On November 11, 2015, Unity Worldwide Ministries hosted a web call on the subject of developing a social media policy for ministry. The Social Media Policy & Guidelines Agreement template previously made available by UWM was used as the working document for the call.
You can view a video/audio recording of the call.
Rev Jacquie Lenati, Media Production Coordinator, hosted the call with support from Rev Carl Osier, Executive Director of Field Ministry and Minister Services, and Rev Kelly Isola, minister of Unity of Flagstaff, Ariz. This call was designed to give more information and offer space for discussion around what goes into creating a social media policy for ministry and how the template was organized the way it is.
The template includes an extra page of tips for best practices. These tips include the following:
- Be social! Like, comment, or share posts made by like-minded organizations (Unity Worldwide Ministries, Silent Unity, Daily Word, Daily Fillmore, other ministries, regions, IYOU, etc.). The more you engage on other user accounts, the more engaging your account will become.
- Social media can extend the community that gathers on Sunday morning and integrate “church life” into daily life. Create posts that speak to newcomers and posts that will speak to longtime community members.
- Quality matters. Use a spell checker and post photos that are in focus with good lighting. If you need to create design elements, seek a professional or skilled hobbyist. Ask for feedback from congregants about how easily information is accessed on your website, how appealing your posts are, and watch your metrics to better inform posting habits.
- The speed of being able to publish your thoughts is both a great feature and a great downfall of social media. The time to edit or reflect must be self-imposed. If in doubt over a post, or if something does not feel right, either let it sit and look at it again before publishing it, or ask someone else to look at it first. Remember, the Internet is a public space that keeps permanent record of all activity. Hold awareness that posts are easily shared, copied, linked, and printed and allow that to guide you in how you craft your activity.
- Consider creating separate personal and professional accounts to maintain appropriate boundaries with members of congregations.
- Private groups can be created for board members, youth ministry, classes, support groups, or any group that can utilize a private space for discussion.
- Create a social media team that will share the responsibility for managing social media posts and discussion. This team can schedule posts, create and implement a strategy, and maintain a social media flow for your ministry.
- Create different types of posts: informative, reflective, celebratory, etc.
In addition to providing media content for use in ministry, we are providing ongoing training for best practices in social media and technology.
The web calls we are hosting in support of social media and technology are made possible by the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation. The opinions expressed in the project are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the John Templeton Foundation.