A globally recognized social media strategist and consultant is teaching ISKCON devotees how to use social media to spread the Holy Names and increase the outreach of their temples.
With his Bangalore-based agency, Shabdahari Das has run social media campaigns for world-famous personal development gurus like Tony Robbins, T. Harv Ecker, and Bryan Tracy. He’s also trained over 20,000 entrepreneurs in how to use social media to grow their businesses.
In December 2018, at the ISKCON Communications Conference in Delhi, India, he launched a new program for devotees, called The Digital Preacher Challenge. Currently 1,600 devotees all over India are taking the course.
“The thirty-day challenge is designed to make it very simple for devotees to immediately start using major platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn to increase their preaching activities,” says Shabdahari.
Devotees enroll in the self-paced online course at https://www.thedigitalpreacher.com/. Every day, they receive a video by Shabdahari via email teaching them a different skill. They then take action to practice the skill.
“For instance, in one video I teach them how to do Facebook Live,” Shabdahari says. “They then listen to a lecture or read any of Prabhupada’s books, take the essence of what they’ve learned, and make a Facebook Live video based on that.”
The course also teaches devotees how to write effective articles with Facebook Notes, record videos on their smartphone, speak effectively in front of a camera, share articles and videos strategically in different Facebook groups, create a Whatsapp group, and build and nurture tribes (people interested in the same topics online).
“I also teach how to engage with someone who has liked your post or made a comment in a positive way, and how to build an emotional connection with them,” says Shabdahari.
Shabdahari is also teaching devotees how to link the social media connection back to whatever real world nurturing system they have.
Participants in the Digital Preacher Challenge receive a certificate signed by ISKCON Communications Director Anuttama Das
For instance, a group of Bhakti Vriksha leaders in Bangalore who are taking the course are posting in various Bangalore related Facebook groups, and inviting connections they make to their Bhakti Vriksha meetings.
In a similar way, devotees can post in location-based groups anywhere in the world and invite people to participate in their temples, preaching centers, or counselor systems.
Upon completion of the course, which is affiliated with the ISKCON Communications Ministry, students receive an e-certificate of graduation signed by ISKCON’s International Director of Communications Anuttama Das.
Although most techniques Shabdahari teaches in the program are for Facebook because it’s the most widely-used platform, all the ideas and concepts can also be implemented on LinkedIn, Instagram, and other social media platforms.
And although Shabdahari has focused on India for the first phase of his course, he is now advertising in the US, Canada, and Australia, and wants Digital Preacher to be a global initiative.
“The intention behind creating this system is to empower every devotee to be able to participate in preaching online,” he says. “By taking multiple individual drops of water, we can together create an ocean, and flood the whole internet with Srila Prabhupada’s Krishna conscious philosophy.”
* * *
To enroll, visit www.thedigitalpreacher.com
Jan 23, 2022
Anandini Tikunov (8th-grade student)
Jan 22, 2022
Sunanda Das, tovp.org