Don’t Let The Youth Run Your Social Media

Here’s how it goes.

Masjid organization wants to be relevant.

They see that all the kids are on that Facebook thing. And a few of them are even on that Tweeter thing.

Well if that’s what the kids are doing, that’s what we need to do to be relevant.

Turns out most of these kids show up to events they hear about on Facebook. Fantastic. Now we know how to reach them.

So what’s the solution? Just get one of these kids to manage the masjid social media accounts because they’re experts! First foolproof solution to anything in the history of running a masjid.

Unfortunately, the same logic also justifies the following conclusions: I own a car, therefore I can be a mechanic. I use Netflix all day, they should just hire me because I’m an expert.  And with all the money I’ve spent on Apple products, they should just let me replace Tim Cook.

Being an avid user of something does not an expert make. Nor does being 18 automatically make someone hip and relevant. Do kids still say “hip” nowadays?

Your masjid’s social media is an important communication tool. The vocabulary, tone, and photos all reflect the culture of the masjid. The way that the social media manager replies to comments becomes indicative of what kind of people run the masjid.

It’s okay to let someone young manage these outlets for you. Just make sure that they properly understand:

  • How to manage social media to build engagement
  • What type of message(s) should be conveyed from the Masjid platform
  • The appropriate decorum or replying to comments and questions
  • What type of content to share on which social media platforms
  • Technical details of how to promote events, set up campaigns or ads, and how to properly share different types of media
  • An understanding of how to move people to an intended action (e.g. attending an event, donating, or just signing up for the email newsletter)
  • Good writing skills
  • Ability to read and understand analytics data to see what works and what doesn’t
  • Creative enough to properly maintain and update cover photos and profile photos, and do basic editing of event photos uploaded to page

Almost sounds like a job description. This is not something irrelevant you can pawn off. The masjid’s online presence is often the first impression people get of a community. A website that hasn’t been updated since Ramadan 2003, or low quality YouTube recordings of weekly khutbahs (that stopped 3 years ago), and unanswered posts on the Facebook page all scream that this is a community that just doesn’t care.

Find someone qualified to handle your digital presence. In fact – “Director of First Impressions” is not a bad job title. Find someone qualified and empower them. And if your community is big enough, consider making it a paid position and invest in someone talented.

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