Summer is the most interesting season. Well, that is just for me, especially when you are somewhere in Asia. If you want to travel somewhere in Asia, it must be during summer. You can go to the beach, enjoy seasonal fruits, explore by walking, check out local street food, commute without hassle, and wear comfortable clothes.
But this summer is different. I got to spend 2 summer weeks doing missions, digital missions! What do I mean by that? Digital missions is doing something that would impact the lives of many but in a digital form. It might be creating a digital tool like apps, forging a digital strategy, designing a social media campaign, or maybe a collaboration with some digital ministries.
Singapore is one of the most strategic locations in the world. You can reach some Asian countries in just 3-5 hours. It has been tagged as a blessed country since they don’t experience strong tropical storms and their economy has been strong for so many decades.
I was invited to join a #IndigiServe. An internship program of Indigitous for those who want to do short-term #DigitalMissions together with some believers that have the same passion: helping fulfill The Great Commission using technology and innovations.
In my pursuit to help reach the unreached, I was led to co-found a digital ministry to reach people like my former self. I was self-confessed serial dater, cheater, and a ghost. I was one of the archetypes of people who seek true love, happiness, fulfillment, and being complete in a romantic relationship.
We started this garage project to reach the broken-hearted, inspire healthy relationships, and create memes. And I must admit it. It was the memes that keep me going for 3 years. For 3 years, by God’s grace and wisdom, we built the following of our Facebook page from 100s to millions…with memes. This was my dream ministry. Creating memes for Jesus… We called this ministry Boiling Waters.
Chatbots for God
During this two-week service program, we worked on a chatbot that would leverage our social media campaigns and lead the messages in our inbox to our diverse community. A chatbot that would make our lives easy as an admin of the page by answering FAQs and reroute them to our website, Youtube channel, other social media platforms, Gnowbe online courses, Facebook groups, and podcasts that may address their concerns.
In between those working schedules, we still managed to have our nightly adventures. I tell you, if you need a lot of inspiration during these two weeks of #IndigiServe, Singapore will not disappoint.
We configured the chatbot, made a session on “How To Move On” inside the chatbot (in JPEG form,) did a series of posts across our social media platforms, and added a call-to-action that would lead our followers to PM the page. On June 5, 2019, we went live!
In the next morning, we analyzed the data and an astonishing 742 people PMed the page that day. Out of 742 people, 554 started a course and 514 finished to the last page. We saw big potential for adding value again to our followers by giving them another great user experience inside the chatbot. So we made some adjustments and set another goal to hit at least 10 link clicks redirecting them to our new learning platform Gnowbe, and to our website.
The results went south. We had only six clicks for Gnowbe’s “How To Become A Digital Missionary” and no one finished the course, 56 clicks on Gnowbe’s “How To Move On” and no one finished that course, either. Lastly, there were only five clicks to our website. We assumed that users would be clicking the link to the Gnowbe platform even if we hadn’t informed them that we actually have a new learning platform. So we analyzed the data, the flow of the chatbot, thought about what we did wrong in the content migration to Gnowbe, and came up with some improvements. We made the pathways much clearer, created a social media campaign to inform the followers that we have a new FREE learning platform, and made a call-to-action for them to PM the Facebook page again.
On June 13, 2019, at 4:00 pm, we went live again and the stats started to pick up. People were starting to sign up for Gnowbe and start the course. At 10:00 pm, under the “How To Become A Missionary” program, we already had 67 people registered in the Gnowbe app, 64 started the course, and seven finished the course. For the “How To Move On,” content, 67 registered, 35 people started the course, and 30 finished the course.
We learned not to assume. Not to assume that the followers will click external links without explaining to them what it is all about. We learned that with clearer and proper pathways in chatbots, they will leverage our campaigns that help our users get the information they need.
Innovation might be uncomfortable at first, but it will undeniably create opportunities you can’t imagine. The same is true in missions. The method may change but the Message is still the same. We are living in a changing world. Change is the only constant thing in the world. If we say (as Christians) “We go where people are,” people are in digital space right now. If the digital space was a country, it would be the the world’s largest. And if we are to help fulfill The Great Commission, we should not ignore the digital realm. I believe that behind every screen is a person. A person that has a soul. A soul that needs Jesus.
The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few and offline. Let’s go online. Let’s go digital. Let’s go do #DigitalMissions.
Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. (Habakkuk 2:2)
- Consider how a chatbot or other innovative form of communication can improve your digital strategy
- Read more about Gnowbe