- Catholic Lane - http://www.catholiclane.com -

How To Design A Simple Social Media Strategy For Your Catholic Parish

catholic-social-media [1]As many may know, I am the guy behind the social media at my parish in Plymouth, Michigan – Our Lady of Good Counsel Catholic Church [2].

I’ve been asked several times and contacted by many who want help or insights into developing and designing a social media strategy for Catholic parishes.

So, I’ve decided to quickly write down a very basic, beginner’s outline for starters. You can use it to begin to think about some of the aspects of running an effective social media strategy at your parish. These simple first steps can also be tweaked and modified according to your parish’s needs.

Important to note that this strategy can also be modified to fit almost any organization, religious or not.

Getting Started

As you begin thinking about your social media strategy, remember that social media is a tool to communicate your organization’s story or message. It is to act as window or magnifier of an already-established brand.

Think of Our Lady. I’m not calling Our Lady a ‘tool’ or comparing her to social media, but her vocation according to her own words, was to “magnify the goodness of the Lord” (Luke 2).

At my parish, OLGC, our story or message is this: choosing to live as a disciple of Jesus is abundant life. Everything I do, write, post, or communicate with social media is part of a larger strategy to communicate that message.

As you make your way through the steps (and again, these are very basic outlines and starting points) always have in the back of your head that these social media tools should only be used to communicate an already-established message.

Step 1: Choose A Team

In order to make your social media strategy effective, there needs to be an organized team. There are several ways to go about this, but I suggest the following:

Special Note: Team Members are optional because sometimes it’s easier to find one person who is good at the job and let them run with it. This strategy also allows for voice consistency.

Second Note: Should you pay an employee for this position? Highly recommended. Listen – social media communication is not a fringe thing. If you do this well, more people will visit your facebook page every week than read your bulletin, and you pay somebody to do your bulletin’s content too. Not to knock volunteers, but if they get busy with another more important project, your parish’s public presence will suffer.

Step 2: Identify Your Goals

You should know why you’re getting the parish into using social media. You can’t possibly know what steps to take if you don’t know the destination. Some noble goals would be:

Step 3: Choose Your Social Platforms

There are a million and a half social media platforms out there – some new ones have been created and launched in the time it took you to get this far. I suggest starting with Facebook and Twitter. That should be enough. Twitter, in fact, you could hold off on if you’re not ready.

Facebook is a must though.

To start a Facebook account, head on over to facebook and get an email address registered. Facebook makes the process easy once you’re registered.

Step 4: Identify Your Resources

Now that you’ve chosen your platforms that you will be using to reach your social media goals, you have to figure out what resources you have to drive and create content for your platforms.

Step 5: Develop a Posting Plan

Having a plan keeps things easy.

This should be enough to get anybody started! What else has worked for you, your parish, or your organization?