In our diocese’s new social media policy we recommend that pastors delegate the day-to-day management of institutional social media accounts. This is both because a) pastors’ time is best spent on other aspects of their ministry, and b) most pastors are not interested in the day-to-day management of institutional social media accounts.
But how should they choose who to coordinate social media on their behalf? What characteristics make a person a suitable social media manager for a parish?
Choose someone who uses social media. This should be self-evident, but I’ve learned not to take these things for granted. You don’t want a social media manager who will be doing all their learning “on the job.” Make sure that the person you choose has an interest in and some experience with social media — at the very least they should be on Facebook. Ideally they should have accounts on multiple sites and a good sense of what works on each.
Choose someone with connections. The hardest part of managing a social media account is finding out what’s going on that could be shared. Picking someone with strong connections around the parish increases the chances that they will hear about events and other content to share.
Choose someone trustworthy. Again, this probably goes without saying, but your social media coordinator will be speaking on behalf of your ministry, so you want to choose someone that is well spoken, a good writer, and who knows how your parish markets itself and communicates with both internal and external audiences. This will help ensure that what they put out on social media platforms is in line with your parish’s character, mission, and goals.
Choose someone who isn’t scared of math. To make the most of your social media accounts you’ll need to keep track of various statistics such as reach and interactions. The good news is that most social media platforms do a good job of tracking these for you. Of course, your manager will still need to check the stats from time to time to see what impact your social media outreach is making.
What other traits make for a good social media manager?