social networks are an increasing part of our lives

Top 5 Social Networks That You Can’t Afford to Ignore in 2014

Peter Guirguis Social Media 12 Comments

Whether you want to be successful in online evangelism, in your business, or in your ministry, you need to have a presence on the top social networking sites.

Social networks seem to be a dime a dozen these days and so it’s hard to figure out which ones you should be on.

Plus, you might have a personal preference in using certain sites over others and that might prevent you from beginning to explore some of the great social networks out there.

To help you cut through the clutter, I’ve put a list together for you of the top social networking sites that you should be on.

I’ve also added the benefits and limitations of each one.

This isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list but just a short list of the social networks that can drive readers, bloggers, and customers back to your website.

1. Facebook – click here to connect with my Facebook page.

At the time that this post is being published, there are more than 1.2 billion people on Facebook.

That’s huge!

Think of all the people that you can reach with the gospel!

Pros

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon] Allows you to create close personal relationships with friends, family, co-workers

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon]  Gives you the ability to share a wide range of multimedia files like videos, pictures, and links

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon]  Gives you the ability to reach more than just your friends by joining groups too

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon]  You can reach a lot of people worldwide by creating a page for you or your website that can be “liked” by others

Cons

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-closethick”] [/sws_ui_icon]  Some people complain that Facebook is getting too complicated to use because of its many options

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-closethick”] [/sws_ui_icon]  There’s a concern over how Facebook uses your personal information

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-closethick”] [/sws_ui_icon]  The Facebook team is constantly making changes to their social network that cause their users to have to learn new things

Takeaway: Facebook is a great way to share evangelistic videos and articles with your friends .  It’s also a great platform that enables you to have personal and meaningful life-changing conversations.

If privacy is a top priority for you, then you should be careful what information you give to Facebook.

Also, be sure to use Adblock on your browser to stop Facebook from seeing which websites you visit even when you aren’t on their website.  Adblock is free!

2. Twitter – click here to connect with me on Twitter.

No one would have ever thought that a social networking site that limits what you can type to 160 characters would ever be successful.

But that is exactly the main reason behind its success.

The Twitter platform has about 218 million active users and many more people are flocking to it daily.

Pros

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon]  160 character limit on your tweets keeps updates concise & to the point

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon]   Allows you to connect with new people from all over the world that have similar interests

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon]   A great platform to get your message promoted

Cons

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-closethick”] [/sws_ui_icon]  Some find the 160 character limit to be too confined but this can be overcome by using services like TwitLonger

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-closethick”] [/sws_ui_icon]  Direct messages from members can sometimes be spammy

Takeaway:  Twitter is a great way to share video testimonies and other evangelistic resources with your followers.  You can easily make new friends on Twitter in very little time and the engagement on this social network is very high.

power of social network for Christ

3. Google + – click here to connect with me on Google +.

Google + came a little late to the social networking game but it’s better late than never.  At the present time, Google + has about 359 million active users.

Pros

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon]  Google Plus websites and mobile apps are top-notch, feature-rich, and user-friendly

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon]  Links to your website that get +1’s from your circles will get rewarded in search engine results

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon]  The ability to create circles of friends makes it easy for you to choose who you want to share your content with

Cons

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-closethick”] [/sws_ui_icon]  Social activity on Google + is significantly less when compared to Facebook

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-closethick”] [/sws_ui_icon]  The inability to use fake identities has been criticized by some users who have privacy concerns

Takeaway:  While Google + may not have as many users as Facebook or the high engagement of Twitter, the outlook does look promising.

Those who get onto Google + now and engage with their content will be handsomely rewarded in the future as Google continues to integrate their social network across all of their products (i.e. YouTube, Gmail, etc.).

4.  YouTube – click here to subscribe to my YouTube channel.

YouTube isn’t just for watching videos, it has grown to be a highly engaging social network too with its ability to leave comments, subscribe to channels, and give thumbs up or down to videos.

Pros

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon]  Watching videos is one of the most engaging activities that people like to do on the Internet

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon]  YouTube has a pleasing and easy to use interface with many features

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon]  The most popular video hub online

Cons

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-closethick”] [/sws_ui_icon]   Sometimes questionable video suggestions show up in the sidebar when watching videos

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-closethick”] [/sws_ui_icon]   You must use a Google + account to leave a comment on videos

Takeaway:  People love to watch videos and this is an opportunity for you to either create Christian videos or to leave engaging comments on other users videos.

5.  Pinterest – click here to follow my Pinterest boards.

People are pleasantly surprised at how quickly Pinterest has been growing.  It seems like it came out of nowhere and has become an overnight sensation.

A brief introduction is needed here because you may have not heard of Pinterest.

Pinterest is a social bookmarking site where you’re able to collect and follow people’s pins which are in the form of images.  Similar pins can be grouped together onto a board which can be followed.

Here’s my Pinterest page, for example.

Pros

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon]  Very clean and easy to use social site

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon]  Gives you the ability to go back to that “cool website” that you found

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon]  You can follow people’s boards and they can follow yours

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon]  Pins can go viral as they can be repinned by your followers or anyone on Pinterest

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-check”] [/sws_ui_icon]  Can be a huge source of traffic to your website or blog

Cons

[sws_ui_icon ui_theme=”ui-smoothness” icon=”ui-icon-closethick”] [/sws_ui_icon]  No ability to message people 1-on-1 or in a group

Takeaway:  I use Pinterest to gather evangelistic videos and articles.  That way when people follow me, something might capture their attention and cause them to view it.

If you’re keeping your online evangelism ministry in prayer, then maybe the Lord will use it to plant a seed or get someone saved.

To check out my evangelism pins on Pinterest, click here.

The Bottom Line

Don’t miss these important social networking sites in your online evangelism ministry.

Just like you can go out to Starbucks and have a conversation with a complete stranger over coffee, you can also go to a social networking site and spark a conversation with someone you’ve never met before about eternity.

Just don’t forget to pray about social networking.  God can use it in a powerful way if you cover your social networks in prayer.

What’s your favorite social network?  Which one do you think has the greatest power to reach non-believers with the truth that Jesus saves? Please consider leaving a comment.

 

[top image courtesy of Phil Earnest] social networks are an increasing part of our lives

Comments 12

    1. That’s way cool Trev, thank you for the encouragement bro! I’m so happy for you for your new position as Senior Pastor at Harvest Community. I can’t think of a better person to have a congregation lead them than you, my dear friend 🙂

      Thank you for all of your amazing sites, More Than a Bucket List, RevTrev, Life Above the Negativity, and I’m sure I’ve skipped a few of your other sites 🙂 Your emails are always encouraging and I appreciate your heart to minister to the worldwide body of Christ.

  1. Thank you Peter Guirguis for your insights for evangelism on social media. I’m an author (MOMS RAISING SONS TO BE MEN-Harvest House 2013), speaker, evangelist to women, and Pastor’s wife. I have had a FB Page and twitter account for some time. Recently I created a YouTube Channel RHONDA STOPPE -NO REGRETS WOMAN and am learning to engage my audience through video.
    Thanks again for making this all a little bit more clear
    Rhonda Stoppe
    http://www.NoRegretsWoman.com
    http://www.facebook.com/RhondaStoppeLiveDeliberately
    @RhondaStoppe

    1. Hi Rhonda, thank you so much for sharing your links with the Not Ashamed of the Gospel community. I just visited your website and it looks absolutely wonderful! We need godly women like you to share with us how to raise godly children. What a great topic 🙂

      I also liked your Facebook page and I was already following you on Twitter.

      1. Thank you for your encouraging words Peter. My heart is evangelism and teaching SOUND DOCTRINE to women to help them build NO-REGRETS LIVES. Social networking is something I am not passionate about, but I am passionate to get the message God has laid upon my heart out to help women become more influential than they ever dreamed possible. Thus, websites, twitter, Facebook and pinterest have become great avenues for this cause! #RhondaStoppe

          1. Sure Peter! Here is a link to one of my messages on my website http://www.NoRegretsWoman.com http://rhondastoppe.com/audio/women_who_rock_mary_of_bethany.mp3
            This message will give you insight into my heart for evangelism. On my site, and my FB page http://www.facebook.com/RhondaStoppeLiveDeliberately you can listen to more of my messages, learn more about my book MOMS RAISING SONS TO BE MEN, and my new book I am writing for Harvest House, hear recent radio interviews, read my blog, my statement of faith, endorsements, etc.
            Let me know if you have any questions,
            Rhonda

              1. And you my friend… Keep me in mind if your ever looking for a speaker for your women’s events.

  2. Peter, once again I LOVE YOUR HEART FOR EVANGELISM! I LIVE for opportunities to share the GOSPEL one-on-one over coffee with a stranger at Starbucks (boy could I tell you about some amazing opportunities the Lord has brought my way over a chai latte’!) I am very thankful for your insights into how to use SOCIAL MEDIA to share the GOOD NEWS of Christ! I see that your a pastor at Calvary Chapel in Gardena CA. I am speaking at a women’s retreat for Calvary Chapel Oceanside October 17-19th-do you have any affiliation with this church? Just curious! Thank you for being so loyal to teach how to “always be ready to give an answer for the hope that lies within you”. 🙂 #MomsRaisingSonstoBeMen #NoRegretsWoman

    1. Thank you so much Rhonda for your very encouraging words. I’ve come to appreciate all of your comments in the Not Ashamed of the Gospel online community. God has given you tremendous insight and so many of us glean from your comments over here.

      As for the Calvary Chapel Oceanside affiliation, I do believe that is a part of the Calvary network which means that it is a sister church. Do you know who the senior Pastor is?

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