Saturday, July 30, 2011

The Case for Multiple Admins

I frequently hear from clergy and other church communicators an ambivalence about using social media because it will take too much time.  I suggest having multiple administrators, but I know that secretly some of us are not sure we want to let go of control.
Do I really want to allow someone else to post in our church's name? What if the volunteer tweeter tweets inappropriately?  What if someone posts something yucky on the Facebook page?  What if the volunteer moves away next year?
Well, what if I got hit by a bus tomorrow?  What if my internet goes down for four days (like mine did last week)?  What if I spend a lot of time feeling guilty because I know we should be posting but I'm busy with other things?

Consider this: what if control issues mean your church won't have any doors opening onto the virtual public square?

Multiple administrators make your life easier and will add to your church's virtual presence, just like many members add to your church's life IRL (in real life). They can post along with you, they can post when you're on vacation or experiencing connectivity issues to keep the conversation going. They can work with you to carry out your strategy -- and you are still the person to say what that strategy is. If they move away or get too busy, someone else will be there to step in. The world changes all the time. And if there's a mistake, there's always the delete button.

So, find some people who are interested and with whom you can spend a little time explaining the overall social media strategy for your church.  And then, let them go to it.

Perhaps one person could post prayers to your Facebook page every day (or every feast day or three times a week).  Perhaps someone else could be charged with retweeting news from the national or regional church, or following and publicizing the work of your church's mission organization. Assign someone to cover youth activities and post photos/reflections to the blog while on a mission trip or pilgrimage.

You can be the managing editor with a staff of reporters and publishers. Give each admin (reporter) boundaries and direction about content, and then let him or her go.

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