5 Social Media Guidelines for Churches

5 Social Media Guidelines for Churches


NATALIE: Sometimes the most
difficult part of managing
social media is figuring out how to actually use
it to build relationships
without crossing any lines. We encourage you to use the
following guidelines to help you craft a social media policy
tailored to your ministry. 1. First and foremost, LISTEN. Make sure someone is
regularly monitoring all of your ministry’s
social media accounts. It’s ok to use scheduling tools
to post or tweet in advance,
but make sure someone is monitoring comments and
messages at least daily,
if not more frequently. This ensures that you
answer each question and
concern in a timely manner. 2. Secondly, it’s important
to RESPECT PRIVACY. We all know that posting
photos from church
events is a great way to get likes and comments
from members and even
potential visitors. However, some people might
not want photos of themselves
or their children online. Always ask permission or
consider a photo release. The
same goes for prayer requests. Make sure the person in
need is ok going public with
any sensitive information. 3. Next, ASK PERMISSION before
posting photos you didn’t snap. Aside from helping you avoid
any costly copyright issues,
it’s a simple courtesy that can help you build
relationships to get more
content in the future. There is an exception
though. If a photo is
already posted on Facebook, it’s perfectly acceptable
to go ahead and click share. The share button is one
of the best ways to
create new relationships. 4. Next, THINK BEFORE YOU POST. Once it’s out there,
there’s no delete button that can make a misguided
post disappear forever. Consider the following
questions from the get-go: Is your message in line with
your reputation as a loving
and welcoming church? Can it be misinterpreted
in an offensive manner?
Still not sure? If you have any
reservations, it’s better
to be safe than sorry. 5. Finally, CREATE A
SOCIAL MEDIA POLICY. Outline a set of rules
for those managing your
social media presence. This policy could
include a variety of
considerations such as how often your administrators
will post, how often
they should monitor comments, use of good judgment,
transparency and tone of voice. United Methodist Communications
has a great online course
that can help you get started. It’s called Communicating
Faith in the 21st century. Learn more at
umcom.org/training. And if you have any
questions, send a message on Facebook or drop us an email.
We’re happy to help!

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