Making the Most of Your Congregation’s Online Presence



If a tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it still make a sound? More importantly, does the sound it makes matter? Such is the case with social media. Active, fantastic social media accounts are nothing without followers and fans. Here are a few tips for driving traffic to your online presence(s):

  • Add your social media account info to the bottom (or top!) of all printed congregational communications, including brochures, FAQs, and other handouts.
  • Ask your clergy and staff to include a uniform message to their e-signatures with links to your online presence.
  •  Make a pulpit announcement about your online presence during the president’s remarks during services. Do this more than once for folks who may miss it – say, the first service of every month.
  • Include links to your social media accounts in your congregation’s online newsletter and/or email blast, and include information about where to find the congregation online in printed version of the newsletter.
  • Feature a really good (read: quirky, serious, important, or otherwise meaningful) @reply or Facebook wall post from a congregant in your monthly newsletter, or consider printing it out on an 8½ x 11” sheet of paper to go on the synagogue’s bulletin board.
  • Cross-advertise! Occasionally link your tweets to Facebook and website content, blog posts, even your newsletter, if it’s available online – and, of course, vice versa.
  • When appropriate, link tweets/Facebook posts to other organizations’ social media accounts. Hosting an event with the local federation or church? Mention them not just by name but by twitter handle or Facebook page link. This will not only call those organizations’ attention to your accounts, it may make them more likely to link to you in the future, thus driving traffic to your pages.
  • Though privacy is always a concern, think long and hard about whether locking your Twitter account or having a closed Facebook group (versus a public page) serves the purposes you seek. New and potential members will not be able to access these accounts without first being approved, which is a deterrent to many.

This post is adapted from a 2011 Biennial learning session handout. Download the PDF version for your congregation.

 

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Kate Bigam

About Kate Bigam

Kate Bigam is the URJ's Social Media and Community Manager. Prior to this, she served as a Congregational Representative for the URJ's East District and at the Religious Action Center as Press Secretary and as an Eisendrath Legislative Assistant. Kate is a native of Cuyahoga Falls, OH, and currently resides in Red Bank, N.J.

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