Sociologist Meredith Gould says she is “a passionate advocate for using social media tools for building community and deepening faith.” To that end, this Roman Catholic resource helps congregations from all traditions discover the advantages - and cautions - related to using social media as a communications tool. Gould explores social media from several angles. She first defines social media and its use for church communication by putting it in conversation with theology, generational differences, and diverse “learning styles” and personalities. The second section, “Choosing Social Media,” explains the variety of available platforms, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and blogging. The third section, “Making Social Media Work” addresses questions about social media and its implementation. Here Gould covers topics such as managing the use of more than one social media platform and dealing with online conflict. Gould’s lighthearted and gracious writing style makes this resource highly accessible. It is particularly helpful for congregations that are skeptical about using social media or for congregations that are considering using social media and want some guidance on the issues involved. Each chapter has questions for reflection and discernment. The appendices help readers choose appropriate platforms, establish a social media policy, and understand a communications audit.
Reviewed by Janet Hoover