Social media is a great outreach tool for today's congregations, but congregational leaders need to be savvy about how to balance the open-source nature of today's interactive internet with the need to articulate a consistent message in alignment with your congregation's mission and vision (and—dare I say—"brand"). Social media expert Lori Stone Sirtosky offers some tips on best practices for congregations to ensure consistency for your congregational Twitter and Facebook accounts during times of transition:
- If your congregation has paid staff, make sure at least one staff member has the manager role on your congregation's page. They can then remove and add volunteers as new people relinquish/assume this role.
- For congregations with no paid staff, make sure more than one volunteer has the manager role for your Facebook page (and provide training to all managers on how to avoid posting "as the page" accidentally, especially from their phone).
- To ensure continuity, the email address (e.g., firstname.lastname@example.org) associated with the organization's twitter account should be controlled by church staff (if you have them). Then even if the social media person walks, the domain admin can reset the password to the email account. This will allow you to use the Twitter lost password feature to get in.
- For groups that rely on volunteers, building redundancy can be more of a challenge, but it is possible! You can set up the email address as an alias and redirect it to more than one person. This way multiple people are notified when a password reset attempt is made. This builds in a measure of security. It also allows more than one person to reset the password and regain access to the account if needed.
Building redundancy into the system before someone vacates these key tech and social media roles for your congregation is vital. Good planning now will save you a lot of headache later.