If you’re a youth group leader, chances are most of your youth group members are on MySpace and/or Facebook. Which means that if you’re not on MySpace or Facebook you’re missing some great opportunities to connect with your students. Here is what you need to know to make it on both of these social networking sites without looking like an unwelcome loser.
Do Ask For Help
You may consider yourself pretty tech savvy, what with your Blackberry and Twitter account, but there is no faster way to get schooled in MySpace and Facebook 101 than to just ask one of your students for a little help. A good place to look for the right candidate is on your youth leadership team. Explain what you need and what you’re looking for at your next student youth leadership meeting and offer to take the volunteer to lunch in exchange for some MySpace and Facebook lessons. The right person will get your profile set up, get you started on adding youth group members to your friends list and point you in the right direction for any helpful apps you might want to add.
Don’t Check Up On Your Students
You’ll quickly scare of your students if they suspect that you’re only on MySpace or Facebook to check up on them. So, be sincere about your intentions and let your students know that you’re not there to act like Big Brother. Yes, MySpace can sometimes be the land of TMI (too much information) but remember that these teens have grown up in an era where they’re used to living their lives publicly and documenting every major (and mundane) life event with a fresh, new batch of photos on MySpace.
Do Promote Youth Group Activities
MySpace and Facebook are great promotional tools. This is definitely the forum to announce upcoming youth group events and ask for student participation as well. You can easily post electronic version of fliers for Bible studies, camping trips, etc. on MySpace and get the word around quickly.
Don’t Be Afraid to Ask For Feedback
Using your MySpace blog or the Notes section in Facebook is the perfect place to ask students things like what they thought of last weeks Bible study, what topics they’d like to discuss or where they’d like to go on the next Spring Break trip. But remember that if you ask for feedback, you have to willing to deal with it. So don’t just ignore their suggestions, but take them into consideration when you’re doing your future planning.
Do Comment Your Students Pics and Profiles
Teens on MySpace love getting profile comments and especially picture comments, so take the time to comment your students’ new pics. Just don’t go overboard.
Do Post Pics of Youth Group Events
Remember that teens love pictures, especially when they’re in them. So take lots of pictures at all your events and upload them as soon as possible to MySpace and Facebook. Your students will appreciate the effort.