from Internet Toolbox for Churches comes this great reminder....
What should the church do with social media?
The Catholic Church in Australia has addressed this question with a list of social media protocols for its churches.
But what about your church? Do you have protocols for your social media ministry?
Here are a few good and bad examples of social media protocols for your church.
Start and end with people
The main point to remember in all communication is the person on the other side.
The church holds a high value of every human being and this should be apparent in all of its interaction in social media.
Pastors, church staff and volunteers need to keep this principle in mind. You are not writing your own personal responses with your own viewpoints, but representing the church and its positions…and its goal of reaching people with a message.
Expressing true care for people in your posts and responses makes the church unique and even attractive to the social media world.
Make your church visible
Always associate yourself with your church when posting. Your profile must make this clear.
Social media networks allow you to choose what kind of group you are. Pick the religious organization section and mention the church you represent.
This helps people find your church when they are looking for it and tells people where they can look for more information.
Filter your content
The last thing your church wants is a bad reputation resulting from of a bad social interaction online.
Unfortunately, schools have even had to ban faculty Facebook use because of inappropriate material being posted.
Consider having one or two people monitor all of your public posts on your website or Facebook Page. This isn’t a trust issue. It doesn’t mean you don’t trust your pastor, church staff or volunteers.
Instead, see it as another set of eyes to keep everyone accountable. It is also a way of protecting the pastor, volunteers and the church itself.
Bring people into the picture
Pictures and video are excellent tools for interaction with other people online. But the type of pictures posted should always reflect your church’s message.
Obviously, house party pictures, vacation pictures and cute-things-your-child-did pictures are not likely to help spread a message and thus do not belong on your church’s Facebook page.
Use pictures and videos that draw people into your church’s stories and show what your church is all about. Feature pictures from internal and community events at or sponsored by your church, ideally with lots of smiling faces and people enjoying each other’s company.
Don’t leave relationships digital
The goal of social media is to get people involved face to face with your church.
Twitter campaigns, Facebook stories and blogs are all efficient means of creating relationships. But they can easily become ends instead of means.
Don’t make “getting followers” your goal. That’s social media for social media’s sake.
Instead, get those followers to come to church, to an event or to some other function. Try to reach people with your message.
Use social media for what it is, a tool to reach and engage real people.
Don’t throw out the rules
Social media is a tool any church can use, but using it without rules can be dangerous. Using it with the proper rules can effectively spread your church’s message.
Don’t be afraid of social media, use it to your church’s advantage.
What about your church?
Does your church have guidelines for using social media? Do you have anything to add to these suggestions? Let’s talk about it!
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