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By Rev. Marty Levesque

A Shout-out is a short public acknowledgement. It's usually to recognize someone in appreciation for some work on a given project.

Shout-outs are typically in a public setting, such as on a Podcast, live stream, or on social media in general.

Shout-outs happen in the church often. We always make a point to call those who helped prepare the pancake supper or beef dinner out of the kitchen for a public thank you. The shout-out demonstrates our appreciation of their efforts and if we are honest, when we receive a shout-out we enjoy the pat on the back.

Here are a few tips on the why and how for shout-outs on social media.

1. Always give credit where credit is due. Sure, we want to look like the hippest person out there, but always tag back to the place you saw something interesting. In academia, this is citing your sources. In social media, it is just polite to give a shout-out to the person who found that great video, picture or quote you are now sharing. Don’t worry you will look cool by association. By not giving credit, you run the risk of angering the person and being unfriended, and you don’t want to lose your source for cool links to pass on.

2. If you are talking about someone, give him or her a shout-out and link back to them, either to their Facebook, Twitter or Blog, so that others may find this wonderful resource you are speaking about. Hence the whole social media thing.

3. Speaking of links…when possible, link back to specific posts, especially if it is a blog, podcast or other content not hosted on a major social media platform. This matters for other peoples’ Google search rankings and helps them out. Do for others and they will do for you.

I realize this is a shortlist of social media etiquette for churches, priest and pastors. And it is by no means exhaustive. But following these simple rules should help out on social media and help increase your scope and deepen your friendships online. After all, the Apostle Paul reminds us at the end of his letters exactly the importance of the shout-out.

Rev. Marty Levesque is the diocesan social media officer and rector of All Saints’ in Waterloo.