Social Media Checklist to Begin the Year
Social Media Checklist to Begin the Year

The beginning of a year is an ideal time to refresh and update your personal and church social media accounts. Sometimes it’s necessary to make either important updates or subtle adjustments. In any event, your online presence will benefit from an annual inventory of your accounts. Think of it as giving your Twitter account a tune-up or getting a facelift for your Facebook profile.

These seven tips can be used on your church’s accounts and your personal accounts to get the year started on the right foot online.

1. Change your passwords.

This can be tedious, but is often helpful in the long run. Think about the number of computers or mobile devices you’ve used to log in to your social media accounts over the past year. I would also recommend using a password program to keep track of your accounts and to generate stronger passwords moving forward.

2. Check if your profile picture is current.

Churches should always use their standard logo unless they are promoting an upcoming sermon series or church-wide event. For personal accounts, use a current picture or personal logo.

3. Make your profile picture consistent.

People may see your account on Facebook and then on Twitter or Instagram, and it is helpful to model consistency across platforms. Consistency sometimes gets lost throughout a year due to social media activism or the launch of new initiatives and products. It helps to take a moment at the beginning of the year to ensure every platform is visually aligned.

4. Close or deactivate accounts you aren’t using.

Go ahead and close that MySpace account. On a serious note, though, sometimes accounts are started and later abandoned. If there is a possibility it may be useful in the future, you can typically deactivate the account instead of deleting it completely. If there’s no need for the account, go ahead and delete it.

5. Check if your bio needs to be updated.

Like your profile picture, it’s good to have an updated bio. We rarely read our own bio online, so it’s good to be intentional to take time to update it on occasion.

6. Review app and privacy settings.

Because of the rise in social logins, there are likely several websites or apps that have access to your accounts. If an app or website you don’t recognize or use is listed as having access to your account, revoke that access. Also, check your security settings. Terms of service and privacy policies are often updated several times throughout a year, and many of us never give a second thought about them until there is a security breach on our account.

7. Eliminate app clutter on your devices.

Do you have 18 screens of apps and can never find the one you need? Consider consolidating them into folders or, better yet, delete the ones you do not use or need. It will free up space on your device and likely help speed up or improve performance. I would estimate we have more than twice as many apps on our devices than we even use. If you haven’t used an app in six to eight months, you can probably delete it and never miss it.

Jonathan Howe is director of strategic initiatives of Lifeway Christian Resources.

This post was adapted from an article that first appeared at on January 14, 2016. Used with permission.

Learn about developing a social media policy for your church in Using Social Media Safely.

This content is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regard to the subject matter covered. It is published with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in rendering legal, accounting, or other professional service. If legal advice or other expert assistance is required, the services of a competent professional person should be sought. "From a Declaration of Principles jointly adopted by a Committee of the American Bar Association and a Committee of Publishers and Associations."

Due to the nature of the U.S. legal system, laws and regulations constantly change. The editors encourage readers to carefully search the site for all content related to the topic of interest and consult qualified local counsel to verify the status of specific statutes, laws, regulations, and precedential court holdings.


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