One way to get involved in Thy Kingdom Come in 2017 is by participating through social media. Whether you use a parish or personal account, on Facebook, Twitter or other forms of social media, there are lots of ways to join in.
Which channel should I use?
There are lots of different social media channels. This guide mostly focuses on Twitter and Facebook, as these are the two most widely used, but if you already have an Instagram, Snapchat or another account, please think about using these to spread the word.
- Facebook is a great way to create events, share photos and write short posts about what you’re doing. You may already have a personal account, and you could also set up a parish/benefice page which members of your parish community can ‘like’ in order to receive regular updates. Around half the parishes in the Diocese already have Facebook pages and you can find most of these via this feed from the Diocesan Facebook page. Take a look at that feed to see how other parishes/benefices use the site to keep people updated.
- Twitter is based on shorter (140 character) posts and can be a great way to engage in conversations and be part of a wider conversation. Unlike Facebook, where people tend to follow a more limited number of pages and the discussions are more private, on Twitter the conversations tend to be more public. If you use popular hashtags (more on this below), then anyone else following that particular hashtag can see your posts and respond to them. You can also share photos or links to websites where people can find further information. Twitter tends to be more ‘conversational’ than Facebook – it perhaps lends itself more easily to personal rather than parish accounts for that reason. That said, about a quarter of Diocesan parishes have Twitter accounts and you can view the posts from most of them by looking through this list from the Diocesan Twitter feed.
How do I get started?
Once you’ve set up your account, don’t wait until Pentecost to start posting!
- The easiest way to start posting is to share other people’s posts – if you’re not sure what to say, you could try retweeting or sharing Facebook posts from the Diocese or national Church (see links below).
- Why not share some examples of how you’re preparing for Thy Kingdom Come? Or you could post about other activities taking place in your parish? Social media is about telling your story, so try to do just that!
- Think before you post! Remember that even if your account is private, anything you’ve posted could be made public, and in practice there’s no such thing as “writing in a personal capacity” – what you post will reflect on you, your employer and the Church.
- If in doubt, ask – if you’re not sure, ask someone else in your parish with greater experience to take a look at your posts or tweets before you send them.
What should I post about?
There are no hard and fast rules about what you should post about, but here are some tips to help you throughout Thy Kingdom Come.
- Make your posts interesting – is there a photo or a video you can share? Maybe there’s link to a website with more information? We all respond better to something visual or interactive, so think about ways in which you can make your posts engaging. There are lots of images and videos available from the national team coordinating Thy Kingdom Come – so if you’re nervous why not start by using these as the basis for your posts?
- Be yourself! The most successful social media accounts are those which are a true reflection of the person posting. Thy Kingdom Come is a global initiative, but use this as an opportunity to tell your parish/benefice/Diocesan story. It’s great to share what’s happening nationally, but people who follow you are interested in you – so they want to hear your news! Are you holding a prayer service? Maybe you’re attending the Beacon event at the Cathedral? Whatever you do, take a photo, make a video, or just tell the story of what you’re doing and share that with your friends and followers.
- Join the wider conversation – why not take it a step further by commenting on other people’s posts and using hashtags? On Facebook, you can post a comment underneath a post, and reach anyone following that post. On Twitter use the nationwide hashtags such as #thykingdomcome or #pledge2pray so that anyone following those can see your tweets. That will help bring your story to a (potentially) national audience.
- Make sure you have permission – Don’t forget that if you’re posting photos of children, you need to make sure that their parents or guardians have consented to those photos being taken and shared online.
How do I reach more people?
If nobody ‘likes’ your page or follows your Twitter account, then your message won’t be heard! However, it’s easy to boost your followers through some simple steps.
- Social media is social – so make sure you follow and engage with other people. Help to build up the Diocesan social media community by liking other parish Facebook pages or following their Twitter feeds. Once you’ve done that, why not retweet their tweets or share their posts? By helping each other out you’ll be developing our community, and people you’ve engaged with will be more likely to follow or like you back.
- Speak directly to people – whether on Facebook or Twitter, ‘mention’ the people you’re talking about by using the ‘@’ and their Facebook name or Twitter handle. That way you’ll know they’ve seen your posts, and they’re more likely to like or share them.
- Write in a way that is easy to understand – it can be tempting to slip into jargon, or abbreviate words in order to fit a character limit. Before you do this, think about whether someone who doesn’t understand the context would understand what you mean. Simple language with links to further information, or a photo to illustrate your point, tend to work best.
On Twitter, follow these accounts:
- Diocese of Winchester: @CofEWinchester
- Thy Kingdom Come: @thykingdom_come
- Winchester Cathedral: @WinCathedral
On Facebook, like these pages:
- Diocese of Winchester: https://www.facebook.com/CofEWinchester
- Thy Kingdom Come: https://www.facebook.com/Thy-Kingdom-Come-219692711792659/
- Winchester Cathedral: https://www.facebook.com/winchestercathedral
Find out more about Thy Kingdom Come:
Use the Thy Kingdom Come hashtags:
Need some extra help?
Luther Pendragon manages communications across the Diocese of Winchester. Get in touch by clicking here.