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Social Media Tips for Churches, Pastors, and Lay Leaders


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Are you unsure how to start a social media policy for your church, ministerial staff, or lay leaders? This slideshow, from the communications department of the United Church of Christ, will have you ready to run your church's social media in no time.

Presented by:
Marchae Grair
United Church of Christ
Social Media Associate

Published in: Social Media
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Social Media Tips for Churches, Pastors, and Lay Leaders

  1. 1. Social Media Best Practices, Tools and Tricks Marchae Grair Publishing, Identity & Communication `
  2. 2. Follow Us! United Church of Christ @UnitedChurch Publishing, Identity & Communication
  3. 3. Publishing, Identity & Communication What not to do… #HasJustineLandedYet
  4. 4. Social Media Posts are Reactionary… Policies Are Not • Establish a universal email address. No personal email accounts should be the contact information for your church’s social media. • Establish a policy for staff changes. • Create a comments policy. • Decide how to handle negative feedback. Publishing, Identity & Communication
  5. 5. Clergy/Staff Policies • Personal Disclaimers (Opinions are my own.) • Don’t post anything obscene, harassing, or bigoted. • Differentiate between endorsements and conversation starters. • Set appropriate privacy settings for your level of engagement with church members. • Set rules for church leadership about “friending” the church community. Publishing, Identity & Communication
  6. 6. What habits create results?  Keep a current about page with keywords and phrases that will describe the “experience” of your church.  Balancing different types of posts.  Refrain from using trends in excess. (Like memes)  Breaking news, trends, and holidays MAKE social media. Use all three to your advantage. (And know what your audience is discussing to engage in the conversation.) Publishing, Identity & Communication
  7. 7. Publishing, Identity & Communication How to Write for Social Media  Shorten links. Remove links if possible.  Write conversationally. No acronyms, long sentences, or uncommon words.  Vary text posts by asking questions, giving interesting questions, and providing breaking news.  80/20 rule
  8. 8. Multimedia  Size your images correctly.  The cover photo should speak to your followers, through images or text. Use bold, large fonts and vivid, crisp images.  Avoid using images with a lot of words or details for your profile pictures. These images are too small for that amount of detail.  Change your cover photo 1-2 months so the page doesn’t remain stagnant.  Get release forms from the congregation, especially minors.  Pictures and videos generate more interactions. Publishing, Identity & Communication
  9. 9. What Social Media Do You Need? Social Media Explained: The Church Edition Publishing, Identity & Communication
  10. 10. Facebook Setup Publishing, Identity & Communication  All posts officially representing the church should come from a fan page.  The name should be the church’s name with no abbreviations.  Like other fan pages. (Best places to find shares)  Evaluate “competitors” on Facebook’s fan page dashboard.  Use third-party apps (like Woobox) to incorporate tabs featuring other apps or custom HTML.
  11. 11. Facebook Continued  Whenever possible, tag other fan pages in your updates. It will increase your post’s reach because of Facebook’s algorithm, Edgerank.  If you have a special post you want to remain at the top of your page, pin it. Twitter has the same feature.  Use Facebook events to promote church gatherings or events you will be sponsoring.  Facebook Ads: Finding the perfect target. Publishing, Identity & Communication
  12. 12. Pages to Watch Publishing, Identity & Communication
  13. 13. Twitter. Meet the #  No more than 1-2 hashtags per post. #This #is #distracting.  Use hashtags that are timeless. #Christian. #Pastor.  No hashtag statements. #GodisGoodForever.  Finding a relevant way to use a trending hashtag is always good.  Use special hashtags for events. Promote from planning process until event. #GS30 Publishing, Identity & Communication
  14. 14. Publishing, Identity & Communication Twitter Continued  Twitter Lists. If you haven’t started them, start now!  Rewrite your tweets for more content. Twitter is such a fast-moving site that repeat content is not negative.  Encourage people to share your posts by starting tweets with “Retweet.”  Finding a relevant way to use a trending hashtag is always good.  Use special hashtags for events. Promote from planning process until event. #GS30  Never start a tweet with @.
  15. 15. Should I start a… + - SEO Reach. Not as crowded as FB. Still isn’t mainstream. Amateur pics and videos are welcome. Requires many events or a lot of creativity. Sharing crafts/recipes. Selling merchandise. Difficult to find original content without blog. One of the most popular apps w/ teens. Disappearing videos creates ethical questions. Simple way to generate original work. Without regular content, it looks abandoned. Great reach potential. Good cross-over appeal. If you don’t have a video team or editor, too much to maintain. Publishing, Identity & Communication
  16. 16. What do I post and when?  Your church should run its social media using an editorial calendar.  A majority of your posts should be scheduled at least a day in advance, optimizing for peak social media traffic. Events and holiday media? Weeks in advance.  Analytics, analytics, analytics! What performs best and when? Publishing, Identity & Communication
  17. 17. Publishing, Identity & Communication Content Managers  Hootsuite  Sprout Social  Tweet Deck  Combine your social media accounts for quick monitoring.  Follow specific hashtags or trends in streams.  Post the same message to multiple accounts.  ANALYTICS!
  18. 18. Publishing, Identity & Communication Hootsuite Dashboard
  19. 19. Publishing, Identity & Communication Finding content, FAST  RSS Readers and Social Media Content Providers  Feedly, Flipboard, Stumbleupon, Reddit, Digg
  20. 20. Stay in the loop      Publishing, Identity & Communication
  21. 21. How to build your followers  Patience.  Involve existing members, who will be inclined to share.  Don’t invest in ads without having content to bring people back.  Don’t be spammy. Would you read a newspaper with all ads?  Interact with other pages as often as possible.  USE SOCIAL MEDIA DURING WORSHIP. Publishing, Identity & Communication