Social media and the catholic church


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Social media and the catholic church

  1. 1. Social Media and the local Catholic Church <ul><li>How can parishes best use online tools? </li></ul>Submitted by Melissa Lynch Hoffmann MSPC 3050 • Professor Julie Frechette April 2011
  2. 2. Why social media? <ul><li>30% of Catholics age 18-29 attend weekly Mass </li></ul><ul><li>86% of Americans age 18-29 are active users of social media </li></ul><ul><li>63% of Catholics over age 65 attend weekly Mass </li></ul><ul><li>26% of Americans over 65 use social media, although that figure is on the rise </li></ul>SOURCES Check out the numbers...
  3. 3. Guidelines <ul><li>Visibility </li></ul><ul><li>Community </li></ul><ul><li>Accountability </li></ul>Social media are the fastest growing form of communication in the United States, especially among youth and young adults. Our Church cannot ignore it, but at the same time we must engage social media in a manner that is safe, responsible, and civil. ~ U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Social media must consider...
  4. 4. Parishes should... <ul><li>Define boundaries </li></ul><ul><li>Include a clear Code of Conduct </li></ul><ul><li>Offer instructions for parish representatives posting to social media </li></ul><ul><li>Provide guidance on dealing with difficult “fans” </li></ul><ul><li>Recommend sites for reference </li></ul>
  5. 5. Who knew the Vatican was so modern? <ul><li>Pope Benedict XVI has a Facebook page - the Vatican even has a YouTube channel </li></ul><ul><li>The Catholic Church has a business page </li></ul><ul><li>St. George’s Church in Worcester actively uses social media, but only 38 likes on Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Archdiocese of Boston posts readings, daily prayer requests, Mass intentions, articles of interest </li></ul>
  6. 6. What will social media do for a parish? <ul><li>Foster community </li></ul><ul><li>Attract new parishioners </li></ul><ul><li>Increase fundraising </li></ul><ul><li>Combination of the three </li></ul>To establish social media presence, a church needs to determine what its goal is...
  7. 7. Our Lady of Mount Carmel Mount Carmel <ul><li>Parish wants to establish social media presence </li></ul><ul><li>What is the goal? </li></ul><ul><li>Strategy: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Facebook </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>YouTube </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Flickr </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Facebook Strategy <ul><li>Balance posts between social and “religious” </li></ul><ul><li>Include event information </li></ul><ul><li>Share schedules </li></ul><ul><li>Post articles of interest </li></ul><ul><li>Introduce parish workers </li></ul>
  9. 9. Facebook Goals <ul><li>Active Facebook page can complement an already vibrant parish </li></ul><ul><li>Page can remind parishioners of holy days, upcoming events, church needs </li></ul><ul><li>Page should also tie into the local community </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage interaction between parish and community </li></ul>
  10. 10. Twitter <ul><li>Option to connect Facebook and Twitter would make it easier for a limited staff </li></ul><ul><li>Retweet parishioners, community groups, diocese, Vatican… </li></ul><ul><li>Tweet information about events, links to relevant articles </li></ul>
  11. 11. YouTube <ul><li>Create YouTube videos: “Meet your Church” </li></ul><ul><li>Link to videos that explain holy days, church doctrine </li></ul><ul><li>Share the Vatican’s YouTube videos, particularly those addressing negative situations (i.e., abuse) </li></ul>
  12. 12. Flickr <ul><li>Upload photos of church events </li></ul><ul><li>Provide an opportunity for parishioners to share their own photos </li></ul><ul><li>A Flickr set could replace the printed parish directory, which would save money </li></ul>
  13. 13. Our Lady of Mount Carmel’s Social Media Strategy <ul><li>Create official Facebook page and accounts on Twitter, YouTube and Flickr once website redesign is complete </li></ul><ul><li>Announce social media in bulletin </li></ul><ul><li>Encourage parish staff to engage </li></ul><ul><li>Post at least twice weekly – social and religious information </li></ul>
  14. 14. Sites cited...