This afternoon, I was asked to give some tips to another church about their use of social media, particularly Facebook. Having written an email, I thought I’d post it here too.
It should be noted that, as my church’s outreach worker, that colours the stuff I choose to post about! Other churches might choose to have a different focus in their social media usage.
We don’t have anything written down as a policy, but perhaps you’ll find some of this helpful, with the caveat that they’re just my personal views:
Social media is particularly helpful for drawing people’s attention to things they need to sign up for, like a curry night or a homelessness training session, to give two recent examples. A notice at the start of the service has probably been forgotten by the time people are able to do anything about it, whereas a direct link to sign up there and then can work really well.
I’m an elder at my church, and I do think that’s a helpful thing, to ensure that what is posted is thought-through and on message.
(On a related note, I want to work out how we can have settings so that only admins can start a new post on the Carey page. Sometimes, we have someone who isn’t connected to Carey post details of an event. Potentially, this event might be good, okay, or really (really) awful. I don’t really have time to explore, so I generally delete such posts, but if I can work out how to not have those posts appear in the first place, that’ll be much better!)
Don’t be afraid to post multiple times about the same event. Both on social media and in giving notices, I generally find that by the time I’m sick of mentioning an event, church members have started to notice that something is happening.
You’ll be offered paid adverts to reach thousands of people. I have never taken these up, and don’t plan to since in my view, either we’ll just reach loads of Christians who maybe aren’t local anyway (given the amount of London-based churches and prosperity preachers I get ads for, I think it’s done on keywords), or we’ll show up in lots of people’s timelines who have no interest at all in our posts, and no personal connection that might cause them to be interested. I would FAR rather encourage our congregation to share the post themselves, I think this is way more valuable. Of course, the fees are fairly small, so if you do go for this option and it’s a success, please do let me know!
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