Internet Goals of Ministry Leaders 2014-2015

by Sr. Susan Wolf, SND on November 18, 2014

in Online Presence, social media, website

text on Background old retro vintage styleResults from the Catholic Web Solutions online survey, “What is Your Ministry’s Next Online Challenge?” which took place from October 28-November 14, revealed that CWS readers are engaged on multiple platforms and looking to improve service on them all. A number of respondents took time to answer the open ended question: In the next six months, what one thing would you like to do or learn to improve your online ministry? I have organized the responses to get a better picture of what is important to CWS readers today.

Greater Engagement/Increased Visits

  • Improve our parishioners’ access to online ministry to help increase engagement of parishioners.
  • How to use analytics for websites/social media (How to measure if we are reaching the people we are hoping to reach, how to improve our reach)
  • Low cost ways to increase viewership
  • I would like to find a way to develop more interaction online.
  • How I can reach more people through the use of the platforms I am comfortable with (FB & website), and if that’s not possible, how do I learn the new platforms so I can branch out to reach more people.
  • I would like to learn how to post or advertise our church ministry events on social media apps.
  • I really want to drive more people to our website. We are a Catholic parish with 1700 families and getting only about 225-250 hits/week. The activity has not been what I thought it would be when we launched a new website.

 Facebook

  • I like how Tweet Deck will allow me to set up future tweets by dates and times, but does not allow for pictures…while I do set Twitter to feed into my Facebook, I wish I could set up different ‘future’ posts so that all my feeds have something each day (not just days when I have time!) Any ideas?
  • Facebook content – deciding what, and when… I feel I need to spend more time posting things more often that I do now.
  • I would really like to know about software that can help me to schedule posts for the liturgical season. Facebook pictures that would reflect the readings for the season, such as traveling through Advent… and a posting with a selection of You Tube videos to complement the theme, along with some tweets from Saints that would inspire toward that same theme. Maybe one per week, and a blog entry that would complement it.
  • How to best update/change Facebook cover photo and profile picture for the changing seasons and Holy days without going broke buying new photos for this areas. Are there any resources or best practices for this without running into the problem of going broke, “stealing” from someone else, or just going without?
  • What to post on Facebook?
  • Add video content to our postings.
  • Organizing content for Facebook in order to post regularly
  • Create a larger Facebook following

Twitter

  • How to use twitter effectively. What hashtags are all about and how to use them effectively?
  • How to clean up when you have made a mess of things (currently my twitter feed is a mess… probably need to delete some folks and put others in lists … just do not have the time right now.
  • Security issues in social media…how to monitor twitter hashtags and prevent misuse

 Blogs, Podcasts, YouTube, Instagram, E-books and Pinterest

  • I’d like to learn Instagram and more about the use of Pinterest for my ministry
  • Learn more about preparing You Tube content.
  • Work on more videos to upload to YouTube
  • Learn how to use of Instagram.
  • Start pod-casting on our website
  • Create e-books

Mobile App

  • Our parish is exploring whether or not to use a mobile app
  • Create an app
  • Learn more about mobile apps

Diocesan Efforts

  • Help the parishes we serve develop communications plans with their website as the “hub” and all other parish communications integrated.
  • Hope to create a workshop for parishes in our diocese for online evangelization/best practices etc. together with our IT department
  • Improve current e-newsletter and improve Facebook presence for the diocese

Recruiting Volunteers for Social Media

  • I would love to learn how to find “qualified” volunteers to take on some of the social media hats I wear
  • I am discerning what to do with my two parish blogs (one for work parish, one for worship parish) – with the real question being, how do we call others to serve in this way? I wish that I had someone that I could hand these off to, a team really. People love to read, but not necessary work behind the scenes.

Parish Website, Website Hosts and Managers

  • Our parish has to get a new webmaster. What to look for?
  • We are currently seeking a new web host for our website. Our current host will no longer be providing that service.
  • Update our website platform and provider

 Message Integration across Platforms

  • Posting across various social media platforms
  • Learn how to tie in all the various forms of social media
  • Resources for connecting website and social media content.

Personal Goals and Time Management

  • Create a personal website
  • How to manage my time to learn more about social media and to create new content quickly and easily

If you resonate with any of the above goals or would like to add to or comment on this list, please do so in the comments below.

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

angela ann zukowski November 18, 2014 at 8:04 am

Great list! We have come a long way with ‘great questions’ and ‘desire to engage in the digital milieu in the past 5 years! And…we have only ‘just begun’!

marika donders November 18, 2014 at 8:38 am

A couple of resources that may be helpful to some of the survey responders:

– Hootsuite.com allows you to schedule posts with pictures.
– A list of some free photo resources: http://inspiredangela.wordpress.com/2014/09/07/where-i-get-free-hi-quality-stock-photos/
-https://www.canva.com/ is an interesting tool to create covers and profile pics etc. that are the correct dimensions with simple drag and drop.

Meredith Gould (@MeredithGould) November 18, 2014 at 11:03 am

Don’t know whether to be happy about or depressed by these questions! Happy to see people are viewing social networking as an important tool for ministry. Depressed because solutions and answers to these questions are so readily available.

Maybe time (for you…us?) to issue another invitation for people to attend Tuesday night’s #chsocm chat on Twitter? Reminders to find resources via the #chsocm hashtag?

Unable to resist the sociology of it all, I’ll note that this chat — always intended to be ecumenical and for people across denominations — started out with quite a few Roman Catholics in active participation, including chat moderators. Over time, it seems that the chat has attracted participants primarily from mainline Protestant denominations. I’m wondering if some sort of self-silo/ghettoizing is going on among Roman Catholics…or what? As you know, I think it’s important for all Christians to engage in conversations about social networking tools. For the kingdom…and the power…and the glory…

Sr. Susan Wolf, SND November 18, 2014 at 1:44 pm

Angela, I agree that we have just begun, and the important point is just that. We have begun.

Sr. Susan Wolf, SND November 18, 2014 at 1:46 pm

Marika, thanks for the resources. They are helpful.

Sr. Susan Wolf, SND November 18, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Meredith,
Thank you for your comments. The challenge we have in utilizing the Internet and Social Media for ministry, is that it is a ministry which I think requires the engagement of trained Church ministers. These are people who already have full-time ministries and usually are not experienced or trained in the technology needed. Their online efforts are on top of already busy work days. While the answers to their questions may be known to those who have studied or are more experienced with social media, they are not that readily available to the uninitiated.
During the time I have been blogging, I have done several surveys. What the results of this survey reveals (and this was not the case in previous surveys) is that some ministry people are making efforts to utilize the Internet and social media for ministry. They are making the time and putting in the effort to be present in a meaningful way on the digital continent. This is progress.
Your invitation to the ChurchSocMed Twitter chats on Tuesday evenings at 9 p.m. ET, is appreciated. For those not familiar with your good work, they can learn more at the website http://churchsocmed.blogspot.com/ For a transcript of last week’s chat, they can visit: https://storify.com/chsocmCHAT/chsocm-chat-11-11-2014. Thanks for all your good work.

Daniella Zsupan-Jerome (@DaniellaZsJ) November 21, 2014 at 8:53 am

Great to see these collected in one place. Meredith makes an excellent point about the need for wide and ongoing conversation among us..for me this has been the best way to learn about resources and tools.
My hope is that this great and growing awareness to tools and resources yields a broader cultural awareness of our digital age – its values, customs, habits, language. How to be church in digital culture seems a good question to me, as it illuminates these tools and resources but makes way for the broader awareness as well.

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