- Privacy settings. Facebook and Twitter have privacy settings that can be customized to ensure maximum protection for a church. This can be a way to manage who has access to the church’s posts. Churches can also limit who has access to their accounts and institute an administrator-approval process before an item is posted on their public pages. On public pages, the church may also post a disclaimer indicating the type of information it will allow: e.g., no disparaging remarks about individuals or the church, no profanity, and so on.
- Deciding who to follow or “friend.” Just as the content of posts on social media should be reflective of a church’s values and mission, who the church follows on social media should be just as thoughtful and consistent with what the church and individual leaders represent. The account’s administrator (or the church’s social media team) should monitor who the church follows and is followed by; should any inappropriate or concerning activity arise, it can then be immediately addressed.
2. Control the narrative: post what you want the world to know about you and your ministry.
One of the challenges when a post goes viral is that it is not always in context. A snippet that is recorded and uploaded can catch someone mid-thought or mid-sentence, presenting a skewed account of what was really said. The “eavesdroppers” who later view the video not only receive a message that may be out of context, but they share it in the same way—and that lack of context is perpetually multiplied. What will make the difference is if, as a matter of course, your church is active on social media platforms and establishing the footprint of your ministry. Should anything ever be taken out of context, there will then be substance in the internet ecosystem that speaks more loudly about who you are and what you represent.