Have you read your brand’s story today?

Twitter, Google, Yelp and directory style websites have given us all a platform to share our experiences, and in the sharing we write a brand’s story.

In the modern age of social media, many people will read your story online before they ever step through the doors of your church. From sound levels to parking, sermon topics to door greeters, there is a good chance your story has already been written.

Have you read it? If not, here is how you get started.

1. Search for your brand’s story. I google our church weekly, and check for reviews online. I do this to gather information that can help us better serve people, and make sure our story is being told accurately and appropriately Make sure to go beyond google and search for your brand on Yelp.com, CitySearch.com and Insiderpages.com.

2. Listen to what people are saying. Online reviews and Twitter have been a wealth of information for our weekend experiences. Through Twitter we are able to know when parking is a challenge, meet a first time guest in the lobby and pray for the bed-ridden mom in her last trimester. Reviews (though sometimes hard to read) have helped us improve our signage, have conversations about the sound levels in our auditorium, and better equip our volunteers to serve first time guests. Listening to your online story gives you the opportunity to make your weekend experiences better.

3. Join in the conversation. The best way to let people know you are listening is to respond. As you join in the conversation, you become one of the story-tellers of your brand. Reply, comment and make improvements when you can. Make sure you are not defensive. People are extremely opinionated and loyal to their experience. Saying thank you and you are sorry can go a long way.

Once you have joined in the conversation, be proactive in writing your brand’s story. Make sure you share more than information. People are looking for inspiration and connection. Your brand can provide it.

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