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How to use the Grotto Partner Portal.

Welcome to the Partner Portal, where we’ve included Grotto resources for your ministry.

So you are ready to take your first steps into a digital evangelization strategy. Fantastic — we want to help you succeed! From our workshop, you’ll remember that it starts with using pre-evangelization content to accompany young adult cultural Catholics in your community. 

(For a full explanation of Grotto’s pre-evangelization strategy, high-level social media best practices, and an introduction to workflow resources, view our one-hour digital evangelization webinar.)

Our experience has shown that prioritizing Instagram and balancing your social media content with pre-evangelization posts (remember the matrix in our social media best practices?) can double the rate at which you attract new followers. The only question is how?

We know that changing your social media presence requires time and effort, so we’ve included here resources for both content and workflow. 

What’s included in this portal?

Within this portal, you’ll find best practices spelled out for using social media (and communicating on your website and via email.)

You’ll also find pre-evangelization content, organized by topics relevant to cultural Catholics. Within each of these content pages, we’ve paired links to applicable pre-evangelization content with suggested social copy you could use to share on social media. 

We’ll continue to update this portal with content and new topics monthly, so check back to find new topics and resources for your platform. All of this content is available for you to use for free — just tag @GrottoNetwork where it’s appropriate. 

Of course, another way to stay in tune with our content resources is to simply follow Grotto on social media — think of this portal as an organized archive of our best content. 

How do I change the workflow that we use to manage social media? Can I involve peer leaders in this work?

We are seeing success from ministries who engage student or peer leaders in their social media management. Young adult leaders are fluent in these platforms and their voice and aesthetic are valuable assets in your evangelization effort — use them!

Involving additional voices means ministry professionals take on responsibility for training and supervision — and we can help with that. Call on Josh at any point to offer a 30-minute on-boarding training for peer leaders to get them up to speed on a pre-evangelization strategy and categories. And here are some simple Google sheets to help you plan out what you will post and when:

Jumpstart calendar: Here is a one-month social media schedule that you can use at any time — the content suggestions here are evergreen. We’ve built in links to pre-evangelization content and images, and offered suggestions for you to post evangelization and community content to serve those who are in your fold. Think of this month as learning to ride with training wheels — you have everything you need here to establish a new workflow to start balancing your social media content. 

This jumpstart calendar assumes you have time to create two posts per week. If one post is pre-evangelization content (yellow), the other will be content that is faith-forward and serves people in your community already committed to faith (blue). Also note that each post is designated with a category from the matrix, and the balance is reflected below the calendar. 

All of the pre-evangelization resources (except for the building community post — you’ll have to fill that in with a face from your community) have social copy and images prepared and linked in the second tab on this sheet for the social copy spreadsheet. 

Social copy spreadsheet: This is a Google sheet located on a separate tab in the same doc as the jumpstart calendar. Note the columns to help you and your peer leaders prepare everything you’ll need to post content to your social media platforms. There are several examples of social copy and asset links pre-loaded in this sheet — they are coordinated with the yellow pre-evangelization entries in the jumpstart calendar. They are present for you to use, and also offer an example of how to craft and organize social copy. 

Again, copy and paste this sheet to start your own version of this planning doc and add to it as you plot out your social media posts for the upcoming weeks and month. If you are working with peer leaders, you can incorporate a review process by which you approve or tweak copy as needed. 

Links in this spreadsheet go to a shared drive where the images you’ll need for these posts are saved. As you develop your own workflow, we suggest starting a new shared folder of your own so that you can develop an organization system with your peer leaders. A Google folder or shared Google drive works well. 

It’s a great idea to empower a peer leader to spend time taking or gathering photos of your community to develop a library of local images to use for posts. Photos don’t need to be professional-looking — just authentic and thoughtful. Photos of the people in your community are always useful, but also think about images from your campus or city that will be useful for a range of pre-evangelization content promotion. 

Planning calendar: This calendar offers an updated outline of relevant social media moments so that once you have a workflow established, you can start to block out your weeks with evangelization and pre-evangelization content. Find the tab with the upcoming month and you’ll see a list of Church feast days, civic holidays, and hashtag holidays (such as #IceCreamDay) that might be useful for your planning. You don’t need to find content to meet every one of these days — the calendar is a skeleton that you can use to build out your own plan for posts. Copy and paste this calendar into your own Google sheet and edit as necessary.

These are great resources for social media, but what about our website?

Our work with ministries thus far has shown that ministers generally have more flexibility to manage their social media accounts than their web presence — which is great, because social media is the best way to accompany young adults. That’s where they are spending their time and attention, anyway, so it’s a good idea to join them there.

Eventually, though, you will want your website to reflect the same kind of quality and care as your social media platforms. When you are ready for that step, here are some general best practices to get you started. And, as always, we would be glad to serve as a resource for you if you need a conversation partner to bounce ideas around. 

Whom should I contact if I have a question?

Please reach out to our Senior Editor, Josh Noem (jnoem@nd.edu), with any concerns or questions. Grotto is built to help you expand your community of faith, so don’t be shy about asking for support — that’s what we’re here for!

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