Social Media Volunteers — What I Wish I Knew When I Started

You’re reading this post because you understand social media’s critical value at the church, non-profit, or even the organization you serve.

We find ourselves almost a year into a pandemic. Now more than ever, churches are looking for ways to stay connected to people who will not come in-person for the foreseeable future. No matter your opinion on social media, the people you serve engage there. Your presence as a leader and church body will continue to become more essential.

1 Peter 4:10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

For churches to utilize social media to make a gospel difference will require inviting people with gifts, experience, and even trainability to invest in this space. Leveraging people’s gifts in the church helps them grow in their discipleship and ministers to the church body.

A few years ago, I started a few Facebook groups based on the advice of Nona Jones. I can tell you I made several mistakes. Now, I partner with volunteers serving in Browncroft’s social media ministry throughout the week.

Whether you serve as a pastor, staff member, leader, or want to see the church you attend to grow in this area, I want to offer you a few tips for partnering with volunteers for social media.

Create a posting schedule.

These tips assume the development of a social media strategy. Nona Jones, Brady Shearer, Katie Aldred, & Kenny Jahng provide fabulous resources on developing a social media strategy.

A critical outcome of a strategy is a posting schedule. Generally, providing crystal clear clarity will help and even inspire volunteers to invest. I made the mistake of saying, “post on Thursday.” I can now see volunteers asking, “What do you want me to post?” But when you move to something like, “Thursday is the day we post an encouraging Bible verse,” now volunteers can

If you need an example, check out this one by Pro Church Tools.

One last thought on a schedule — think beyond the “big” church platform. Consider Facebook groups and other ministries to have a plan to engage volunteers.

Break down the serving opportunities into specific tasks.

Churches and organizations can think too general for serving opportunities. Like creating a posting schedule, find people who can fill in specific tasks. Some individuals may have the gift of administration that help you with scheduling. Empower the photographers to capture photos, and another social media influencer can post them. When you break down the serving opportunities, people can use their gifts rather than get bogged down with working in an area that they do not have the desire to serve.

Implement a Communication Flow.

It can seem like we have several tools to communicate. I want to encourage you to use what will work best for you. Below are the three platforms I use.

  • Church Community Builder (CCB) — Sending weekly emails to prepare for service opportunities and scheduling.
  • A Social Media Volunteer Facebook Group — Shares ideas, training, and feedback for future ideas.
  • GroupMe Chat — GroupMe allows us to connect specifically on Sunday morning instantly. Most notably, our photographers send pictures for posts and stories rather than text messaging.

Think More People, Not Less.

I serve with an expert on non-profits at Browncroft named Cynthia. She has fantastic attention to detail, but one of the most important things she taught was to ask for more volunteers, not less. Burnout is real. When you have specific tasks and a clear structure, more people will want to join what you do. We each have a desire to know that we can fill a need and make a difference. A common fear might include — what if I don’t have enough work. You will have more than enough. Part of your role becomes fitting the people God has brought to you in the right positions to serve the church and reach out to the community.

Model the vision of social media personally.

I don’t advise this, but at one point, I posted on six Facebook groups each day for the church. In some ways, you will need to model to the church what the future could look like. It’s not just saying we need to do more on social media. When people see your engagement, it raises the need and value of volunteers. Also, when volunteers posts, celebrate it. When a staff person posts, celebrate it. How do you celebrate on social media — like, comment, share, retweet, and mention in meetings.

Don’t forget social media insights fear to many. You have the opportunity to model how these platforms can connect with the church and reach the people around you. That requires you to invest your time to do so.

Have you worked as a social media volunteer? Or do you lead social media volunteers at a church? What other thoughts would you add? Share in the comment section below.

Photo by Luis Morera on Unsplash

Originally published at https://peterenglert.com on January 5, 2021.

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Adult Ministries Director @Browncroft . Host on @WGWPodcast. Married to @RobynEnglert | Subscribe to my blog ➡️ http://eepurl.com

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Peter Englert

Peter Englert

Adult Ministries Director @Browncroft . Host on @WGWPodcast. Married to @RobynEnglert | Subscribe to my blog ➡️ http://eepurl.com

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