Social Media: What Should We Say?

So you’ve set up a Twitter account for your congregation. Mazel tov! But… now what?! No need to stare blankly at your computer trying to figure it out. Here are a few suggestions to get you started and to keep you going.

  • Ask questions. The more interaction you generate with followers, the better. Ask what their Shabbat plans are, ask what their favorite Jewish holiday is, ask what they like best about your congregation – anything to get the conversation rolling.
  • Answer questions. If a follower tweets at you – say they want to know what time services are or if non-members can attend a weekend event you’re hosting – be sure to respond in a timely and friendly manner. The better you are at this, the more interaction you’ll generate – and the happier your followers will be!
  • Retweet others. Everyone once in a while, someone else says it better than you could. Consider “retweeting” relevant tweets from your Federation, local organizations announcing community news, and, of course, the URJ and its affiliate organizations!
  • Introduce your staff. Are clergy bios posted on your congregational website? Tweet a brief intro and a link to this page to put real people behind your social media presence.
  • Do you have a congregational newsletter that non-members can sign up for to stay in the know? Let followers know where they can sign up for it.
  • Tell folks when Shabbat services are. If it’s a special Shabbat (kids’ service, Israel service, etc.), let people know that, too!
  • If your congregation has an active Facebook page, don’t hesitate to cross-publicize by including a link to it – especially when photos are available on your Facebook page!
  • Holding an event? Download the Twitter app to your smart phone and send out a few “live tweets” about the more exciting aspects. You can even include a photo or two with your tweets.
  • Everyone loves a little bit of trivia. Occasionally tweet interesting facts about your congregation’s history, membership or other appealing tidbits.
  • Run a contest. Give something away to the __th  follower or reward followers in some other way. Prizes can be as simple as coffee with the rabbi or as big as discounted registration to a congregational event.

Go ahead: Be creative. Browse other congregations’ accounts for ideas and inspiration. And above all else, don’t be afraid to make your account unique, interactive and fun!

This post is adapted from a 2011 Biennial learning session handout. Download the PDF version for your congregation.