Social Media is an essential part of the church's communication strategy as it is most often the first contact someone has with your church. It forms the ‘shop window’ for your church and organisation.
There are vast numbers of Social Media platforms and networks out there to choose from. It can feel overwhelming. Choose only two or three platforms at first and work to use them effectively for your audience, we advise starting with Facebook and Instagram.
Tip: Even though we don’t advise using every Social Media platform available, it’s worth registering a profile name on a range of platforms. This ensures that if you ever want to use that platform, you have the profile name you want all set up. This also helps prevent against impersonation.
Profile Pictures: When choosing a profile picture ensure the image is high quality and clearly identifiable as your organisation. You may choose to use your logo for this. Try to use the same profile picture across all platforms to retain brand continuity.
Tips for Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Create a ‘page’ not a profile.
Posts with video can double your organic (free) reach. So where possible try to include videos into your posting schedule.
Posts with a photo out-perform text only posts, so always try to include an image.
Hashtags can help to reach more people. Try to limit it to 2-3 tags.
The life time of a tweet is about 12 mins, so don’t be afraid to post frequently.
As Instagram is visual heavy, images need to be of a high quality, try to avoid blurry, dark and unfocused photos.
You can use up to 30 hashtags per post – so make the most of them to reach a larger audience.
Be social – active accounts who like, follow, comment on other accounts.
Check out this great resource on when to post to achieve the most impact.
To build a community on social media, it’s good to develop a regular posting schedule for your content. The platform algorithms favour accounts which post regularly and your followers will appreciate it too.
We recommend Hootsuite: great for Twitter and Facebook posts, start using Hootsuite for free with their basic package. Upgrade to the pro package to manage more than three social platforms and receive in-depth analytics
Social media gives you a great opportunity to reach your audience, but it also gives your audience an opportunity to reach out to you. Community management is a key part to running a successful social media platform.
Comments: You will need to decide on a comment response policy and ensure that you hold to it. This will determine how you respond to people. We recommend that you respond to any genuine questions as quickly as possible, directing them to an email address or website where required.
Negative Comments: On occasion you may receive negative comments of messages. Within your policy you will need to decide how you deal with these comments. We would recommend that you don’t delete negative comments unless they’re deemed directly abusive. Instead use negative comments as a way to engage your audience. You could use a simple reply such as ‘We’re sorry to hear your feel that way and would love to hear your feedback so we can improve. Do send us an email XXXXX’ This shows them that you are engaged and open, but it also shows other users that you are actively engaging with your online community.