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Social Media and Congregational Mission
 

Social Media and Congregational Mission

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Presentation by Shelby Meyerhoff of the Unitarian Universalist Association on using social media to further congregational mission. Includes an overview of the social media landscape, a discussion of ...

Presentation by Shelby Meyerhoff of the Unitarian Universalist Association on using social media to further congregational mission. Includes an overview of the social media landscape, a discussion of ministry and evangelism online, and suggestions for engaging with social media in safe and ethical ways.

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    Social Media and Congregational Mission Social Media and Congregational Mission Presentation Transcript

    • Social Media and Congregational Mission By Shelby Meyerhoff For Mass Bay District Spring Conference May 1, 2010
    • Resources
      • http:// www.uua.org/socialmedia
      • http://newmedia.blogs.uua.org/
    • Topics
      • Technological Landscape of Social Media
      • How Social Media Can Fuel Congregational Purpose and Mission
      • Theological and Ethical Implications of Social Media
    • Technological Landscape of Social Media Mini-Keynote #1
    • Opportunities
      • Self-publishing
      • Viral spread of information
      • Building relationships with low level of risk-taking for seekers
      • Holistic relationship-building
      • Integration into daily life
    • Challenges
      • Growing diversity of tools and niches  decentralized audience  more effort needed to reach same audience
      • Potential decrease in control of image (personal and congregational)
      • Increase in amount of content, risk of content overload
      • Questions about how to translate real-world relationship norms into online norms
    • General principles for social media engagement
      • Centrality of mission
      • Add value
      • Post meaningful content
      • Clarity of asks or invitations
      • Consistency of tone and types of content
      • Scheduling (days/times or frequency)
      • Healthy relationships (communal and one-to-one; safety, ethics)  clear and enforced expectations
    • How to choose a tool?
      • 1. Clarify mission
      • 2. Analyze opportunities to further mission
      • 3. Ask detailed questions (who, what, when, how)
      • 4. Research tools
      • 5. Choose tools
    • Analyze opportunities
      • Assess your congregation’s gifts and opportunities
        • Congregational leaders’ inner gifts (knowledge, compassion, humor, etc.)
        • Content
        • Community
      • Draw on existing successes while also looking for online-only opportunities
    • Ask questions
        • Who will post, is intended audience
        • What kinds of content will be created/shared
        • When will content be shared (schedule), will social media presence be evaluated
        • How will you promote your online presence, maintain safety and ethics (keynote III)
    • Research tools: Let’s start on this today!
      • Blogs
      • Facebook
      • Twitter
      • Podcasts/ iTunes
      • YouTube
    • Blogs
      • Good for:
        • Exploring topics at length
        • Primarily text, but other content is possible
        • Archiving conversations and ideas in easy-to-search format
    • Facebook
      • Good for
        • Group conversations with short comments
        • Promoting person-to-person spread of information as well as broadcasting
        • Sharing short, frequent updates
        • Sharing different types of content (photos, video, links, etc.)
        • Reaching a large potential audience
    • Twitter
      • Good for:
        • Offering short updates
        • Live-reporting on events
        • Joining decentralized conversations (about your neighborhood, an advocacy issue, etc.)
    • Podcasting/iTunes
      • Good for:
        • Allowing people to consume your content on-the-go (for example, in a car)
        • Providing audio-only content
        • Building a consistent audience for audio/video and automatically supplying them new content
        • Reaching iTunes user base
    • YouTube
      • Good for:
        • Publishing videos
        • Promoting sharing of videos through multiple channels (blogs, Facebook, etc).
    • Other tools
      • Location-based social networking (Foursquare)
      • Review sites (Yelp)
      • Mobile phone applications
    • Learning more about tools
      • Use the tool
      • Read the help section, FAQ’s
      • Ask around
    • How Social Media Can Fuel Congregational Purpose and Mission Mini-Keynote II
    • Process Social media engagement Evaluation of social media experience Development of and commitment to mission/purpose
    • Process Social media engagement Evaluation of social media experience Development of and commitment to mission/purpose
    • Let’s assume the following are part of your mission
        • (Shared) Ministry
        • Evangelism
    • Process Social media engagement Evaluation of social media experience Development of and commitment to mission/purpose
    • Online ministry by an individual
      • Simply being available in a convenient space (the internet), in a forum that people use (Facebook)
      • Share spiritually-nourishing content
      • Identifying pastoral needs and ministering proactively
      • A …reason to be on Facebook is that the people of our churches are on Facebook, from the 9 year olds to the 70 year olds…The savvy pastor can, in minutes, respond to those things with a quick click on "like", or easily send a private message of support or congratulations.  
      • – Rev. Christine Robinson http://iminister.blogspot.com/
    • Online ministry through community
      • Example: congregational Facebook page
      • Encouraging participation and shared leadership
      • Offering content that is spiritually nourishing
      • Celebrating and thanking
      • Providing a holistic view of congregational life
      • Inviting deeper engagement in congregational life
      • Safe space
    • Online evangelism
      • Ministering!
      • Being easy-to-find online
      • Making newcomer-friendly information front-and-center
      • Seeking out friends, followers, readers, etc.
    • Online evangelism (continued)
      • Educating about our faith (can be fun!)
      • Answering questions
      • Helping newcomers connect with congregants
      • Inviting further (in-person) engagement with congregation
    • Empowerment of UUs to evangelize
      • Discussing and modeling online promotion of our faith
      • Deepening knowledge and enthusiasm about our faith among UUs
      • Create sharable content
      • Encourage other UUs to create their own content and share it
    • Process Social media engagement Evaluation of social media experience Development of and commitment to mission/purpose
    • Evaluation
      • What were our initial hopes in establishing a new media presence?
      • How has our content reflected our mission?
      • What content and methods have generated the response closest to what we hoped for? (Use data if available).
      • What new or unforeseen opportunities to further the mission of the congregation have arisen?
      • Should we revise and expand our initial goals?
    • Theological and Ethical Implications of Social Media Mini-Keynote III
    • Questions
      • How can we make an online community as safe as possible?
      • How can individuals (esp. religious professionals) use social media in a way that improves relationships (rather than harming)?
      • How can we be inclusive online?
      • How do we use social media in a way that is spiritually nourishing?
    • How can we make an online community as safe as possible?
    • Administrative access and security
      • Shared administrative access to the congregation’s social media presence.
      • Congregation’s social media presence belongs to the congregation as a whole.
      • Secure (non-guessable) passwords.
      • Back up content.
    • Identification
      • Identification of community members may be safer than anonymity.
    • Confidentiality
      • Treat social media as a completely public space.
      • Don’t count on 100% security even for “private” groups.
      • Ok to react to disclosure of concerning personal information by others.
    • Clear expectations for online community
      • Covenant or social media policy for content posted on social media  build on best “real world” practices, congregational covenant.
      • Content moderation policies.
      • Enforce policies!
      • Model through personal engagement.
    • Sample content moderation policy
      • [Congregation name] has the right to delete any inappropriate content from this page, including but not limited to: irrelevant content, hateful content, attacks against an individual, financial solicitations, endorsements of a political candidate or party, and content that violates Facebook’s terms of use, code of conduct, or other policies. Content that violates Facebook’s policies may also be reported.
    • How can individuals use social media to improve relationships?
    • Relationship Building
      • Your best self.
      • Consistent and clear policies to “friending.”
      • “ Real world” ethical principles still apply.
      • Some conversations need to happen face-to-face.
      • Knowledge (about privacy settings) is power.
    • The Ten Commandments of Social Networking by Erik Resly
      • 1. Thou shalt not post personal information, opinions or media that compromise your ministerial integrity or the wellbeing of others.
      • 2. Thou shalt not speak pejoratively of, or mention conflicts with, family members, friends or congregants.
      • 3. Thou shalt not use language inappropriate for fellowship hour.
      • 4. Thou shalt not disclose intimate information that would make readers feel uncomfortable.
      • 5. Thou shalt not substitute electronic communication for face-to-face interaction.
      • 6. Thou shalt exercise discretion and maintain professional boundaries.
      • 7. Thou shalt uphold offline confidentiality practices.
      • 8. Thou shalt regularly update and maintain your online presence.
      • 9. Thou shalt be honest and authentic without over-sharing.
      • 10. Thou shalt enjoy the benefits and playfulness of social networking.
      • See http://tinyurl.com/ReslyOnlineIdentity
    • How do we make our online community inclusive?
    • Welcoming participants
      • Promote the congregation’s social media presence in other congregational materials
      • Don’t make assumptions about who can and can’t use social media
      • Offer to orient congregants unfamiliar with social media
    • How do we use social media in a way that is spiritually nourishing?
    • Process Social media engagement Evaluation of social media experience Development of and commitment to mission/purpose
      • “ I started the blog when I started a sabbatical as a way to keep in touch with the congregation. I’ve come to feel it is an important part of my ministry.” – James Ford
      • http://monkeymindonline.blogspot.com/
      • Our thoughts, insights, and musings may open doors for other Unitarian Universalists to know that our denomination is open enough to hold our spiritual selves. I personally write because it helps me make sense of this crazy life we all lead. It seems that what I write helps others make sense too.” – Tina Simson http://www.uuwellspring.org/
    • Credits
      • Icons in this presentation come from:
        • http:// www.blog.spoongraphics.co.uk
        • http://www.smashingmagazine.com