People have different attitudes towards social media. Some love it, whilst others hate it. There are those who feel indifferent towards it and others who are baffled to understand its popularity. However you might feel about social media we cannot fail to notice the influence it has on people, both good and bad.
Therefore, the church cannot ignore social media, as that is where many people spend a lot of their time. Instead the church must learn to engage with it. For some though that is a scary thought and they do not know where or how to begin. If that describes you then the book “Church Online: Social Media” by Laura Treneer may be a useful resource.
This book is published by BRF (Bible Reading Fellowship) and is one of four books that form part of the Reach Out Church Communications series.
There are four chapters in Church Online Social Media which cover:
- Why it matters
- What to consider first
- Essential next steps
The author raises some important questions in her book that churches need to ask themselves when they are looking to start a new social media venture. These questions include:
- What is our current reality?
- What is the core message that we are communicating?
- Who is our focus – Who is this really for?
For those who are totally new to social media there is a very useful section in the Essential next steps chapter about choosing your tools. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, WhatsApp, Pinterest, Snapchat and LinkedIn are all included in this section with a brief description on each which covers:
- That’s the one where – this is a brief description of each one.
- Seems to be particularly popular with – this describes the demographic group that use each one mostly
- Churches could use it for – provides ideas of how churches use each one.
- And if you want to go further – sets some ideas and projects that your church could do with each one.
The author also provides some good tips on planning your social media year, finding the right team in your church to engage in social media and ideas for posts.
Whether you are completely new to social media or a seasoned user, you will find this book an excellent resource. Although it is only a small book, less than 100 pages long, it is packed with so much useful information. It’s certainly one that can be read a number of times and I would strongly recommend it.
In closing I want to quote from page 66 of the book which says “We don’t do it for the likes. We do it for the love of God.” Something for all Christians to ponder who engage in social media.