Thursday, July 18, 2013

Case Study: "Social Media Sunday" at Trinity Episcopal, Tariffville, CT

I asked #ChSocM chat participant and occasional (fabulous) moderator Carolyn Clement (@singingcarolyn) to tell us about how she organized and launched Social Media Sunday at Trinity Episcopal in Tariffville, CT (@TrinityTville). Check this out and note the brilliance of having a Social Media Help Desk at Coffee Hour!

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But, (laughing), people won’t be tweeting in church, right?

Yes, they will be tweeting in church. 
And checking in, and posting on Facebook, 
and taking arty pictures to put on Instagram.


Planning Social Media Sunday at Trinity Episcopal Church in Tariffville, CT quickly reminded me that not everyone uses social media the same way. Or at all. Nor does everyone understand social media’s possibilities for sharing good news, building community, and inviting the world to come along. Yet.

Our church has been using social media for a couple of years: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and, to a lesser extent, YouTube,  Google+, and FourSquare, but I knew we could use it more effectively if more parishioners were actively involved. 

We've added the social media icons to bulletins and signage, we've written about social media, made announcements in church, and provided consistent content on our main channels, but there's no substitute for getting your hands on a device and trying it out for yourself.

Thus: Social Media Sunday (June 30, 2013)

We started with great support from our rector in a blog post. We chose and registered a hashtag on twubs, posted signs on the doors of the church, including a QR code to our SM links, set up for a Social Media help desk at Coffee Hour, and gave a pre-service announcement, so folks wouldn't be offended when their pew-mate pulled out a smartphone. 

And away we went.

Initial reaction was a mix of amusement and amazement:

 I was happy to see some (gentle) teen snark:

It was a great day. You can see what happened on Twitter on the #tctville Twubs site, and you can search #tctville on Instagram and Facebook to see what folks were posting there.

At the Social Media Help Desk, we were able to get parishioners set up for the first time on Facebook and Twitter, and helped others to follow us. We've had requests for additional Social Media Help desks and hope to repeat Social Media Sunday in the Fall. 

Not only did our church gain new followers on our SM channels, but members discovered each other on various channels and followed each other, forging new and expanded relationships.During Social Media Sunday we connected with and encouraged each other, shared our community, and invited thousands of our friends.  

Exactly what churches are supposed to do.


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