist University. This qualified and Christian-based education is addressed for those who want to pursue a bachelor degree in business. The university provides the skills needed by the business graduates in contemporary professional careers as a leader. The business degree programs of the Oklahoma Baptist University are accredited and acknowledged by the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs.

For more information on the Paul Dickinson College of Business at OBU, visit www.okbu.edu/business.

Media Contact

Dr. Daryl D. Green

Paul Dickinson College of Business

Phone: 405-585-4414

Oklahoma Baptist University

Email: Daryl.green@okbu.edu

500 W. University

Shawnee, OK 74804

Leading Small Churches in Social Media: 12 Actionable Steps to Engage Ministries

Pastor Phillip Myles is a big fish in a little pond. He is the senior pastor of Mt. New Hope Baptist Church in Colquitt, Tennessee with a population of 1,100. His membership totals 500 members. Having pastored the church for over 40 years, Pastor Myles

doesn’t’ see any reason to make any changes.His church is a prominent fixture in this town. However, membership continues to decline, and church attendance was at an all-time low. Some senior leaders blame the decline on poor self-motivation of members while others blame popular online church ministries,sitting at home comfortably. Pastor Myles states definitely that all this internet stuff was a fad. He isn’t going to change anything. Two years later, Mt. New Hope Baptist Church closes its doors. Pastor Myles wonders what could he have done differently.

How do leaders leverage the power of social media in their congregations? In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus Christ provides a great mission to today’s churches: Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you…” The Great Commission has never been easy to carry-out in any way. Globalization and technology have changed the landscape of society. Yet, building relationships and connecting with individuals are more crucial than ever. Small churches that understand how to tap into social media and digital platforms will be able to become more effective. In this discussion, we will be examine today’s small churches as they exist in a digital economy.  Individuals will also learn 12 actionable steps for better engagement on social media and other digital platforms.

Today’s small churches face insurmountable challenges in a hectic society. Some pastors and church leaders are resistant to any chance of change while others do not have the knowledge or experience to embrace new technological ideas. Taking on more risks and failing can set back any organization. With small churches, the unintended consequences can spiral out of control.  Unlike bigger institutions, small churches have limited financial and human capital (i.e., people) resources to meet their daily needs. However, churches, in general, are struggling. The Barna Group, a private, non-partisan organization, has been researching cultural trends related to values, beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors since 1984. They note that Americans are attending church less while more people are practicing their faith outside of traditional institutions like churches.

Younger generations, like Millennials, are skeptic and cynical toward institutions. In fact, the number of unchurched youth continue to rise. According to the Barna Group, most people (73%) in the United States identify themselves as Christian. Corporate worship is essential for most church members. Surprisingly, the largest group of American churchgoers (46%) attends services in congregations of 100 or fewer members; more than one-third (37%) attend a medium church of over 100, but less than 500 members. With that said, small churches provide a good medium for building immediate relationships.

What is social media? We live in a world where everyone is connected. We network with each other at work, at home, and at play. Networking is about building relationships. In the digital platform, these relationships can be expanded electronically in the form of social networks. Below are some online statistics to consider about social media:

  • There are 3.03 billion active social media users (total worldwide population is 7.6 billion).
  • 81% of all small and medium businesses use the social platform.
  • 96% of Americans with internet access have made an online purchase in their life, 80% in the past month alone.
  • On average, people have 5.54 social media accounts.
  • The average daily time spent on social media is 116 minutes a day.

As you can tell, U.S. citizens have already made social media an important part of their lives. This reality will not change soon. In general, social media falls under the category of digital marketing.  Digital marketing encompasses all marketing efforts that utilize the internet or digital devices; it includes websites, blogs, emails, online advertising, social media, and other electronic services. In the business world, businesses employ digital marketing to become more profitable chiefly through selling products/services, advertising, or gaining business leads. Then, social media involves sharing and discussing information about individuals using social platforms like Facebook and YouTube.com. Most small churches need to think strategically about how to apply social media to their ministries and not a shot-gun approach.  

This planning requires thinking about future digital trends like artificial intelligence. For example, by 2020, customers will manage 85% of their purchases without interacting with a person.  Knowing relevant trends can better position an organization. Generally, most churches will take advantage of social media for the following purposes: (a) Communicating to existing church members, (b) Reaching out to prospective members, and (c) Sharing information to others (i.e., Great Commission). Like small businesses that have limited resources, today’s small churches can adopt digital tactics to expand their Great Commission. Below are some immediate steps to consider:

  • Have an online presence to reach the target audience.
  • Identify a point of contact (POC) for social media.
  • Provide training in social media for POC.
  • Establish goals for the church as it relates to social media.
  • Identify your target audience and gather feedback on them.
  • Perform a digital/social media audit (i.e., evaluation) of your church.
  • Develop a written strategy for your church.
  • Define desired outcomes for tracking (i.e., visitors to website, views).
  • Select social media platforms that fit within your goals.
  • Create appealing website content.
  • Track and monitor results.
  • Get help for outside experts, if needed.

Today’s organizations are facing tremendous changes in society.  Today’s small churches are no exceptions. With limited resources and knowledge about emerging technologies, figuring out how to best apply social media platforms is not an easy endeavor. Church leaders who are willing to embrace the advantages of social media are in a better position to carry out the Great Commission in the fullest sense. As you can see, I demonstrated how today’s small churches can leverage social media and digital platforms to become more effective. In reality, the effort may require more out-of-the-box thinking and additional energy to implement. However, the rewards are worth the time of the small church. Let’s pray that it is not too late.

Please share your ideas on this topic.
© 2018 by D.D. Green