This summer, we take a mini dive into the complicated world of social media, and how these popular platforms help parishes reach Catholics far and wide to spread the message of Jesus Christ.
What once was an unfamiliar word to the general population is now a verb used in our everyday conversations: tweeting. Twitter is among the top 3 social networking apps in the United States and boasts more than 350 million active users. From soccer moms to CEOs, Fortune 500s to local businesses, Pepsi to Pope Francis, millions worldwide have found a way to get their message across — 280 characters or less at a time.
You may not think that your parish would have a place on this trendy platform but think again. When it comes to social media, it isn’t about transforming who you are as a parish, but rather reworking how you communicate specifically for the platform. As Church, we’re tasked with meeting people where they are, in order to help them form an authentic relationship with Christ. For many of our communities, that includes reaching out to those on Twitter, too.
First, Some Stats
- Twitter is a social media platform that allows users to send out brief messages of 280 characters or less (it used to be 140 but was doubled in 2017).
- Users can post messages, images, videos, and gifs.
- Twitter utilizes hashtags in order to group together common themes and allow for easier searching. Examples include #God #Summer #FunInTheSun #Books … you get the idea.
- Each account has a personal homepage where all their tweets, retweets, and activity are gathered, but users primarily use Twitter by scrolling through their personal feeds.
How to Find Content to Grow Your Account
You may not think of it, but your weekly bulletin is the perfect place to find content for your social media channels. From weekly readings to upcoming events, Gospel reflections from the pastor’s desk to requested items for the food pantry, a lot of information can be found in this staple communication vehicle.
You can find other things to tweet as well by following some well-known figures. Pope Francis, for example, posts quotes on the regular, and is followed by more than 18.8 million people worldwide. Help his message travel further by retweeting him once or twice a week.
Sample Parish Twitter Schedule
Your parish has good, solid content you can use to engage and grow your followers. You just need to revise what you have. Check out this sample content schedule, and feel free to edit/add for your own faith community!
You may notice the readings for this week have a common theme: Do not be afraid! Prepare for the week by looking at the readings and spending some time in #prayer. #JPII #Faith #Detroit
One of our parish family members is looking for help in shoveling their driveway while dealing with health issues. Can you help? Contact Dan at the parish office (555) 555-5555. Thanks for being generous with your time!
This week we celebrate St. Maria Faustina, a Polish Catholic nun & mystic. She was chosen by Jesus to proclaim his powerful message of Divine Mercy. Learn about her life & how she continues to help us here on earth today. St. Faustina, pray for us! tinyurl.com/2ekkdcev
Fr. Peter will be available for #Confession today from 3 to 5 p.m. If it’s been awhile, stop by and experience the healing power of this incredible sacrament!
Today, let’s pray for all the names that have been added to our book of prayers this week. May God give us strength, guidance and preservice to continue in His name. Amen!
Our weekend bulletin has arrived! Our spotlight business of the week is Dan’s Auto Repair. Bring a copy of the bulletin to his garage for $10 off a standard oil change! #Church #Sunday #Coupons
Looking for a sign? This is it! Worship with us TODAY at Mass at 9, 11, and noon. Following each Mass, enjoy our outside #coffee social. Check in with your neighbors, grab a sweet treat, and have fun! #Milwaukee #MKE
Looking for more ways to engage your parishioners digitally? Check out our Catholic Tech Talk blog for tips and tricks to websites, social media, video, audio and more!