Churches Are Hip in Keeping Up with Online Hashtag Campaigns
By Sylvester Abakah and Nathalie Davis
Churches, too, are becoming major influencers of social media, unifying followers to collectively come together for a common purpose to demonstrate just how powerful human-to-human interactions can be. The online interactivity among churchgoers has increased exponentially over the years and one of the largest Christian community churches in the world, World Changers Church International (WCCI), together with Creflo Dollar Ministries and Legacy Worldwide’s digital media division, are heralding an effort to tap into the daily lives of church members who are “on the go” or those “logged in” to their computer or mobile devices.
Collectively, a hashtag campaign called “#PrayItForward” took place last month to reach the churched and a base of more than two million followers worldwide. The idea was to connect with Christians seeking the grace of God and tailor a social media campaign to encourage individuals to respond with how they performed random acts of kindness through prayer within their communities. We wanted to create an online environment to share the prayers – devotions that are usually kept in silence – across the digital landscape helping people to see the goodness that is trending across the web.
Launched on Facebook, Twitter and Google Plus, the online community created a conversation that united individuals, who shared a common cause, to a global ministry reaching 12.4 million social media users. To date, the campaign has reached over 4 million people and has received more than 185,000 likes, shares and posts on Facebook and Twitter. Through a concerted effort, statistics from the social media campaign indicated that thousands of people from 171 countries responded to the prayer-themed content being generated from posts that expressed individual needs and prayer for others. #PrayItForward brought together a robust, unifying experience for online Christians helping to spread the message of hope through topics of missions, today’s public leaders, and personal needs of jobs, healing and relationships.
Understanding the power of a unique brand campaign, combined with the use of hashtags to capture the online conversation of goodwill, Creflo Dollar Ministries just launched a similar campaign as part of the Global Easter Celebration with the hashtag #HeRose (a play on words for “heroes.”) The message behind the hashtag #HeRose recognizes the resurrection of Jesus Christ as our ultimate hero in the story of life – and brings the focus back to why we actually celebrate Easter. The campaign was conceptualized to help unite family with the true significance beyond the association of eggs and bunnies and has already seen strong engagement, with more expected leading up to Easter Sunday this week. We recognize our online followers as a thriving community and have embraced social media as a way to understand people’s needs and minister to them right where they live—immediately.
Christians need to connect, and the only way for us to continue to develop and grow as a people is to feel as though we all belong. Since the start of the year, Creflo Dollar Ministries organized the #PeopleLikeYou hashtag campaign, running through the course of 2015, to bring the sense of belonging back to our community and focus on empowering people to recognize that each of us is part of the bigger picture.
With several other planned social campaigns for 2015, we want our online family and the Christian community to know that they are more than just followers. So, whether you’ve actively participated in our #PrayItForward campaign, or are celebrating our ultimate hero through #HeRose, we want you to know that #PeopleLikeYou change the world.