915: CofE staff to “Come along if you want us to set an account up for you. (there’ll be an opportunity at the end of the day to add more complicated stuff to it)”. Which accounts are they thinking of? Twitter? Facebook? YouTube? Instagram? Are so many, and are to be used for different reasons!
10am… Hello, introduce self… (if not seen this before = the famous ‘Twitter’ – latest incarnation of it – changed again recently – often things change look, but general function = same, so don’t let looks put you off).
“Let’s Tweet Each Other” Social Media – all about RELATIONSHIPS, so we are going to start by getting to know each other as if we are on Twitter – about 60 seconds to try and find something in common, then share what that is…. What kind of material is good to share. OK, you already good at social networking, so nothing to be scared of in social media, right?
Commonality – finding a starting point & getting to know each other – essential building blocks of any evangelism, etc… with a strong focus on LISTENING! You’re looking to provide information, engage in dialogue, listen to your audience … build a community who will be interested in the other things that you do ..
Expect that these next few days will take some time to digest … it can seem like a lot of information, but this is intended to challenge, enable strategy and move us forward.
What do many people think digital is about?
Is this your experience? Right, so we’re going to see what else we can do with this… (remember that was built in an era of ‘give it all away’, freeness, etc. and in recent years has been taken over more commercially)
What is social media? http://youtu.be/MpIOClX1jPE
Best part of 4 mins, still the best video, even though it’s really old … discuss what makes feel?
These are two of the most powerful men in Christian circles … both actively engaging online. Justin Welby was originally ABCJustin, then wanted to become a ‘person’ rather than a ‘role’, although still needs care with ‘role’ .. Whatever position you are in.
Don’t’ forget the SOCIAL in social media … about engaging rather than broadcasting (FOR MOST) thought argument for e.g. just not possible…
Justin has previously apologised in tweets for not being able to engage personally with everyone … citing that he wouldn’t get the rest of his work complete, but that he appreciates all those who contact him (makes sense – going online doesn’t mean have to throw away ‘time wisdom’. The Pope doesn’t even make a pretence, as “he” simply follows himself in 8 different languages.
As the church has previously sought to understand overseas cultures, for the purposes of both discipleship and mission, so now it seeks to engage with digital culture – a space where many spend a considerable amount of time daily. (previous) Pope Benedict XVI put it this way (2013): [quote]
The Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 9:22-23) was mission-centric, respecting and adapting to the culture in which he found himself, rather than imposing himself upon it.
Now, these may surprise you, as you may expect that I come in, tools first, and say “let’s do it all digitally”, but as it has been for many years, and will be for many more – we should start with the PROBLEM(S) that need solving, and then look at how the digital fits into the mix… not necexssarily going to tackle all these questions in order, but all important!
Think about what you are trying to achieve… if achieving is “we’re having an experiment with social media”, that’s OK too… otherwise what is
“Fish where the Fish Are”
Understand the Culture… - What you’d expect from working missionally…
Qualman – just over 3 mins (business focused, but worth thinking about…) – is what we’re doing ‘marketing’ …
An article, I wrote - the church is just not on many people’s radar .. On a Sunday the Cathedrals of the shopping mall and the football pitch draw people in and provide the social spaces that people used to get from the church… so is there something else that Christians are seeking to offer… (But also need care that not using that space just to promote what you doing … if the church community gets onboard can see true community).
Building relationships takes time, but church has never been about “bums on seats”, so much as about encouraging those who attend to live full lives of discipleship. Many of those who enjoy the digital spaces are skeptical about being ‘preached to’. We live in a world of “pull” rather than “push” media (show me why I will be interested, rather than tell me I should be interested), but as Elizabeth Drescher says:
We are not selling something to the world that will make more people like us, believe in our story, join our churches. We are trying to be something in the world that invites connection and compassion, encourages comfort and healing for those in need, and challenges those in power to use that power in the service of justice and love (Drescher, 127).
Organisations made up of the people inside them… this is not necessarily another job for the vicar, etc.. If I share something, my friends may see it – far more than if just the organisation does – so you are looking for things that people might want to share! (Push/Pull
Within the church we need to think about how we engage more - this is the model many churches have now… (as a educational developer, I note that many teachers do this too….). Can we draw more people in?
Some examples of campaigns already happening in Christian circles – recognition is growing that we need to be involved, but we need to train more people up to be involved… for several years have had #ChristmasStarts …
In 2013, CofE decided to try #christmasmeans – to start encouraging people to join in a campaign to build up in future years…
… see some of the tweets, and note also #eastermeans still ongoing .. Some saying “he’s still risen”. Note – cannot control what else appears on the hashtag… So many opportunities – others will be scattered throughout the day…
JISC – organization I work with particularly interested in HE/FE – this is their definition – think is a helpful working definition.
This book written to help fight against ‘moral panics’ – we’ve survived every other technological development … and we need to think what differences it makes to our lives … but not be over-awed by it all… Covers a lot of digital culture, designed to take the fear out of using it – seen as the biggest sticking point for most… so useful for all, but with particular focus on those aspects that affect kids
Explain ‘The Jesus Arms’ at Greenbelt, digital discipleship … but here is an idea of what we want to work towards…
(2 mins) … “being comfortable in your own digital skin” [digital not a replacement for other aspects of life, but part of it…]
As we become comfortable in own digital skin … need to be aware of the others that we’re interacting with!
Importance of online/offline
Always remember that there is a human being at the other end of the keyboard - each uniquely created by God… and as is noted by many communicators is not what you’ve said, but what others have ‘heard’ … not everyone receives the message that you send in the same way .. And one message definitely doesn’t fit all… we’re in the world of what is described as “the long tail”, where rather than being able to send out a mass message, we have to have more concern with individuals (which I always hope we as Christians do anyway, but…. ) – Google searches for ‘niches’ (small keywords/multiple entry points, etc.)
Complete this by 1045!!
So, before we look at Twitter… What are your values? What do you stand for? If we think about e.g. one I think is core = authenticity – how can you promote something that you don’t agree/internalise it’s values – why I have always rejected doing someone else’s social media, but found ones that are my ‘natural’ space.
EXERCISE with flip-chart… want you to think about this briefly… e.g. think about the fruits of the spirit (love, gentleness, peace, patience, faithfulness, self-control, joy, goodness, kindness).
Integrity (own comments “I feel, etc.) Self-control (consider consequences of interpretation – inc revisited later) Patience (expectations for response times) Authenticity (consistent to “you”) Trust (information can be out there, don’t speak on others behalf unless permission) Non-manipulative (audience aware, do someone down, bad spin; “If you love Jesus share this”) Respect (encounter different opinions – think through reactions); Good Manners; not ‘entitled’ to respect – respect others first.. Treat as you expect to be treated “Freedom of Speech” – think carefully; Libel Self-awareness – context; read differently – can you “hear” tone of voice Don’t press “send” in anger … Kindness – encourage online, messages of support Transparency – do we know the source of all this… Aliases? Who’s saying what? Accountability. Who are they?
How many of these tools have you used?
Scary – so many, or encouraging as you clearly can’t use them all, so think about what you need to do, and which tools might fit that…
You may have seen this in the form of ‘doughnuts’…
Let’s look at one of the fastest growing tools out there…
Lots of people have this response to Twitter, but it’s got a growing user base … a couple of years ago had about 100 million active users, now nearly 300 million…
Interest focused – note that only about half the people on Twitter are active at any one time – the significance of ‘lurkers’… http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/originals/15/2a/32/152a327b47a00e366b7f9929774b26b5.jpg (2012)
Celebrity culture – be aware that power structures from “offline” (note online/offline) also work online – e.g. you’ll trust something from the BBC more than from someone’s blog… so need to build up credibility…
Understanding a ‘verified’ person .. Doesn’t mean they not ‘real’ if don’t have one, but if they do, have been verified by Twitter…
The one you all know about right…?
52 tweeters throughout the year to give a real sense of what CofE is up to…
A diocese that I think conveys nicely a sense of the organisation and what people in this diocese are involved in – not straight broadcasting…
My old church – sporadic but learning – note focus not on building but on the people…
Couple of creative uses…
How to write a tweet…
Explain send one small message and cascades out .. Message gets bigger with each RT – I have 5k followers, someone with 30k RTs – they are saying message is worth listening to .. And all their audience may see it too.
How to RT, and also note favourite, and other options…
Demo – what a list does, how to add someone, how to create a new one (may still be limited to 20?)
Show how to change to other areas, be aware of tailored trends, etc. Can anyone see what the topic of the day was? Yes, Scottish independence referendum…
(Explain hashtags: How many to use, how to create a new one, how to advertise them, etc. prospective pitfalls.. Keep it short, consistent, advertise it before the service, let people know about it (don’t try and take over an organic hashtag), make sure it makes sense and that it’s not already in use for something else… )
Joining pre-existing hashtags? (Pros/Cons)
How many to use, how to create a new one, how to advertise them in church, etc. prospective pitfalls.. Keep it short, consistent, advertise it before the service, let people know about it (don’t try and take over an organic hashtag), make sure it makes sense and that it’s not already in use for something else… Go live online to see some in action…
Are there conversations you can genuinely join in on?
Discuss – what like about this – timeliness, friendliness, taking responsibility even though it was for a different company…
Who is going to do this? When aka “how often” (twice a month = lost)? What content is worth sharing – each tweet doesn’t need to be a mini “War & Peace” but also let’s not have too many breakfast tweets…
Something to think about over the break…
Why might they want to/not want to tweet about church? Recognise the assumptions that you might be making about them? What might encourage ‘engagement’ that’s more than a like…
Must get here by 1130am
FB = core for friends = busy, still growing (maybe not of as much interest to some younger users as others are on there, but still a functional platform)
Note that Facebook designed for College students so 18+, not surprising that less of the younger are on it (reports of them leaving in droves, but appear to be rejoining later)
http://www.socialbakers.com/facebook-statistics/united-kingdom , 2 May 2014
PERSONAL Profile – reciprocal arrangement
Note – what is different from e.g. Twitter – but can be times when worth sharing on multiple platforms…
It’s not uncommon for a pastor to live in an entirely different neighborhood or community than the people in their church. So, if there’s little opportunity for face-to-face interaction throughout the week, it’s only natural for pastor(al team) to find ways to immerse themselves in the online communities that their congregation is spending so much time in. Zuckerberg – community
Note that little icon will also show you what privacy already posted posts are … can click on e.g. the globe, and reduce the privacy – but be aware that anyone can take a screenshot (same as could have taken a photocopy…)
How much can we find out about people – how many people can we reach – not the hugest of numbers, but think compared to average congregation… is a bit of a game of numbers..
An active church page – ref Steve Fogg – need to encourage people to get involved… see way I have stayed involved even once I’ve left – something to be aware of … think about how much responsibility have, without cutting off entirely… See http://hackingchristianity.net/2011/05/facebook-how-to-for-pastors-changing-churches.html
Tea & Toast – serving a real need – ended up gaining new members of the church – online/offline mix…
3 types of groups .. Open, closed, private… better for pre-existing groups as we saw above…
Power of events…
Get here by 1230 … then 10 mins blogging, 10 mins YT, 10 mins other…
What sites have inspired them – some suggestions we can use if not others – think about what makes the different sites work? We’re going to spin through a few that might inspire you … then what do you think?
Typical 7 of this, etc… old trick from newspapers, although is somewhat of a resistance to it.. Secular inspiration – what does the world love to read?
Worksheet – we can work through this at the end if time… but it’s fairly straightforward … and thinking about WHAT you put on a video is more important in many ways…
Set up a channel…
3:41!! Probably would have worked better at 30 seconds … (only going to watch 30 seconds)
Let’s have a look, from the headlines, what seemed to be the kind of things that people wanted to share… (http://youtube-trends.blogspot.co.uk )
1:47 – what puts this kind of smile on a child’s face – and would you guess the brand before the end if you didn’t already know?
1:40 – v. clever – tapping into a huge phenomenon … finding the right hooks…
You’ll see we’re looking to the secular world for inspiration here … we are in the world (if not of it) – how do we speak to people…
Can be simply done on a smartphone… Not going to play… Based on Mark 4 – thoughts about ‘fishers of people’ … 1.5 mins (recorded straight from the iPad in 1 take) – range of voices in the sermon, not just the preacher…
Interesting range of topics…
We also saw that, contrary to popular wisdom about what goes viral, neither “difficult” subjects nor fact-filled presentations scare people off. Nearly 20% of the people who watched a deep dive into American health care policy thought it was worth passing along to their friends. A powerful historical video of a teacher giving her young students a firsthand lesson in bigotry was viewed more than 3 million times. And four of the posts in the top 100 were about the important (but thoroughly unsexy) topic of income inequality.
See some other good suggestions - http://www.buzzfeed.com/juliapugachevsky/most-remarkable-stop-motion-vines-of-2013 – the power of 6 seconds, again, viral?
What do people have time/inclination for? People find it easy to write/read … increasing numbers using these formats though – don’t forget about them… carry audio recorder around..
The importance of the visual – and tools such as Pinterest…
Show full mix of your life, etc…
Recent tools….. Increasingly private 1-2-1 or 1-2-many …
Post-it note exercise… take 5 mins to think of at least 3 potentials, 3 fears… then 15ish mins to
We have limited time/resources, so can’t be spending all our time online … here’s some tools to help…
Great tool (others might use Tweetdeck) – allows you to preset tweets, across accounts – free up to 5 accounts!
Hootsuite: Pre-Set Tweets (this software works out best times to tweet, etc – largely down to the group that you are working with = differs, but think about e.g. if reaching those who are commuting, give them something to read on the train, - try a spread throughout the day and see what kind of responses you get (is software that does this sort of thing, but it’s ££)
Here’s my suggestions for a ‘daily workout’ – anticipated to take around 20 minutes a day… worth the investment – really has to look active to generate interest!
How this can help – particularly the free version… only 10 for free (set only 1 day, means have to look less often)..
Collecting stories without having to search…
Google Docs - Can use this to put aside content to share, so not restricted to 10 & don’t lose them…
Bundlr: Collect Stories
What keywords are people going to be searching for you for … make a list…doesn’t have to be definitive – keep working on it… note ‘the long tail’…
Needs to be something people will want to share – think back to those pictures, etc…
Not PUBLISHING, but looking for CONVERSATIONS/relationship building
As a result of these, people get involved in conversation – with similar on FB, had 3 people ask to come to church… but this requires that churches = GIVE PERSMISSION = encourage people to participate digitally BUT never force…
Think about pros/cons of this…
What would this look like on a church website – e.g. the final “don’t” would be asking for a commitment to church membership, or to Jesus, before allowing further entry… but find out where people are/what connects with them, allow them to try things for ‘free’ without feeling like they have to give it all in, encourage now/soon (though I don’t like – do this or it closes in 3 days kind of things.. I feel played – let me know you’ve got a great deal, long-term … isn’t that what we have – time limited by life-span but only God knows that…
… and don’t forget the cat.
Are you listening to them, producing something for them, or for yourself, … e.g. Old Spice campaign – designed because they realised men weren’t buying it, but women buying it for their men to smell nice… so if you’re trying to get people into church, who are you seeking to reach?
Problems – are there any have an idea of where the digital might help? Then feed back in – will we have a flipboard … let’s hold onto some of those, and start to think about what digital tools might help solve them…
How might deal with any trolls?
“Does Sam exist in real-life? Probably not exactly like this. But that’s not the point. The point is they have a target. They know who they’re going after. Do you?”
Take time to create rough personas of those that you are trying to reach – they have a name, an age, characteristics – help you keep them in mind whilst you are preparing communication – not what you say, what they hear…
Coffee before the final furlong…
If you are working for an organisation – e.g. a church – ensure that people can feel ‘free’ to go ahead and represent you …not having
Social Media shouldn’t be an add-on, but should be considered in everything else that you’re doing… put links to the pages/Twitter name, etc. in church notice sheets, and publicity, etc…
Tone of voice… really important – consistent organisational feel, even if independent within (e.g. Twitter initials) – who has the passwords?
Think about who might do it in your situation?
To be aware of, not to stop progress…
Final word – remember – there is always a human being at the other end of the keyboard… think before you type…
Social Media for the Scared for @C_of_E
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons
Dr Bex Lewis, Digital Fingerprint
Sept 2014 for: http://www.churchcommstraining.org
The digital environment is not a parallel or purely virtual
world, but is part of the daily experience of many people,
especially the young. Social networks are the result of
human interaction, but for their part they also reshape the
dynamics of communication, which builds relationships: a
considered understanding of this environment is
therefore a prerequisite for a significant presence
Pope Benedict XVI (2013)
The Big Questions
•How do the
The Church Front Door?
For many churchgoing is no longer the
‘cultural norm’. People don’t actively ignore
the church: they don’t even think about it.
Matthew 5:13-16 calls us to be salt and
light in the world, and for thousands in the
‘digital age’, that world includes social
networks such Twitter, Facebook, YouTube
and Pinterest. With literally billions in the
digital spaces, the online social spaces
presented by churches need to be
appealing, welcoming, and not look like
they are just an afterthought: they are now
effectively the ‘front door’ to your
church for digital users, and you ignore
those spaces at your peril.
http://www.churchgrowthrd.org.uk/blog/churchgrowth/growing_churches_in_the_digital_age Image Credit: Sxc.hu
We are not selling something to the world that will
make more people like us, believe in our story, join
our churches. We are trying to be something in the
world that invites connection and compassion,
encourages comfort and healing for those in need,
and challenges those in power to use that power in
the service of justice and love
(Drescher, 2011, 127)
WHY IS THERE SO MUCH FEAR?
Image Source: RGBStock
An incredible new
technology enables the
transmission of text on a
worldwide basis. It rapidly
reduces production and
distribution costs and for the
first time allows large
numbers of people to access
text and pictures in their
“Furedi suggests that moral panics have
a tendency to occur ‘at times when
society has not been able to adapt to
dramatic changes’ and when such
change leads those concerned to
express fear over what they see as a
loss of control.”
Image Credit: Stockfresh
Digital Literacy (JISC)
“digital literacy defines
those capabilities which
fit an individual for living,
learning and working in a
Image Credit: http://www.jiscdigitalmedia.ac.uk/video-assist
Love thy neighbour?
What does it mean to ‘love your neighbour’ in a world
in which a ‘friend’ might as easily be the kid from down
the street you grew up with as a woman in Botswana
whom you’ve never seen in person and only know in
the context of Facebook status updates, photos, and
notes? … How can we negotiate spiritual interaction in
these contexts without losing sight of basic elements of
Christian faith expressed in traditional embodied and
geographically located practices of prayer, worship, and
compassion towards others?
Tweet if You Heart Jesus, 2011, p.xiv
Human Beings at
Image Source: Sxc.Hu
What (Biblical) values do we want to
see in our (digital) world?
Image Credit: iStockPhoto
What’s it good for?
• New connections via shared interests
• Building your “brand”
• Pre/During/Post Event Conversations
• Breaking news
• Asking questions
• Share good resources
• Sharing pithy statements/quotes
• Being “polemical”
“Twitter brings you
closer to the things
you are passionate
about - and for millions
of people across the
globe that is faith.”
What can you do on Facebook?
• Find friends
•Post status updates
• Leave public messages on the ‘wall’
•Post & Tag people in photos
•Comment on others photos
• Send private ‘messages’
•Join Groups, Like Pages
• Link to other social media
Facebook functions in ministry?
• Encourage Community
•Whole (life) Church
• Groups (e.g. 20s30s)
• Give others insights into ‘church life’
e.g. photo sharing
• Offer pastoral care
• *Youth: PM’s, CC parents/another
• Advertise Events
• A reverse diary (most recent entry first)
• A publically accessible personal journal
• Reflections, comments and hyperlinks
• Commentary/news on a particular
• Text/Image/Links including media
• Interactive, especially comments
• Potentially informal tone
Ideas for Content?
• “See what we’ve been up to”
• Thoughts & Reflections
•Reviews (Books, films, websites) etc)
• Challenging ideas for debate
• Interviews (Text, Audio, Video)
• ‘Best Of ’ Content
• ‘How-to’ Posts
• 10 things you can…
• Guest Posts
Image credit: RGBStock
Simple ideas for Video:
• Think of the STORIES you have to tell,
and how you might tell them –
• Events: Before/After
• Sermons: Quick Overviews/Responses
• People & Their Lives
• What can you “How To”?
• Engage with other’s videos:
• Comment (no flaming)
• Blog about them
• Add to favourites/playlist
Agree a (flexible)
Social Media Policy
Image credit: SXC.Hu
• The principles applied to this are:
• Be credible. Be accurate, fair, thorough and transparent.
• Be consistent. Encourage constructive criticism and
• Be cordial, honest and professional at all times. Be responsive.
When you gain insight, share it where appropriate.
• Be integrated. Wherever possible, align online participation
with other communications.
• Be a good representative of the Methodist Church. Remember
that you are an ambassador for Christ, the Church and your
part of it. Disclose your position as a member or officer of the
Church, making it clear when speaking personally. Let
Galatians 5:22-26 guide your behaviour.
• Be respectful: respect confidentiality. Respect the views of
others even where you disagree.
Bath & Wells Diocese 9 Twitter Rules
• Don't rush in
• Remember tweets are transient yet permanent
• Be a good ambassador for the Church
• Don't hide behind anonymity
• Be aware of public/private life boundaries
• Maintain a professional distance
• Stay within the law
• Respect confidentiality
• Be mindful of your own security
Don’t overthink. Running through committees,
endless drafts and approval processes to get a
response out there can cause far more damage
than good. As long as you have taken the time
to assess the situation and can take a rational,
respectful tone in your response, even an
awkward response is OK to start with, and
buys you time to continue to respond to the