We are just about two weeks away from September 1st and have you started to plan what you will post on your parish pages next month?
I’m super happy to have just presented a workshop at the C3 Technology Conference hosted by the Los Angeles Archdiocese. There were a number of people in my session who are now following me here on my Facebook page and I want to thank you!
My number one tip is to plan your posts a month in advance of the month starting as possible and my planning always starts with printing a copy of the Catholic Culture monthly overview. This guide helps you to help your followers to remember that each month in our Liturgical Year is dedicated to a specific spiritual focus. In September our spiritual focus will be on “Our Lady of Sorrows”, whose memorial will be celebrated on September 15th. The guide also provides a pool of content to share or create posts for including the Holy Father’s monthly intention, Saints, an activity, a recipe and Gospel reading focus for the month.
You are all so busy - time is valuable! So set aside about four hours in the next week to just create your posts and schedule them so you can be done before this busy month begins. So here we go!
Create a new cover photo highlighting that this month is dedicated to “Our Lady of Sorrows” and if possible take a picture of “Our Lady” in YOUR church to create the cover with. There will always be more engagement when post images comes from your parish environment. The cover change should happen First thing in the morning on the first day of the month or at the end of your work day the last day of the previous month. You choose!
Using my “5 Things Every Parish Should Post to Spark Engagement” Philosophy to help here’s what you should plan to post about:
Saints - There are about 18 posts that can be created from the feasts and memorials listed in the overview. You probably are thinking how is creating 18 unique posts for the saints going to get done with everything else in 4 hours? No worries, the easiest way to share this category of posts is to share them from another page, so here you go:
Bishop Barron’s Facebook Page
Catholic Saints of the Day Facebook Page
USCCB Facebook and or Twitter Page
@Saintoftheday - Twitter
Catholic_Saints - Instagram
If your church is named after one of the feast or memorial days of one of the great saints of our faith, be sure to customize a post with your own art. Unless a custom post needs to be created because there is art in your church or on your campus, posting the morning of the feast or memorial day from another page is the easiest way to get done consistently.
Pope, Pastor, Priests and Deacons - The first day of the month the Pope’s intention for the month can be shared as a video from his official You Tube worldwide prayer network. Are any of your clergy members celebrating a birthday, anniversary or milestone that you can share with the community? You can also use your “Note Feature” to create a blog for your pastor, associate priest or deacons. Choose something that each clergy member could contribute content on. For most parishes “Back to School” is the focus of September so having a letter or prayer crafted to ask for prayer over students and faculty that can be shared would be engaging. Labor Day could also be another focus that allows the Pastor or clergy members to share memories or spiritual messages around the holiday.
Daily Inspirational Messages - It would be very engaging for your pastor to create some form of a daily message to share with the flock, if you need an example check out my awesome pastor Monsignor John Barry’s minute messages. Cutting up the homily from Sunday into four unique posts that can be shared Monday through Thursday across all your social media pages as a graphic can be a great way to engage members throughout the week. Challenging people to do something every day to grow their faith daily is such an important function of evangelizing the gospel and providing followers with contemporary ways to live their faith.
Daily Inspirational Message (Made with Canva.com)
Parish Behind the Scenes - Religious education and academic education kicks off in the month of September. Share pictures of the books, meetings, prayer circles, highlighting the teachers or catechist charged with educating our children. Are there any teachers or catechist celebrating an anniversary that you can celebrate?
Catechism Starts in September
Parish & Community Life - September also marks a change in seasons and depending on where your parish is in the world, you will feel and see geographic changes. When summer fades into fall will you see leaves change color, snow falling or in the case of my beach community bare beaches. Capturing those images and sharing them with an appropriate scripture or phrase can be very engaging. Of course Labor Day is celebrated this month and how it’s celebrated in your parish and outer community could also serve as a post for your pages.
Bare Beaches of Manhattan Beach
One of the things that is pivotal for engagement on your social media pages is imagery. I met a great contact at the C3 Technology Conference, Charlotte McCorquodale of Ministry Training Course who offers great Catholic imagery. So I’m sharing a link for you to learn more about her “Ministry in a Flash” package that includes 500 free licensed images. Don’t forget to use your bulletin to create posts and promote events happening in your parish and check out the latest episode of the Church Social Show.