By now, most Catholic churches have staked out their territory online and claimed a catchy web address and Facebook username (for example, “SaintMaryDallas” for a church in Texas). But don’t stop at your website and Facebook – take a moment to register a similar Twitter and Instagram handle for your parish. You may not intend to use those services right away, but it’s a good idea to stake your claim now before someone else grabs them. Protect your parish brand today and you’ll be happy you did.

There’s a tool you can use to quickly search social media platforms and the web to see if your handle is available. It’s called KnowEm, and you can use it to search for your preferred handle for free. Once you’ve done the free search, spend 30 minutes or so registering your parish on any of the big social media services where you’re not yet active. You may never need it, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. Take a few moments and protect your parish brand!

This allows you to stake out your territory and protect it for the future. Even just a little bit of investment in time today can pay off tomorrow, since you won’t need to pay someone else later to give you the handle back.