What are the mistakes that churches make on social media? Here are six of the most common:
- Using poor grammar and spelling. While the shelf life of a tweet or Facebook post is relatively short, we should still strive for excellence and display command of the English language.
- Not getting permission to post pictures or videos of kids at the church. At the very least, notify parents ahead of posting pictures of kids, or have them sign a waiver allowing the church to use pictures of their children. [For more information, read Richard Hammar's answer to the question "Is Parental Consent Needed on Church Videos?"]
- Doing too much or too little. A quick rule of thumb for church accounts: Try to keep Facebook posts to less than four per day and public tweets to no more than one every two hours.
- Not using hashtags. If you’re hosting an event or special service—or even a regular worship service with a sermon series name—brainstorm and use a hashtag that can be used to engage your audience more effectively. Some examples: #ChristmasAtTheMoon, #EasterAtTheBallpark, #MakeLifeMatter.
- Posting inappropriate content. In most instances, the inappropriate content is posted accidentally or is posted from the wrong account using Hootsuite or Tweetdeck. The administrator may post something he or she meant to send from a personal account or in a text, and instead of going to one or just a few people, it goes to several hundred or several thousand. Mistakes happen, but extra care is also needed. Be sure to have more than one administrator on every church account.
- Not responding to questions in a timely manner. When you are slow to respond or fail to do so altogether, you are giving the impression that the people asking the questions don’t matter to your church.
Jonathan Howe is director of strategic initiatives of Lifeway Christian Resources.
This post was adapted from an article that first appeared at ThomRainer.com on March 17, 2016. Used with permission.
Learn about developing a social media policy for your church inUsing 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.