Managing Church Social Media Volunteers

If you’re managing social media for your church and you have realized that you can’t do it all on your own, it may be time to start recruiting some volunteers to help lighten the load. Heck, you yourself may even be a volunteer. I’m not going to assume that everyone reading this blog is a paid church staff member. Regardless, you may begin to seek some help and that is where some other passionate people come in. The complexity comes when you’re not only managing your church’s social media presence, but you’re also managing other people who are helping to manage your church’s social media presence. Talk about a headache. Here’s the good news, it doesn’t have to be a headache. Here are 3 things to remember when managing social media volunteers for your church.

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1. Training is required
If you’re a paid member of a church staff and you’re managing social media volunteers it’s important to remember that these people are just that, volunteers. They may be passionate about social media, and they may really want to help share the story of your church, but they most likely have not had the time or training that you might have in social media marketing. This means you need to sit down and take them through some simple and essential social media tips and resources to get them started. If you’ve got a brand guide or a social media policy for your church then this would be a good time to go through it with them. Help them learn the voice of your church and be intentional about things they should stay away from. Set some standards upfront so they have a good foundation to work from.

2. Reserve the right to take-over
As a volunteer they should have admin access to a Facebook Page or obviously access to post to Twitter, but from the outset you should always reserve the right to delete posts or change them if you see posts that are incongruent with your church’s voice or brand. If this standard is established from the beginning then you won’t run into conflict later when you have to delete a post and approach the volunteer. When you do have to correct a mistake make sure you are in constant communication with the volunteer. Ensure that they know why you deleted the post, and why it was not a good way to engage with your church’s community. The interesting thing about social media volunteers is that they’re work could potentially be seen by hundreds or thousands of people, so it’s crucial to correct mistakes and coach them well.

3. Create a content strategy and pipeline
Creating a content strategy will help you avoid step 2 above. If you’re feeding content to your volunteers then you will majorly decrease the chances of a post going out that is incongruent with your church’s voice. Creating a content strategy for your volunteers is obviously the most idea situation because you’re decreasing the likelihood of mistakes being made, but this will take much more time and work to make happen because it’s assuming that you have enough time to write content and posts and feed them to your volunteers to post throughout the week. But if you can get a well-oiled content strategy going there’s no telling how much engagement you could get through your church’s social media presence, and since a volunteer is helping you, you are freed up to create more strategy and do other important tasks.

In addition to having a solid social media content strategy to feed to your volunteers, you may also want to look into using a third-party social media management tool to schedule posts and view posts that your volunteers are scheduling. There are several tools out there, but one that I like to use is Hootsuite. You can even change permission settings so that you approve posts from volunteers before they go into the cue. It’s definitely worth checking out.

These are some things that I’ve seen necessary when managing volunteers in social media for my church, but these are always subject to change. When you bring another person/people into the equation it always makes things a bit more complex, but it should ultimately be for the growth of your church’s online community and the keeping of your sanity. :)

Have you had to recruit social media volunteers for your church?

What are some things you’ve learned about working with social media volunteers?

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