When I first took over in my current role as a Social Media Director, I had to establish some guidelines for how certain social media accounts were to be used. In establishing those guidelines, one of the questions that had to be answered was “Who was @brentwoodbc going to follow on Twitter?”.
Now that may seem kind of petty, however I knew the moment our church Twitter account starting following one church member, we had to follow them all. Although I view the Twitter follower relationship different then the “friend” relationship on Facebook, there are some people who see the relationship on Twitter just as sacred as the one on Facebook. I also knew that keeping up with following back every church member who followed us wasn’t scalable. So for us, following church members was a no-go.
I also knew that we did not want to be a Twitter account where we followed no one. Although that is an option, it just seemed a little odd to me. So, I came up with set of criteria to figure out who we were going to follow on Twitter. I kept it simple and broke it down to three types of people and organizations:
The reason we follow our ministerial staff is two fold. First, we like to retweet our ministers whenever the chance arrives, so having them in our timeline made sense. Secondly, when a church member wants to know who on our church staff is on Twitter, they can simply click on the following link on our Twitter profile and see our ministers.
A number of our ministries (Students, Children, etc…) are starting to use Twitter to communicate with our congregation. We wanted to highlight them as well by following them and of course retweeting them whenever possible.
If there is a para-church organization that we have strong ties to (most of these are missions organizations), we will follow them back. We try to very careful about this category since a lot of people see our following of an organization on Twitter as an endorsement. So we only follow organizations with whom we have an established relationship.
So far this has simple criteria has worked well for our church. If you have questions about this or anything else related to social media and your church, feel free to contact me on Twitter at @dgirardier.