All posts tagged: twitter


Part of what I do for Rancho Community Church is run our social media accounts. I’m a big fan of using social media as a tool to keep conversations going or spur them on. It allows people opportunities to share thoughts and comments that they wouldn’t have the opportunity to do in person. It really is another community, just like the many communities that make up the church – it’s just online.

Anyway, I’m always interested in how other churches utilize social media. What services they are using – and how they are using them. I’ve been a big fan of Saddleback, Crosspoint and others and kind of watch them for trends. At Rancho, we almost exclusively use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And we have accounts for both campuses (and our School):

Rancho Community Church (Temecula Campus / Main Organization)

Rancho Community Church (Murrieta Campus)

Rancho Christian Schools

So how do we logistically run all these (and more) accounts? For the most part I personally manage all the accounts… probably not the most efficient practice, but we don’t have many other options right now. I’ve given a couple other trusted team members access to our Facebook Pages and we have a couple volunteers that help with our Twitter accounts. I’ve created a couple graphics that show some of the flow (specifically with photos) of our social media sharing…


Click on the image for a full size version


Click on the image for a full size version


As you can see this is 100% mobile driven – that’s mainly for sharing photos. I’ve asked our staff and key volunteers to share photos each weekend and at any events that they are running. Any good shots are shared (with photo credit) starting with Instagram which starts a chain reaction to Facebook (page) and then to Twitter. If I have a bunch of photos that aren’t real specific, I’ll just share them on our Facebook page. Whenever we share photos online we use the tag, #ranchopix and try to encourage our followers to do the same. I’ll tag our photos with things like #worship #church #temecula #murrieta, etc. as well.

That’s just a quick overview of what we’re doing. We’re slowly building followers and communities online and as we engage more, the community grows larger. It’s an exciting and fun ministry to be a part of and I can’t wait to see how it grows even more.

If you need help connecting your Instagram to your Facebook Page – there’s a good tutorial here. Unfortunately you have to log in and out of Instagram to manage multiple accounts… however the good news is that Instagram remembers what each account is connected to, which makes it a bit easier to share across platforms – I only share to Facebook from Instagram.

There’s tons of tutorials on connecting your Facebook Page to your Twitter Account – here’s a pretty simple tutorial.

I’d like to think we’re on the front lines of this, especially for a church, however I know there’s always something new or a better way to do things. Please let me know what you’re doing to engage in these communities and what tools you are using. And if you need a hand with this stuff just reach out – I’d love to help in any way I can.


Thought I’d share some thoughts on how I use and manage twitter accounts both personally and for the organizations I represent. I’ve always been an early adopter, and I’ve been a Twitter user since 2008 (Twitter was launched in mid 2006). Since joining Twitter, I’ve set up quite a few accounts for myself, friends, family, c0-workers, and organizations, and I still maintain quite a few accounts. So here’s some thoughts & ideas that might inspire you in how you’re using your personal account and accounts for your organizations:

Personal Account

I use my personal account, well, personally. I believe people should be generally real in person and online. I tweet a lot about my thoughts, my family, my work, fun stuff, news, etc. I work at a church – so the lines blur a lot between work and life.

screenshot from

I also try and use my personal account to “mention” (use the @account) “re-tweet” (RT) things in my areas of interest which include leadership, design, church, worship, music, tech, etc. This is a great way to build connections and network with like-minded people around the world.

screenshot from

I use my personal account to tweet out my posts from my blog. I have a plugin on my blog that randomly tweets out old posts – just in case someone might be interested in a post.

screenshot from

I try and be positive and share things that will be encouraging, fun, useful, and thought provoking. There’s quite a few articles on basic twitter etiquete online – just Google it.

screenshot from


Business/Organization Accounts
I use our organization’s accounts to try and push information out that would be helpful and inspiring. For example, when our Church has a volunteer team work at the Outreach Farm Project, harvesting food for the local Rescue Mission – I want people to know about it, so I’ll send a tweet like this:You’ll probably notice that that Tweet was sent from Facebook. I have our Facebook Page setup to update Twitter every time there’s a status update. It works pretty well. (So obviously that tweet originated from a Facebook status update, not from Tweetdeck, or

screenshot from

I also use our organization’s accounts to mention (use the @account) about or re-tweet (RT) other accounts that are putting out good, helpful information, like this:

screenshot from

You can see how helpful it is for our main Church account (@ranchocommunity) to mention @antiochTV – when we do, a link is available in the tweet that will take them right to the account, where they can see all the tweets from @antiochTV and learn more about that ministry.

Here’s an example of a re-tweet (RT) of our worship ministry:

screenshot from

As you can see, when I re-tweet that tweet from @ranchoworship, it gave me a tweet with a lot of helpful information, including how many times the original tweet has been re-tweeted, and by whom.

I also re-tweet certain staff members and church-goers, like this:

screenshot from

This is a tweet from one of our Tech guys, with a picture, that we re-tweeted with the church account, so those following the church account could catch a glimpse of what our staff see. It’s just a cool way to connect the dots.

Some common (or not so common) sense rules I have for organization tweeting:

  • Don’t use personal language. Don’t as an organization say “I hope you can make it to church this morning, we’re talking about grace”, rather say something like, “Join us this morning as we talk about grace”.
  • Right on the heels of the last point: Let people know WHO is tweeting. Obviously someone is behind the screen – let people know; it makes it much more personal and real. I have a little tag I put on our accounts for who is tweeting that is a simple, “@alexmclean tweeting”. Then followers know who it is that is sending out the content and they can choose to interact or not.
  • Don’t re-tweet irrelevant information. It’s nice that your worship leader is talking about his new pair of Tom’s – your organization’s followers don’t care about your worship leader’s shoes and if they do, they can follow him.
  • Asking questions is ok. Again, don’t use personal pronouns.
  • Understand your audience. Are you getting feedback? @ mentions? re-tweets? If not, maybe you’re not sending out good content enough, maybe your sending out too much? Maybe your content is bad, boring, unhelpful?
  • Try and think about leaving room for re-tweeting. Don’t always use all 140 characters; remember, when someone re-tweets, it’s going to add a handful of characters to the original tweet.
  • Try and have some fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously – check out companies like Mailchimp for examples.
  • Don’t be afraid to follow your followers… what’s it gonna hurt? So what if you don’t read their tweets? People like to feel connected and important – a little follow goes a long way, plus you never know what you’re going to get.

Tool of Choice: Tweetdeck

  • I use Tweetdeck on both my computer and my phone. Tweetdeck has a very nice (although not immediately intuitive) layout and user interface (i.e. I looks & feels good).
  • Tweetdeck allows me to manage all my accounts from one place. I simply add my Twitter accounts and the application allows me to tweet from several accounts, either one tweet at a time or simultaneously.
  • I use Tweetdecks “Columns” to organize and compartmentalize Twitter to what/how I want to see. For example: I have a column for “@alexmclean replies” so I can see who is replying to my personal tweets. I also have an “@ranchocommunity replies” column to see who is responding to that account, and so on… I’ve actually changed the way I watch the accounts now, rather than using the @ranchocommunity as the search query, I use just “ranchocommunity” so I can see much more activity (just try it and you’ll see.)
  • You can manage a lot more from Tweetdeck, like adding people to “lists”, which you can then call up in a column, ex: I have a “locals” list and column – the list is managed by my Twitter account – the column is what shows up in Tweetdeck. Confused yet?
  • You can follow, unfollow, block, and manage accounts within Tweetdeck as well.
  • WARNING: When using multiple accounts you have to be very careful before sending tweets, that you have the right account(s) selected. Don’t want to send that personal tweet out of your organization’s account.
Managing multiple accounts is not too hard to do – you just have to use some intentionality, creativity, and time to do it right.
I’m sure if you’re reading this, you’ve had some fun Twitter experiences. Tell me about them, and tell me about how you use and manage Twitter accounts.
Find us on Twitter


Today Leadership Network put on an online conference called “Staff Infection“. I won’t waste time describing much other than church leaders from all over the US gave short talks on leadership, staff relations, etc. If you missed it, I highly recommend going and getting the download. Here’s some of my favorite quotes (my version of quotes, from Twitter):

pull the lids off of your teams! #staffinfection

We are so comfortable ‘satus quo’. We don’t really want to change. We like to be ‘nice’. We neuter our teams. #staffinfection

does our staff seem like a red light, yellow light, or green light? #staffinfection

personality trumps skill #staffinfection

RUN your team so that the best people LOVE it #staffinfection

leadership development is like a crockpot #staffinfection

invest 2x’s as much into your staff as you expect to get out of them #staffinfection

#leadership: it beats working for a living #staffinfection (note the sarcasm)

be a leader of high influence and low control #staffinfection

RT @action_djackson: Trust can’t be given: it is the by-product of a process. #staffinfection

TRUST: No surprises. Respect for one another. Honesty.

RT @josephhoran: “Your connection to God is the biggest factor in how effective you’re leadership will be.” @tammymelchien#staffinfection

RT @joshy79: RT @jpnbren: You can teach people all you know, but you are going to reproduce who you are! #staffinfection

If you’re not a twitterer, all those links are going to look like jibberish. A quick intro to Twitter: the “@” symbol means that’s a person’s Twitter name or handle. The “RT” is a “retweet”, which simply means, I “retweeted” or repeated what another person tweeted. The “#”, or “hashtag” is a way of creating a searchable category within the Twitter stream. So… if you click on any of those #staffinfection links, you’ll not only see my tweets, but you’ll see EVERYONE’S tweets who used that hashtag. Pretty cool.

Anyway, lot’s to chew on up there & probably some posts coming up. Did you attend? Any of those quotes hit you?



I didn’t get to go to Catalyst (East Coast) last week, however I did follow the #cat10 twitter stream and watch the backstage stuff. Of everything I heard or read, this statement stood out the most:

People are tweeting the point before they receive the point.

I believe that was said by Beth Moore. And it is so true! It’s so easy for us to hear something or read something, send it out over the internets, and never take the time to digest it and apply it in our own lives.

I know I’m guilty, how about you?

PS – if you want to read more about Beth Moore at Catalyst, Tim Shraeder has an excellent post up here.


I’ve been spending a bit more time in the WordPress world lately, so I thought I’d share some of the resources I’m using right now.

I think those are good for now. More coming soon.