Hoping to use social media for God’s glory? Use these tips to maximize your influence and avoid undermining your own Truth-telling efforts.
- Keep it short.
Social media feeds are the ticker tape of our day. Cut to the chase. Be concise. Cut out all unnecessary words and phrases before posting or you will lose readers quickly.
If the words “read more…” appear often at the end of your Facebook posts, you may want to consider starting a blog and posting links to it on your social media feed instead. If most of your posts are lengthy, people will begin to skim past your name out of habit, even if they think what you have to say is usually important.
- Chunk it up.
Remember that most people read your posts on their phones. What looks like a paragraph of reasonable length on your computer can stretch into something intimidating on a hand-held device.
Try to keep paragraphs to three sentences max. If you write a lot of compound or complex sentences, keep it to one or two if possible.
Double-space between paragraphs to create visual chunks of text. Pressing “enter” isn’t enough.
- Use bullets.
Present ideas of equal importance in bullet lists, discussing each separately so people with limited time can glean the gist of your post without reading all of it and people with time to read it all can better comprehend, organize, and remember what they read.
- Avoid bandwagon posting.
If what you want to say smacks of “Yeah, what he said! That goes for me double!”, then don’t post. Take time to think matters through and consider your words carefully. If you don’t have anything original to say or are unable to post without expressing anger or using hurtful words, either don’t say anything at all or simply repost the careful, considerate words of someone who is able to express your thoughts with more tact.
- Use your filter.
If you belong to Jesus, His Holy Spirit lives in your heart and helps you discern right from wrong, wise from unwise. If you feel the slightest check in your heart about posting something, don’t do it!
When choosing between similar words to express a thought, choose the mildest, stepping out of the way and giving the Holy Spirit room to speak to other hearts through your post.
No rants! Ever, but especially not about non-eternal things like Walmart check-out lines or traffic. Your points may be valid, but they make you seem petty.
- Check your mechanics.
Grammar, punctuation, and spelling don’t matter to everyone, but they matter to many. Don’t risk losing credibility with your audience in your hurry to post.
Clear communication takes work, for sure, but the pay-off is big when the message is Truth (Isaiah 55:11)! Don’t waste your opportunity to influence.