We are not called to be of the world, but definitely in the world. Knowing this, we believe the Tonight Show can teach us all a lot about how we can use social media to reach more people. They are the best at maximizing social media. It seems like every time you turn around, you see another bit from the show being either shared or commented on throughout various social media feeds. If you stop and think about it, it really is pretty brilliant in how the show is using social media to reach more people.

What they are doing is something that quite frankly we all could be doing. Churches could propel our Sunday morning messages organically in the week ahead via social media and mobile apps, much in the same was as The Tonight Show.

What are they doing? Atomizing.

They’re atomizing or reducing what they have already created into smaller bite sized pieces that are perfect for social media use. They take a 3-minute skit with their show guests and post just that segment to Facebook. Then, they’re off to the races.

Imagine if we could do that on Sunday mornings?

A couple weeks back, one of the pastors at my church told a story within his sermon that absolutely had everybody in the church rolling with laughter. It was seriously funny about how he trained as a high school student to be an exceptional foosball player. It was brilliant, it drove the point home of his message and… it was short.

What would happen if we recorded our messages and could take a short segment out of our message that really resonated with the church that morning or evening and dropped it into our church Facebook pages and other relevant social media feeds?

Do you think church members who like your page who absolutely connected with that particular story on Sunday would engage that post? Maybe, just maybe they would feel compelled to click share come Monday if it were on Facebook? Most would say that chances are they would.

And what about for those who couldn’t make it on Sunday? Certainly, we could just tell them to download the podcast or watch the entire sermon. However, in this day and age… the art of atomizing your content is what creates the intrigue for others to want to further engage your content as a whole.

Why? It’s accessible because it’s short.

Packaged perfectly for the digital culture, much like how Jimmy Fallon packages the Tonight Show for not just traditional media in mind, but also social media.

Now certainly, the concept of atomizing our content is something that has been around for a few years. In doing research, I saw articles calling it new dating back to 2008. With this, it’s fascinating to me that here we are in 2015 and we’re still talking about it

I love this definition of the word atomize: reduce (something) to atoms or other small distinct units.

With this in mind, what are two other ways we can further atomize our Sunday message for social media use?

  • Use slides used in the message as social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest
  • Create memes (images with quotes) from text from the message

Certainly this all takes time and resources. However, with the right planning, we may just find we already have the right time and resources, we just need to reallocate them accordingly, especially as we begin to seek engagement with the digital culture in a whole new, and hopefully effective, way.

With this, what we are learning about social media is that it’s not simply just about the platform we are using, like Facebook, but rather, what we plan to say when using the platform.

In this, creating content can be a full time job. But, when we can begin to understand that our best content is more often than not something we already created, then we’re almost already there.

We just need to atomize it.

It’s amazing what The Tonight Show can teach us all about how we can use social media to reach more people. And if they can do this to reach people for that, then why not us do that to reach people for this? The Kingdom.

Guest post written by @gunnarsimonsen

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