Looking after your church’s social media and websites? Here's what you need to know

11/01/2019

Looking after your church’s A Church Near You profile, social media channels and website is an exciting opportunity, helping your parish support its community and reach out to new people. We know there will be a lot for you to consider – especially if you are new to the role – so we have put together a list of some of the most important things to get you started in the best possible way.

1. Create a strategy
A simple and clear digital strategy is crucial to helping your serve your community online.  It will look at want you want to achieve, and how you are doing to do it. Your parish may already have a digital strategy in place, however if you don’t have one, this is one of the first things you will want to do.

Take a look at our blog on how to create a social media strategy

2. Understand your digital audience
It’s important to have a defined audience in mind when you are creating your content, as this will help you create relevant, helpful and interesting content for your social media platforms, A Church Near You and your website.

Take a read of our blog on understanding your audiences on social media. 

3. Track your progress
Your analytics will provide valuable insights to help you to create an online presence that is responsive to your audience, and able to adapt and grow as the social media landscape changes.

Some of the key analytics that you can track across your channels are:

Reach – the number of individual accounts your content reached
Impressions – the total number of times your content was seen by anyone
Engagements – Likes and reactions, comments, replies, shares, retweets and video views.

In each of these areas look for the posts that performed the best, and the ones that did not. Refine your strategy by looking for trends that may be emerging from month to month and look at how can this help you going forward.

Track these statistics on a monthly basis to help build a picture of how your online presence is growing.

4. Writing for the web
The words we use are important to help us communicate effectively with our online audience, and they will need to adapt depending on whether you are writing a social media post or something for A Church Near You or your website.

We have written a blog with our top ten tips when writing for the web.

5. Keep up to date with social media developments and trends.
As the social media landscape changes frequently, keeping up to date will help you maintain a successful online presence to serve your community and raise the profile of your church.

We have a few resources to help you with this:

Policies you will need to know

1. Safeguarding Policy.
It is the responsibility of everyone to ensure the protection of children and vulnerable adults online and offline and spot the warning signs for those who may be experiencing abuse or online bullying.  Familiarise yourself with your diocese Safeguarding Policy and who to contact if you have questions or concerns.

Some points for you to consider…

  • When sharing images of children online photo consent must be signed by their parents or guardian, including consent to share on social media. We advise renewing these consent forms annually.
  • Keep photos stored in a secure location and limit access to only those who need it.
  • Maintain accountability by having multiple administrators on social media accounts. Facebook pages can have multiple administrators, however this is not the case on Twitter and Instagram, so make the login details available to two or three key people. If possible, the vicar should be one of your Facebook administrators and have log in details for your Twitter and Instagram accounts and your website. 

For more guidance, please visit the Parish Safeguarding Handbook or contact your diocesan safeguarding adviser

2. GDPR and privacy policies.
Under the 2018 GDPR laws, everyone has a right see what information is stored about them and to have it deleted if they wish, including photos and videos. You will need to familiarise yourself with your local GDPR policy and Privacy policy.

 

Liz Morgan - Church Digital Champion