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How are UK churches using social media to engage with their congregations?

Rowley, Jennifer and Sircar, Atish (2019) How are UK churches using social media to engage with their congregations? Journal of Public Affairs. ISSN 1472-3891 (In Press)

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Abstract

Churches are important non-profit organisations that are increasingly adopting social media. In order to contribute to understanding of the value of social media as a communications channel for non-profit organisations, this article examines, and develops a typology of, the uses of social media by two global churches with a strong presence in the UK, Hillsong, a megachurch, and the Church of England. Informed by previous typologies of the use of social media in both commercial and non-profit contexts, content analysis was conducted of Hillsong's and the Church of England’s social media platforms on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. This analysis provided the basis for the formulation of a typology of uses, the main categories of which are: building a brand, building the church community, outreach, and developing spiritual mission. Differences between the approaches adopted by the Church of England and Hillsong are outlined. Suggestions are offered for future practice and further research.

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