After deciding to get your church on social media, there are a few things you need to think about first. Here are five that I’ve picked out as most important when starting up:
1. Which social media channels are you going to use?
Where’s the best place for your church to be? Is it Facebook? Is it Twitter? Is it both? Consider running a survey at church to find out what most people use and like. If you plan to use both, be aware of the extra time two accounts take. There are of course many social media channels out there, don’t be on all of them for the sake of being on all of them.
2. Who is going to look after the account?
Running a social media account does take time. Some companies have staff that monitor their social media 24/7, for a smaller operation like a church, it won’t take as much time as you may think. I’ll be posting some time saving tips soon.
Choose someone who already comfortable using social media (or if that person doesn’t exist – send them on some training!) An administrator or someone on the leadership team is best, but sometimes the right person for the job may be someone who already has a full time job or other responsibilities. If this is the case, they won’t always be able to pop into church to take photos of an event or know what’s been decided in a planning meeting etc. Ensure that the clergy, churchwardens and administrator are all on board and are able to regularly provide the content needed.
3. Who else has access?
Make sure the log in details are not just held by one person. Any number of things could happen which could result in you not having access to the account (this goes for your website too) A second or even third person should know the log in details. It’s also handy having someone who can take over the account during holidays or if the person is suddenly too ill/busy to look after the account.
4. What will your voice be?
You will notice, looking at a variety of social media accounts, that they all have a different voice. Some choose to use it for fun, silly posts, whilst others use it very formally and carefully. It doesn’t have to be one or the other, you can choose something in between the two. But be careful, there’s a huge difference being informal and being too personal.
5. Do you have a social media policy?
If you don’t know where to start creating a social media policy, speak to your diocesan comms team, most if not all have a policy at the ready, some policies are already sitting on your diocesan website. The policy should include information on safeguarding, legal and copyright, dealing with trolls/negative users and security. Ensure all those with access to the account have read and understood the policy.
If you have any questions, please do let me know in the comments below.