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This past fall I read The Digital Handshake, Seven Proven Strategies to Grow Your Business Using Social Media by Paul Chaney. Most of you reading this post are in ministry rather than business, but I believe this book can benefit your ministry as it has mine. Ministry is about people, so I am not suggesting you treat students or leaders like customers. However, we do have to think of new enervative ways to communicate with them.

We should all strive to be more effective in contacting, connecting and communicating with people. Without a doubt, there are no substitutes for one-on-one contact and looking into someone’s eyes during a conversation. But in addition to those encounters, we need to maximize every communication vehicle, including phones, email and social media. This book provides great insight for implementing various communication tools.

The book covers most of the social media tools that are being used by both students and adults today and suggests ways to leverage them. I have learned that everyone has a favorite mode of communication, and if I limit myself to one media form, I will limit my ability to touch some people.

According to Paul Chaney, the seven proven strategic tools of social media are:

1.       Business Blogs

2.      Social Networks such as Facebook and Linkedin

3.      Online Communities

4.      Microblogs like Twitter

5.      Online Video

6.      Podcasts

7.      Social Media Press Releases

Obviously, some of these tools may not aid you in your ministry, but the challenge of the book is to raise our awareness to the variety of communication vehicles. One of the most powerful concepts of the book is on page 39, “Social media is a mindset…” I think most of us approach social media as “one more thing” rather than embracing it as a mindset. Both media and social media are here to stay and my desire is to leverage them so I can expand ministry and influence people.

For more information go to The Digital Handshake or The Social Media Handyman.

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