I want to share with you some of the ‘golden rules’ that I try to live by when I’ve been leading social media for my church. Some of you may call them principles, but I like the idea of golden rule as it reminds me of the golden rule.

For all you Bible scholars and pastors, before you leave a comment like, “Hey Steve the Bible says it’s really about ‘Treating others how we want to be treated.’

No, I know it’s not that. But there is some of that in there. I could have used commandments too, but then I’d be in serious trouble.

I also thought about guidelines too. But I wanted us all to lift our eyes to a higher ideal. Where these golden rules were so built into our rhythm that it becomes second nature.

Here are the seven golden rules:

Rule #1 Give your audience a voice

So many churches are stuck in broadcast mode. They aren’t interested in the reality of social media. Giving your audience an opportunity to respond means that when they let their voice be heard on your feed their friends see what they say. You immediately widen the circle of influence.  As well as actually using the platforms in the way they were designed.

Rule #2 Create Interesting Content

There is nothing worse than just making your social media channel an online church bulletin. Ask yourself this essential question then watch your reach and influence expand. Here are some of the best examples of interesting posts you can create on Facebook

Rule #3 Create, create, create!

So many churches start well but fall into this all to obvious trap. Create a list of different kinds of posts that different people can recreate.  When you widen the circle of content creation you will add more talent to the team gene pool and someone may come up with better and more fresh ideas.

Social media is a content hungry beast that needs constant attention and feeding. Don’t starve the wild beast!

Rule #4 Don’t stop learning

Continual learning is vital to your ongoing success. I listen to podcasts, read blogs almost every single day. If you can top up with formal training/coaching that is even better.

You may even want to pursue formal university training which is great too.

All of these will add to skill set and knowledge base.

(If you want coaching I’m always available. There are very limited spots available. Find out more here)

Rule #5 Nurture

Your audience wants a relationship with the church. I don’t mean like a deep and meaningful friendship. They just want to know that you care for them. That you actually will interact and comment on their opinions and answer their questions. Engage with them on your feed. Answer their private messages.

Rule #6 Measure

How do you know what success is? What does a win look like? Can you articulate that? What we don’t measure we don’t really value. If we don’t measure then we don’t know whether we are succeeding and failing.

You also demonstrate the value you are adding to your leadership if you can’t give them figures.

Rule #7 It’s not just a communications channel, it’s a ministry

Businesses can treat social media as just another avenue to communicate with their followers. Churches need to ensure their social media is actually ministering to their followers. Are you asking if you can pray for your followers? Check out these free social media graphics that help you minister.

Your turn

What other rules would you add? Do you disagree or have questions? Comment below.