Ten Do’s and Ten Don’ts for Churches on Social Media

 In Blog, Communication

If there was something that you did first thing in the morning, before bed every night, almost every time you went to the bathroom and a dozen other times a day, would you think it was important to do well? Americans check their social media account up to 17 times per day. Crazy, right? Since we spend so much time tweeting, Facebooking and linking in, you would think that we would be pretty good at not making mistakes while we do it. Sadly, it isn’t hard to find churches making big mistakes online.

Here are a few things that churches should avoid doing if they want to use social media for good:

Don’t Do This

  1. Put an intern in charge – People are paying attention to what you are saying and doing on social media. You want a consistent voice and one that has the experience to represent your church’s identity online.
  2. Use sarcasm – It just doesn’t translate to text. Without hearing the tone of voice that makes it clear that you are being sarcastic some will miss it. This can go wrong quickly.
  3. Only talk about yourself – Talking about yourself all the time is obnoxious. You wouldn’t want to have dinner with someone who does that, and people don’t want to connect with churches that do this online.
  4. Wage theological war – Not everyone in the church views things the same way and having theological debates online will cause people to run away.
  5. Assume it doesn’t matter – If you make a mistake, own it. People are paying attention so don’t sweep things under the rug.
  6. Forget to respond – It’s called social for a reason. It’s intended to be interactive. When people engage, find a way to respond to them.
  7. Forget about analytics – If it is worth doing, then it’s worth measuring. Each social media channel has analytics that help you measure your impact.
  8. Get political – This is important today! You are a church and not an extension of a political party. Care about this stuff and talk about it, just keep it off of social media.
  9. Be inconsistent – If you don’t post and engage regularly, people’s attention will go elsewhere.
  10. Mock – Mockery is everywhere on social media. I’m sure you were just trying to be funny, but be the protector of people’s dignity. NEVER MOCK.

Do These Things

  1. Care about what you share – Before you share a blog post, article or news story, take the time to check it out first. Make sure the story is accurate and that the source is someone you want to connect your church with. Do your homework.
  2. Interact with your people – Add friends, followers, and connections. Then post things that stimulate conversation and interaction.
  3. Proofread – Take the time to make sure that you are spelling things correctly, punctuating, links are accurate, and that you are not over using your #hashtags.
  4. Be transparent – It’s ok to put your best foot forward, but it’s important that you are also showing some vulnerability. Transparency is attractive.
  5. Stay positive – Whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – tweet these things.
  6. Be yourself – Your church has a unique DNA. Make sure that you are being yourself on your accounts and that you are being original.
  7. Celebrate  – Share memories and milestones and celebrate with your community the ways that you are making a difference and how God is blessing you.
  8. Share about events – It’s ok to advertise your stuff on social media, just don’t over do it. Reminders are super helpful and links for sign ups help people take quick action.
  9. Use multimedia – More and more, social media is about the images and less the words. Make sure you are using images and videos in everything you do.
  10. Have a plan for each channel – Facebook and LinkedIn are not the same things, so don’t treat them like they are. Make sure you know who you are connecting with on each channel and adjust your posts to connect with the audience you are talking to.

What did we miss? What are the big Do’s and Don’ts that you think are important?