It’s beyond a doubt that social media is here to stay. As the top platforms battle for prominence the question for the Church is no longer if we should be present, but how we should be present.
From growing up in church, teaching Sunday school, facilitating Bible studies and leading 100+ volunteers I’ve seen a lot. With the advent of social media the local church has a greater capacity for community engagement and global impact.
In the last month, I became the social media manager for my church (nlchurch.com). My first question was “Where do I start?”. I found out the best place to begin was asking more questions.
Here are 35 social media questions for every church:
- What is your social media structure?
- Will social media accounts be centralized or decentralized?
- Will different ministries or campuses have their own profiles?
- Who has access to post on behalf of church?
- Does the structure differ by platform? (Facebook, Twitter, Google+)
- What do you post? (info, photos, quotes, etc)
- How do you post? (tools, software, apps, etc)
- Who has authority to approve/remove content?
- How is content submitted for promotion?
- Does content approach differ by platform? (Facebook, Twitter, Google+)
- When do you post? (frequency, time of day, etc)
- What do you post during the week?
- What do you post on the weekends?
- How are events promoted? (seminars, conferences, etc)
- Is social media visible in church? (graphics, posters, screens, etc)
- Is social media a staff or volunteer position?
- Where are questions directed?
- How do you deal with trolls and haters?
- What if someone asks for counseling?
- What is the desired response time to a comment?
- Do you share a video teaser? (Vine or Instagram)
- Are sermons posted to YouTube or Vimeo?
- Do sermon series use hashtags? (#GraceTruth)
- Is the church or pastor’s account posting during service?
- Does the sermon have “tweetable” sound bites by design?
- Do you have defined social media guidelines?
- Do you provide staff with sponsored social media accounts?
- Are staff and volunteers provided with suggested content?
- What is the follow back policy?
- Is social media encouraged during the service?
- How do you define success?
- What are your short/long-term goals?
- What do you measure? (traffic, likes, keywords, etc)
- How do you define best practices?
- What resources do you read/follow associated with church & social media?
This list isn’t comprehensive, but it’s a great start. Unfortunately, I don’t have all the answers. And while there are few absolutes in social media these two ring true:
1. The quality of the answer depends on the question.
2. You can’t do everything. Begin with one channel and do it well.
The answers to these questions will be somewhat unique for your church, organization or business. You just need to start asking.