Still Don’t Think Social Media Matters?

August 27, 2009 by

Many pastors still think technologies haven’t caught on or that investing in social media isn’t worth their church’s time. Next time you hear that from someone, perhaps you could share a few of these statistics with them:

  • It took radio 38 years to reach 50 million listeners. Terrestrial TV took 13 years to reach 50 million users. The Internet took four years to reach 50 million people… In less than nine months, Facebook added 100 million users.
  • Universal McCann reports that 77% of all active internet users regularly read blogs.
  • More than 120 million users log on to Facebook at least once each day and more than 30 million users update their statuses at least once each day. Combined, more than 5 billion minutes are spent on the site on a daily basis.
  • Over the past 12 months, Twitter’s year-on-year growth rate has broken the 1000% barrier.
  • If Facebook were a country, it would be the fourth most populated place in the world. This means it easily beats the likes of Brazil, Russia and Japan in terms of size.

Catch some more social media statistics in these two posts.

Post By:

Joshua Cody

Josh Cody served as our associate editor for several years before moving on to bigger things. Like Texas. These days he lives in Austin, Texas, with his wife, and you can find him online or on Twitter when he's not wrestling code.
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9 Responses to “Still Don’t Think Social Media Matters?”

  • Rick Mans
    August 27, 2009

    Facebook is a free service which runs on a infrastructure (Internet) dat is widely available. A radio costs money and the infrastructure was at that time not available, some pieces were even build at that time.
    Statistics are great, statistics with context even better ;).

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  • Kit
    August 27, 2009

    Comparing apples to apples is even better than that.
    True a Radio does cost money…So does the computer or mobile device necessary to access the internet. A service to access the internet is usually necessary also which costs money.
    Once you have a radio all you have to pay for is the electricity to use it, also something you pay for when you use the computer to access the internet to log on to facebook.
    The implication that facebook is somehow free to use or to get to is not accurate at all.

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  • Great post. In my lowly opinion, at least in my area, Daytona Beach, FL…very few churches are on Twitter and if they are on Twitter, they are doing it completely wrong. To much about “me, me, me” and not enough about reaching out to the tons of hurting people on twitter. I created a twitter account just to show churches and pastors how many hurting people there are on Twitter. Check it out on Twitter @HurtingPeople In our area I will see Pastors and Worship leaders tweet about themselves while people are pouring out their pain on twitter. If you are a church on Twitter, you must watch and listen. Twitter is not just a broadcast medium. Remember it’s called “social” not “spam” marketing. It’s a conversaton not a megaphone.
    Mike Ellis
    @MarketerMikeE on Twitter

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  • DJ
    August 27, 2009

    Rick is right (sorry, Kit). Social media is an application. You can plug in “the latest viral video” and it would look much the same.
    Yeah, it’s new and interesting and (for the moment, at least) important, but let’s not go overboard. It will be replaced by something newer and hotter, and then we’ll have to hear these same statistics again with something else filling in the blank.

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  • Jim
    August 27, 2009

    these are good stats to share with clients and to add to some buy-in

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  • Justin
    August 29, 2009

    Numbers don’t equate effectiveness.

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  • Rick Wilson
    August 31, 2009

    What is often missed especially in church non-profit circles is the POWER of social media. For anyone who has ever linked a video, article or web site to facebook, the results are stunning. The quality of the images and through them – the ability to carry on a conversation and support a position benefits individuals and small groups.
    Social networking is a new model – many to many – replacing traditional media’s one to many grid. It gives us the ability for a fraction of the former cost to establish networks and drive traffic between them. “The internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost and time.” (Seth Godin – “Tribes”) To not take advantage of this is criminal!

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  • Charles
    September 1, 2009

    Kit, let’s be real: When radio came out, electricity had just become widely available. Even for those who had it, had the money to buy a radio, and the leisure time to listen, there wasn’t much point…the first commercial stations didn’t start broadcasting for more than 20 years. The world’s population in 1896 was less than 25% what it is now.
    Compare that to Facebook, which is something incidental to access to a computer and the internet, and is in fact free, because it’s incidental (do you know anyone who bought a computer, got electricity hooked up, and got internet so they could use FB?). Now, anyone with a computer or library access can sign up at no expense.
    Add to that that FB is just an extension of familiar technology, compared to radio and TV which languished for years before anyone could figure out what to broadcast, and it turns out that it’s not that amazing in comparison. When you get someone to shell out $300 for something so new it has no actual use we can make a more realistic comparison.
    And don’t forget, the other advances listed (TV, Internet) were able to spread faster based on the infrastructure necessary for preceding technologies, and a growing consumer impulse.
    These stats would be a lot more useful if they were based on 50% adoption instead of a 50 million user threshold.

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  • It is really a no brain situation. The internet has made getting your message out easier and quicker than anything. IT may take time but what does that matter? You’re going to spend more time doing other things and getting less results!

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Demographics/Research, Technology