Many people in their 20s, 30s and 40s won’t come along to your New Worshipping Community until they have checked out its online presence. If a website is too big a stretch for you, doing good social media could be really important. It can be daunting to start using social media for your NWC, especially if you’ve never done it much before, but it also can be a really powerful tool. You can use it to invite people into your NWC, communicate what you are doing and share your journey with you local community. You don’t need to get it perfectly right to start - try things out, see how it goes and figure out what you enjoy.
Here are some tips as you begin to develop your NWC’s social from two experts in communications: Rosie Fraser - the Communications Lead at the The Archbishop of York Youth Trust and Lorna Heatley - Communications Officer at the Diocese of York.
The Church of England Labs Learning Blog also has tips and tricks for using social media, as well as recording video, taking photos and building a church website.
Still Unsure? Contact us and we can chat to you about what might be possible and what might work for your context.
Rosie Fraser’s quick guide to social media and your NWC:
Keep it simple. It’s easy to try and do everything and have a Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest etc. Find out where your community hang out online and be present there. Are they really active on Instagram? Start using Instagram stories and building a narrative around a week using posts. You can do this really easily by posting mini-videos (filmed on your phone!) before you meet explaining what you’ll be looking at, or by creating graphics on Canva (free for churches) and photos from the meeting.
Be realistic. You won’t be able to devote hours to social media each week unless you have a dedicated person to focus on it, so try not to compare your profiles with others that have employed people to run their accounts!
Think through what reflects you as a community and celebrate that online. Are you great at social action? Have you got an amazing welcome team? Do you have a buzzing kids work? Celebrate this all online so others can see what your community is great at.
Lorna Heatley’s quick guide to Social Media and your NWC:
Read around the subject with Social Media. It's easy to say you're 'not a computer person', but most SM has become so user friendly just a quick google search will turn you into a near expert. Find out the best times to do things, learn about boosting posts, scheduling posts, and encourage engagement and never put too many words on a single post. Learn about what videos do well on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and do them. Most of all, think to yourself 'what would I like to see?'
Treat every Social Media platform separately. What works on Facebook probably won't work on Twitter and vice versa. With Facebook, if you post more than 3 times a day, the algorithm won't push your posts out, whereas on Twitter, you're encouraged to do numerous tweets to keep yourself relevant. Hashtags are next to useless on Facebook, but on Twitter and Instagram, they're a great way of connecting with people not following you. As a rule of thumb with all things, don't post anything you wouldn't want reading out in court, and if you're ever unsure about something, ask someone else for a second pair of eyes on the situation.
Most importantly, have fun with it. Enthusiasm comes across just as much as the lack of it, so post about things you enjoy and what you think would interest people and it'll come across.