Social Media and Ministry Effectiveness

by Sr. Susan Wolf, SND on March 27, 2012

in ministry, religious communities, Uncategorized

According to Erik Qualman, author of Socialnomics, “The ROI [return on investment] on social media is that your business will still exist in five years.”  That is a pretty strong statement.  I wonder what the ROI is for social media in ministry.  Much of ministry is one on one personal engagement, but there are aspects of ministry that can be supported and enhanced by social media: outreach, education, collaboration, inspiration, communication and fund raising to name a few.  Could resistance to using social media and the Internet be putting your “job” as a minister at risk?

Here is 2012 version of Erik Qualman’s short video on the Social Media Revolution.  See what you think about it in relation to the way you carry out your ministry.
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This may sound extreme,but I do not think that we should be hiring new staff members in our organizations who do not know how to incorporate social media and the Internet into their job description to some degree. The world has changed and if we want to be effective with the people we serve, we need to be conversant with their means of communication. And for those of us already engaged in ministry, if we want to stay active and don’t know social media and the Internet, we need to retool or retire.

Vocation directors recognize this. In a recent survey which I conducted, I discovered that more than 80% of vocation directors of the 209 religious communities that participated in the survey are involved in overseeing and sometimes executing a website and social media in carrying out their ministries. These responsibilities were probably not part of their job descriptions 10 years ago–but they are expected today.

How about your ministry? How has it changed with the advent of social media? How do you see it changing in the future?

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