Objectives of this training module
In this module you will gain an insight into:
- The functional conditions of the market with monastic products;
- The most important instruments of social media, which are suitable in the communi-cation of monastic products;
- The functioning of social media and the "does & don'ts" associated with it;
- Digital "story telling" and marketing support through social media;
- Successful communication with (future) buyers of monastic products;
- Opportunities for co-operation with partners and opinion makers (“influencers”) in so-cial media.
This module is primarily concerned with how you can use social media in a meaningful, time-efficient and product-oriented way. But it is also about finding out what is special and unique about your monastic products and your monastery. You will thus become the ambassador for your monastery, the monastery shop, and also the rich religious heritage of Christianity. The exercises not only serve to deepen the training content, but are also intended to make it easier for you to weigh up which social media instruments you will (increasingly) work with in the future. Have the courage to try it out and learn from those who already do it successfully!
This training module is designed to fit the training needs of the monks and nuns, management, staff and volunteers at European monasteries, no matter if they are run by Catholic or Protestant Orders or the Orthodox Church; by public or private operators.
All modules are relevant for these groups of people, but some have a more specific character. They are all interconnected, even if they are not formally complementary. They differ in terms of information and competence level and address three groups:
- Target group 1: For people working on the implementation level like those in monastery shops three modules are recommended: Module 1 as introduction to the training, Modules 3 and 4 about monastic products and authentic selling of monastic products. People who want to start considering certain strategic aspects may be inspired by Module 7 on adding value through networking.
- Target group 2: For people with a special knowledge or experiences or a certain background and/or specified tasks in the monastic management, Modules 2 on marketing strategies, Module 5 on distribution strategies, Module 8 on creating a strong brand, and Module 6 on social media and communication offer learning content and reflection.
- Target group 3: People on a strategy decision level with a highly specialized / experienced background and respective responsibilities in a monastery (Modules 9 on financing strategies and Module 10 on sustainability aspects).
Gained knowledge and skills
After studying this module, you will:
- Understand how social media functions;
- Be aware of the high relevance of methods like story telling and digital marketing;
- Know how to approach your target groups via social media;
- Be aware of the importance of creating communities;
- Understand the various types of social media and respective instruments and how to choose the right ones for your monastic products;
- Have learned about successful communication with your customers and other monasteries and how to keep in touch with them;
- Be informed about opportunities of co-operation with influencers.
SKIVRE focuses on an interactive training approach, whether you use it as a self-learning course or instructed by a trainer. This training module includes:
- Individualized self-learning - a powerful learning method that enables each learner, on the basis of his/her own experience and knowledge, and on the basis of newly acquired knowledge, to reach development decisions on his/her own;
- Self-assessment - ongoing self-assessment tests or homework that learners send to their trainer prior to the commencement of each subsequent module;
- You might also work in small groups of 2 or 3, e.g. if you decide to implement this module with colleagues as a self-learning group in your monastery or supported by an external trainer.
You gain knowledge individually or in a group using:
- Training materials like this module;
- Training materials in nine more SKIVRE training modules which are closely linked to this module;
- The interactive SKIVRE online training platform: skivre.eu/training;
- Facilitated training sessions for learning in a group with a professional trainer.
Books and articles
Drda-Kühn, Karin: “Take it or Leave it? Expectations, frustrations and gratifications of visitors at religious heritage sites”, in: MM Nieuws, Dossier „Religious Heritage and Tourism“, 12/2016, www.mmnieuws.nl (The article focuses on the expectations of visitors at religious heritage sites and gives recommendations how to adapt to visitors’ needs there.)
EUROPETOUR – Social Media Guidelines for Cultural Tourism in Rural Areas https://www.europetour.tips/results/social-media-guidelines/ (in English, German, Italian, Romanian, Bulgarian, Spanish, and Polish)
Social Media Guideline – Ein Leitfaden zum Umgang mit Social Media für touristische Partner in Rheinland-Pfalz, 2014
Drda-Kühn, Karin / Grönwaldt, Pirka Kathrin: “Kulturtourismus und Soziale Medien – Leitfaden für Kommunen”, Bad Mergentheim 2013, ISBN 978-3-00-04454-7 (a German Social Media Guide on cultural tourism for municipalities in rural areas: kultur-und-arbeit.de/veroeffentlichungen/broschueren )
Drda-Kühn, Karin: „Regionalentwicklung und Kulturtourismus: ökonomisches Potenzial (kultur-)touristischer Netzwerke für strukturschwache Räume“, in: Buschmann, Lara, Kolbitz, Lina Lisa (Hrsg.): „Kulturtourismus im ländlichen Raum“, Begleitpublikation zum 1. Symposium im KLOSTERLAND, veranstaltet durch KLOSTERLAND | Deutsch-Polnisches Klosternetzwerk, Berlin 03/2013; (a German article on regional development and cultural tourisms in low density areas) . Download: www.klosterland.de/Mediencenter
Drda-Kühn, Karin / Marschall, Alexander: „Mut zum Experiment – soziale Netzwerke als Chance für den Kulturtourismus im ländlichen Raum“, in: Christian Holst, Karin Janner, Axel Kopp: „Social Media im Kulturmanagement“, Frechen 2011, S.303-311, ISBN 978-3-8266-9110-2 (a German publication on Social Media in cultural management including cultural tourism)
There are many websites which provide good guidance to your social media activities, so have a look at:
media k GmbH - Germany
How to use this training
The learning units, recommendations, exercises and good practice examples, used in the following chapters are by no means exhaustive, nor do they claim to be the only suggestion for successful communication and social media marketing. You will find numerous guidelines that have already been developed on the topic of social media (see “References”). However, this is to the authors’ knowledge the very first training set linked to monastic products. Therefore, please feel strongly encouraged:
- to look for additional information in your country, destination or language you work in,
- to get in touch with relevant networks such as the European network Future for Religious Heritage, the German-Polish Klosterland network or the Austrian Klösterreich network, all active in social media and linked to SKIVRE either in the partnership or by National Advisors (see “Acknowledgements” and skivre.eu)
- start creating your own communication and co-operation network (see training Module 7 on “Added Value Through Networks”).
The SKIVRE team has compiled this training module having in mind the following learner profile:
- Experience with social media: You have already had some basic level experience with social media management, i.e. know how to use a Facebook page, are willing to follow the steps to guide yourself through setting up a blog and / or have already set up a blog, have or use an Instagram account, work with a YouTube channel, etc.
- ‘Business profile’: Your monastery already has some products that you would like to develop further and sell. Or you have started thinking what other kind of products could complement your existing range of products.
- Qualification needs: You are keen to improve your skills, to network with other monasteries in your area and beyond, as well as with other (business) partners, and ultimately, your guests and customers, no matter if they are believers or visitors.
- Willingness to share and use platforms for exchange: You are interested in exchanging and sharing your own knowledge and experiences with others.
- Know where to look for technical support: You know where to look for technical “How-To” advice on setting up a Facebook page, a WordPress blog, or any other social media channel for better communicating online. In case you are looking for this kind of support, please refer to the self-guided manuals that exist in each of the channels you wish to use. Besides, very likely, these services are already available to follow in a step-by-step guide in your individual language, easy and simple to follow and use.
SKIVRE helps and provides you with inspiring good practices, up to date developments in digital marketing, hands-on advice and hints to follow on managing successful influencer relations. After all, you won’t have to do it “all on your own”, but instead you learn how to work with those who are already speaking up, and communicating on your behalf, i.e. turning your “fans & followers” into your guests and visitors, and vice versa.