So many churches and ministries these days are using social media. Facebook and Twitter are sometimes great ways to get the word out about events, outreach and volunteer opportunities, etc. within your ministry– if you use them wisely!
If your church uses social media or is thinking about social media, here are 5 things to keep in mind:
- Your audience. According to churchleaders.com, church websites should be geared toward new people, church/ministry social media should be geared toward people who are already involved. Keep your audience in mind when composing messages; update frequently, and promote your social media networks in church bulletins, newsletters, etc. If you plan on using social media as a primary means of communication, make sure church members know where to find those announcements.
- What you’re sharing. This is especially true for children’s ministries. Be careful when posting pictures and/or names of kids in your ministry, especially if your ministry page is set to public. The safety of those kids should be a very high priority. If you’re thinking about posting pictures, make sure you have parental permission. It’s probably a good idea to have parents sign a photo release form just incase. And if you’re going to share meeting locations where children will be present, (parks, playgrounds, etc.) be sure your Facebook page or Twitter feed is set to private to prevent unsafe people from acquiring that information.
- How often you update. Social media is a weird thing– it’s only effective if it’s used consistently. Once you\’ve gotten everyone on board and they know to check your pages for updates, make sure you actually post them! Facebook pages are great tools for communicating ministry events and updates if you use them consistently.
- Grammar, composition, and accuracy. This should go without saying, but sometimes it must be said! Your social media outlets represent your church. Make sure the updates are grammatically correct, composed in a way that is easy to understand, and contain accurate dates, times, and locations.
- Who runs the account(s). When you hold the password to a social media account, you hold a lot of power. Be wise in selecting the administrator for your social media accounts. It’s a good idea to choose one or two trusted people who can keep up with your ministry’s happenings and who can communicate with each another about what gets posted.
Does your church or ministry use social media? What sites do you use? Do you think it’s an effective means of communication?
Katie is the Social Media Specialist for Lifeway Kids. If you have any questions about setting up or using social media sites for ministry purposes, please feel free to contact her at email@example.com.
I need to work on #3!!! Any suggestion on creative ways to become more consistent??
Hey Amber! Great question! It helps me to sit down with a calendar and look at the events for the upcoming month or so. I create a content document (spreadsheet with messages and dates they should be posted) while I’m looking at the calendar, and then use a free service like Hootsuite that allows me to schedule the messages to post automatically at the specified date and time. Clears your schedule for more time for fun at church!
Our children’s ministry currently has its own Facebook page and I sometimes make a page for special events, like camp or VBS.
Over time I think Facebook has become an effective communication tool for our ministry.
This past year I have really learned about the importance of consistency when posting and that posts with pictures or graphics get more interaction.
Next Year I want to try to utilize Facebook more by have weekly spotlights on specific volunteers and small groups in our ministry, and try to have another Facebook event (I got the idea for a Facebook even from Sam Luce. You can find more information about this idea on his blog http://samluce.com/2012/11/facebook-family-night-article-from-k/ )
Thanks for the great comment, Peter! I’m glad to hear that social media is really working for you! Sam sure has some great resources on his site!