3 ways to create internal controls for social media

Churches increasingly rely on social media to communicate. In a survey quoted by Mashable, a social media blog, 46.1% of churches call social media their most effective method of outreach. But the conversation goes both ways – about the church as well as from the church.

With the noise growing louder by the day, what are people saying about your ministry? While not directly related to finance, your church’s reputation does have an impact on financial contributions. So, managing your social media is a form of internal control. Here are three steps to being proactive about your social media presence:

  1. Start by having a social media policy to define how information about your church is distributed. This is especially important when you have many departments running many programs. Your social media policy can also govern employees’ use (or your desire for lack of use) of social media while at work.
  2. Designate one or more people to monitor what is said about your church online and respond appropriately to comments. If comments are negative, meet to discuss how to handle the situation so that you present a unified response.
  3. Limit the number of users with creative access to your social media accounts – Facebook, twitter, Linked In, You Tube. Doing so will manage your ‘official’ profile, and it’s a way to manage your brand to keep messages consistent and planned.

Your online and social media presence offers a great opportunity to tell your story and engage with your audience of supporters, donors, volunteers and employees. Being constantly aware of how you’re portrayed prevents disasters and keeps your church moving forward according to your plans.