5 ways to amplify your influence online: Part 1

influence online, Christians online, tips, sharing Jesusby Toni Birdsong

Sometimes tough love is in order. So here it is.

When posting online, please hear this friend: No one cares if you are going to the gym to work your quads today. No one cares if the grape soda you just opened is flat. No one cares that you like to pet your cat. No one.

To gain traction and build any kind of meaningful community online, you’ve got to be a giver of great content (note the word “great”). Good isn’t sticky. As a Christ follower, you carrying eternity in your words, so being intentional about how and what you communicate online is critical. We dive into this deeper in Chapter 5 of @stickyJesus: how to live out your faith online.

Note: To the casual user of social networks this post may seem over the top or waaaay too serious. But if you regularly read this blog, you know that as Christians, there’s nothing casual about the words, ideas, or thoughts we share online. Nothing. God has set us apart to make a Kingdom difference in the online space and, together, that’s exactly what we’re going to do.

So here are 5 ways to amplify your influence online . . .

  1. View your Facebook page as a personal web page. Rethink your Facebook page (even a personal one) begin to see it as a destination where people expect to mine great information—even life-changing information. With new this mindset you will become more thoughtful about what you post. Soon you will notice more interaction on your page, which equals more influence.
  2. Be startlingly honest. You don’t have to be a bold personality to stand boldly on the word of God. When everyone is swimming downstream, turn around and head the other way. This takes courage, prayer, and surrender. It also takes a daily heart-check to be sure personal boldness doesn’t eclipse godly boldness.
  3. Make every post count. If the post, tweet, or comment isn’t encouraging, helpful, kind, relevant, or true, don’t post it. That’s right. Flip your thinking to: It’s better not to post anything than to appear frivolous, bored, uninformed, or careless with your words (or with your audience—and you do have an audience at all times online). Every post should advance Jesus’ brand and communicate your life as His follower. Yes, every post. This doesn’t mean you have to be overly spiritual. For instance, a post that calls out how much you love spending time with your spouse can be just as powerful as a bible verse on marriage.
  4. Make ’em laugh. A Christian with a sense of humor floods the digital stream with godly joy and is perhaps one of the most powerful ways to be heard online. Being who you are—which hopefully includes a sense of humor—will prompt others to stick with you. (If you don’t have a sense of humor, this Reader’s Digest article is a great place to start.)
  5. Be clear. Be careful. You train people to pay attention to you by how you use the English language. If they see repeated confusion and errors, you train them to promptly skip your posts. This = zero influence. You don’t have to be a great writer to be heard, you just have to take great care with words.

Wednesday: Come back for Part 2 of how to amplify your influence online.

What wisdom can you share about how we can influence the online conversation for Christ?

Post/Tweet this today
God has set us apart to make a Kingdom difference online and, together, that’s what we’re going to do. #LiveSticky

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  • Melinda Ysaguirre

    The direction of our online influence depends on whether we embrace or ignore Kingdom purpose.
    Essentially, as Christians we need to ‘trim the fat’ from our online diets. Our we going to serve as caterer’s for Christ, carrying spiritual nourishment or will we just feed our online community ‘leftovers’ from the day? (case in point-the flat grape soda)

    The 5 points that you share emphasize the importance of balancing our content. Being a one-dimensional preaching pulpit tweeting or posting 50 scriptures a day doesn’t equal influence. In essence loving God and loving people engages others by bringing healthy openness and honesty.

    Thank you for shaing a depth of tough love with us.
    Bless you, friends.
    You. Are. Loved.

  • Tami Heim

    Way to amplify this conversation, Melinda. You inspire us with your online consistency. We see how you love God and love people in every post. Bless you for the banquet you serve – you are feeding hearts around the world with truth. All. For. Him.

  • Anonymous

    That was a very thoughtful, wise, honest, true post. Thanks for taking the time Melinda. Your digital scribe heart is a valuable part of our daily diet, for sure! You. Are. Influencing.

  • Dadof3Foushees

    I hear you and I actually posted the same thing the other day, promising not to post every time I got on a treadmill. But I’m going to now say I was wrong and that “no one cares” isn’t true. I assume you’re primarily talking about posting on FB. As you know because you’ve written the book, Social Media tying together means that all this software is now tied together. So, there are actually many companies, Nashville-based GOBA being one of them, whose business model says that people do care that a person is at the gym to work out their quads. And why…for one reason, because that person might also be at the same gym, and it’s an opportunity to connect. So, while not the most interesting to read, especially for people like you and me who enjoy writing, still a legit reason to post that information. Connection, personal connection. Just as important and probably more than reading what we all think is important to write. So, I personally have changed my mind on what I posted a few days ago. If I’d wanted to hook up with “John” at the Y because I saw he was there, and I was downstairs, I could have walked upstairs and offered an encouraging word..or just had a cup of coffee.

  • Anonymous

    I do get the geo location/business value of what you are talking about—totally relevant. That we need to pepper our posts with the heartbeat of life is also part of showing our true self (just begging for balance?).

    We took this day’s blog post as an opportunity to wake people up to the very public platform we’ve been given as belivers via social networks. Still, many are missing that boat. Yesterday’s blog called out exactly what you described and I love that you value the outreach opp going on at even a sweaty gym—now that’s committed Kingdom work, Mr. Foushee! Read more on mobile outreach, see #4: http://stickyjesus.com/2011/03/7-ways-to-share-christ-using-mobile-technology/

    PS: and just because you write a book, doesn’t mean you know squat. Just #keepingitreal. Always learning . . . from you and so many others!

  • Dadof3Foushees

    I read yesterday. I’m just saying that for me, I can’t make the statement “nobody cares” because that’s just not true. And you FB can’t really be separated from geo/location so me telling people “just not interesting” folks was wrong. Ok, maybe not interesting, but still relevant. It also assumes I know people’s motivations for posting. And I don’t. That’s all I’m saying. Unfortunately, I probably would not have walked upstairs and done Kingdom work, I probably would have just had a cup of coffee. But I like to think I’d have said something redeeming. Or maybe just listened.

  • Anonymous

    I sure love your passion for this William, especially as a marketer who is also a Christian. You make some super valid points. I do appreciate the word “relevant” which starkly contrasts “interesting.” And, “assuming,” well, that’s always dangerous.

    I can’t wait to geo-locate you at the gym. Just warning you though: If you don’t say anything redeeming in the first 30 seconds, you will be buying the coffee. And, if I happen to launch into Kingdom business, there’s a tiny red off button behind my left ear (I don’t tell just anyone that). Love your comments! :)