In a world of social media sites galore and fake social media accounts, it’s important to use your website to identify:

  1. Which social media platforms are a priority for your parish or organization
  2. Which social profiles officially represent your brand
  3. Where visitors should go to strike up a conversation with you

Use eCatholic’s social media header icons to easily add clarity to your social media efforts. The icons are a simple way to tell visitors how they can most effectively connect with your parish.

Here are some tips for getting the most out of your social media header icons.

Tip #1: Only link to social profiles you’re actively using.

Social media is meant to be social. As a result, your social media header icons should let your visitors know where to go to:

  • Potentially start a conversation with you
  • See other conversations happening about you
  • Get to know you in a unique way

Before automatically adding header icons for every social account you’ve signed up for, stop to assess whether you’re actually an active user on that platform.

When it comes to social media header icons, more isn’t necessarily better.

If you haven’t tweeted for two months, think twice about adding a Twitter icon to your header. Silence can be deafening, and account inactivity sends a clear signal to your visitors.

Tip #2: Use social media icons to identify your “flagship” account(s).

Your parish might have multiple parish-related social accounts on a given platform. While this isn’t inherently a bad idea, it can cause confusion as visitors search for your parish on social.

For example, searching for “St. Joseph’s” on Facebook might serve up several profiles that appear to be related to the parish:

  • St. Joseph’s Young Adults (set up and managed by your Young Adult Coordinator, a parish employee)
  • St. Joseph’s Catholic Community (official parish profile, set up and managed by your parish’s communications staff)
  • St. Joseph Knights of Columbus (set up and managed by a parish Knight and volunteer)
  • St. Joseph’s Church (official profile of the Lutheran church three blocks away)

Use the social media icons as an opportunity to funnel visitors directly to your “flagship” accounts.

These “official” accounts should be 1) managed by a parish employee or someone who is officially accountable to a parish staff member, 2) provide the most comprehensive coverage of your parish and all its ministries, and 3) set the tone for your parish’s brand.

Tip #3: Don’t forget about “old-school” communication.

At eCatholic, the default social media icon library includes icons for phone and email. Gasp!

You’re right: These don’t technically qualify as social media. But still, they’re included as default options for an important reason.

The social media icons should signal where a visitor can go to start a conversation with you. (See Tip #1)

Perhaps your parish doesn’t have the resources to be active on many (or any) social media accounts. Instead of shooing a prospective parish member off to Twitter to send you a tweet that might not be noticed for three weeks, it might be best to stick with the good-ol’ telephone.

Whether it’s phone, email, or Instagram, focus your icons to represent the places where visitors will have the best chance of striking a meaningful connection with your parish.

Read the full help doc on how to add social media header icons.

Have thoughts, comments or questions? Let’s strike up our own conversation below!