Coordinator of Communication and Evangelism
Churchwide Social Media Sunday is a little more than two months away. Now is a great time to begin to do some creative thinking around how you and your parish can participate this year. Here are a few ideas to help you get started.
- Gather a couple of people from your parish and take a look at what, if anything, you did for Social Media Sunday last year. Ask yourselves what went well, what didn’t go as well, and what you may like to try this year.
- Send a request to join the churchwide Facebook group Social Media Sunday 2017. There, you’ll find help such as notices of upcoming web conferences and how-to ideas and successful strategies other parishes have tried.
- Consider approaching Social Media Sunday with a week prior and a week following plan to get the most out of your SMS efforts this year. Some simple ideas: Introduce the Sunday lectionary a few days in advance on your Facebook group site. Pose questions and discuss it on your group site during that week. Or, experiment with setting up a Facebook group site for your parish to hold an ongoing “come as you can” Bible study. Evaluate it after a couple of weeks and determine if you wish to continue or retool it in some way. Another possibility. Have your clergy do a Facebook live event to introduce the upcoming Social Media Sunday lectionary. Then, after church, go live again with some of your parishioners unpacking what the readings meant to them.
- Set up a day-by-day social media plan tied to what you really want to accomplish. HootSuite is a good, free tool that will allow someone in your parish to schedule social media posts at the days and times you prefer. You can discover other such tools with a simple Google search.
- Some other simple things you can try over a simple week or two-week long time period around Social Media Sunday. Every day on your Facebook page, or even your Twitter feed or Instagram account, introduce a different member of your parish with a photo or video sharing why your church is important to them. Accompanying this with a coordinated plan for your parishioners to share these posts with their own friends list can really boost your exposure. You can also use a similar strategy to share a daily post about a different outreach ministry in your parish or different programs that you offer, from pub theology to Vacation Bible School.
More ideas to come. (Please share your ideas, too!) But, in the meantime, this is a great month to just start planning and building excitement in your parish. Have fun with it and try something new. If something isn’t working for your parish, you don’t have to do it forever. (The world is full of abandoned Pinterest boards and Snapchat accounts!) But who knows what you may try that will engage guests and help keep your regular parishioners better connected, too?! Exciting possibilities await.