By Rev. Marty Levesque
Just how important is each user? How important is each like, subscription or share? Why put so much effort into social media, websites and ethereal content?
About the best answer I can give is to point to Metcalfe’s law.
Metcalfe’s law states the effect of a social network is proportional to the square of the number of connected users of the network.
In other words, if your page has 50 likes, it has an effective reach of 2,500 people. Add just one more person to the network and your reach increases to 2,601. One user translated to 101 more people in the network.
And as you can see this will grow exponentially. Each person added to a social network, such as a church’s Facebook page, opens hundreds of new possibilities to reach out with the Gospel message and leverage growing networks.
Coming off the heels of synod and the bishop’s charge of being sent into the world, a renewed commitment to social media as a means of evangelism is something every parish should revisit and prioritize.
Over the coming summer months, it is the perfect time to prepare for a robust fall launch and social media engagement. Ask parishioners to like your church’s Facebook page, leave a review and purposefully engage with content.
Metcalfe’s law applies to not only the number of likes on a page but engagement per content. So if a post is like by 10 parishioners then it has an effective reach of 100 people.
If we take the bishop’s charge to heart and take a few seconds to like, comment or share your church’s social media content then we can begin to apply Metcalfe’s law to not just the number of likes of the page, but to each post we make.
And this would mean that each day, with each post, we all take part in the apostolic ministry of being sent into the world.
Rev. Marty Levesque is the diocesan social media officer and rector of All Saints’ in Waterloo.