Book Review: Digital Marketing for Churches that Want to Succeed - Radiant

The Radiant Blog

Posted by Andrew VanderPloeg

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The ease of 'publishing' a book online today has turned many people into "writers". As a result, at no time in history has it been more important to ask the question: 'Am I adding something unique and useful to the world by writing this book?'

Early in his short e-book called, Digital Marketing for Churches that Want to Succeed, Jeremy Smith asks and answers that very question - the answer being that he has written a "journal of lessons [he] learned while in [the position of National Social Media Specialist for Youth for Christ/USA] through the process of creating a corporate digital marketing strategy and then implementing it over time". As a collection of lessons from the front lines of social media strategy development, this book does indeed bring something unique and useful to the table.

In 43 pages, Jeremy brings you into the world of the social media, and the questions that arise for a strategist operating in a nascent and frequently changing discipline.

One of the strengths of the author's approach is his broader view of the problem of managing and strategizing an organizational social media presence.

He doesn't simply list social tools and the silver bullet tricks to ramp up your following or engagement levels. Rather, as any good strategist would do, he takes a big step backwards in order to discuss issues such as the internal challenges involved in pitching creative social ideas to your team and the decision-makers above you. It's inherent in his discussion of this point, that creating buy-in and contribution amongst your entire team is not just the only way to generate a win internally, it's also the only way to be authentic in your social media communications. In this first section of the book, Jeremy also covers off how to accept that not every idea will be approved, but how to remain motivated when you experience rejection.

Once past the internal audience, Jeremy then seeks to outline four key approaches for the kind of engagement you will pursue on social media platforms externally. From the 'Come and See' model, which is entirely attractional and has little-to-no possibility of being viral, to an Extroverted approach, where the end goal is to communicate to people about things that matter to them, in ways that work for them, Jeremy covers off the various approaches fairly and helpfully outlining the Pros and Cons of each.

All in, this short book is a useful, quick read that will undoubtedly spark your thinking on some key aspects of developing and executing an organizational social media strategy.