I recently did some research on how the Church of England is doing on social media, comparing and contrasting to other Christian, religious and atheist organisations. The results were pretty interesting! My conclusion was that we all should follow more than one church account on social media: our local church, of course, but also our diocese and the national accounts.
I found, in my research, that people respond positively to Church of England (central) social media: “wow” and “love” reactions are the most common. Anger is a more common reaction in atheist organisations.
I also found that the Church “competes with itself” on social media, so likes/views/follows are lost from central accounts to local church and diocesan accounts. Consequently, central Church of England accounts have fewer followers, proportionally, than they should when compared with the Church’s “membership” (based on church attendance). This is why we should follow our diocese and the main Church of England accounts.
For other organisations the opposite is true: they have more Facebook followers than they do “actual” members; this is partly because they have fewer local level accounts.
I also found that people turn to the Church in times of crisis on-line, as well as off-line: people re-tweet/share prayers when times are hard or sad.
So, we should make sure that our church is just as visible on-line as it is in our local community: people want to engage with the love and compassion of Jesus digitally, so we should make resources for this as open and accessible as possible.
Therefore, in conclusion, we should follow our local church online, but also our diocese and the national Church of England accounts; this is important for our own lives which, by doing this, can be even more filled with “wow” and “love” – and it’s important for the life of our Church too!
My data was from Wikipedia, Fanpagekarma, Twitonomy and Similar web