Make Website Your Base for Communication:
Your Website is the easiest form of communication to update since it is fluid and changes take place immediately, so teach your staff and your parishioners to go there first for information. Slowly transition people from thinking that your Bulletin is “where it’s at” to knowing that your website has everything they need.
Share Audio or Video
Each week the average priest gives at least 30 to 60 minutes (maybe more) of teaching about the faith and our spiritual life, but many parishioners are only at Mass on Sundays and many parents miss the homily during Mass tending to young children. Record these valuable lessons via audio or video and share them with parishioners to listen later. This is also a great opportunity to put them on social media to encourage your parishioners to share with family and friends as a means of evangelization. “Father Joe had a great homily this week, I thought you’d appreciate listening.”
Be a Social Media Hub
Facebook is its own large country with more than 1.8 Billion users around the world. Use your Parish’s Facebook Page to share Parish News & Events as reminders, Catholic News Stories and Relevant Teachings to supplement Sunday Homilies, and Prayer and Inspirational posts for parishioners to like, share, & re-tweet. Facebook Pages allows you to see how many people saw your post, shared it, and the number of impressions so you can see immediate results!
Form Social Media Tithers
Encourage people to share, like, re-tweet from your Church’s or other Catholic accounts to evangelize to their family and friends. This is a great method of evangelization with new media. We are all called by our Baptism to share the faith, but our culture can make this very intimidating. Giving 1 out of every 10 posts on social media to a faith related topic is an easy way to begin sharing our faith with family and friends to encourage them to make their journey back to the Church.
Engage the Broader Culture
Most of the people within our parish boundaries are not in our Churches each Sunday so we need to reach out to them. Embracing culture phenomena like “Pokémon Go” this past summer gives your parish an opportunity to reach those who might never otherwise step foot in your church. Embrace these visitors and show them the welcoming nature of the Catholic Church, inviting them to a conversation about their own spiritual journey. Each year a different social media ‘craze’ occurs, so watch out for them and dive in!
Invite with Push Notifications
We all know the phrase “Walk with parishioners where they are” … in this Digital Age we need to “Communicate with Parishioners where they listen.” This means their smartphones – 75% of people have one, so embrace the technology and communicate via push notifications. Invite parishioners to prayer, to reflect throughout the week on the Gospel, remind them of upcoming events, and more through this active communication means.
Prefer Online Giving
An electronic donation system gives your parishioners a Habitual, Systematic means of become intentional, sacrificial, regular givers. There are numerous benefits to both the parish and donor so state gratitude for all gifts but share reasons why Online Giving is best. Embrace modern means of payment methods that are simple, easy, secure, and quicker than writing a check!