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Using Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vine Live at a Charity Event: Lessons Learned

Last night, I attended the opening of Magdalene Saint Louis at Christ Church Cathedral Saint Louis.  Madgalene is “a residential program and social enterprise of women who have survived prostitution, trafficking, and addiction…”   based on the Thistle Farms program.  We were there to show our support, listen to stories from the Magdalene program, and share what we learned. We also received samples of some of the wonderful, all-natural bath a beauty products sold by Thistle Farms.

I made video and took several photos using my iPhone4 on  AttWireless.  This is a summary of my tweets and posts and my ideas on what I could have done better.


I started with  this “twitpic”  from my church account:

@StTimsEpiscopal: “Opening of Magdalene House #stl @CCCathedralSTL #amazingstories“

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What I like about this tweet:  I referenced the location @CCCathedralSTL and used a general hashtag for Saint Louis #StL to connect with others in the city on twitter.

What I could have done better: I need to take a photo closer to the action and remember to add the #diomo hashtag which puts the tweet into our daily Diocese of Missouri @DioMoNews feed.


I took a video on vine with with my personal account:

@LeistCatalano: “Opening of magdalene house #stl at Christ Church Cathedral #diomo #episcopal“

What I like about this tweet:  I captured a good line in Mike Kinman’s speech and I remembered to use the #diomo hashtag in the caption.

What I could have done better: I need to be closer to the speaker to get better sound recording.  I will try to arrange a quick video with the main speakers at the event during the socializing time after the event.  The theme was “Love Heals Every Body.”  It would have been great to have Mike Kinman, Becca Stevens, and some of the women from the Magdalene community saying the theme on a short video.


I took a photo of the event brochure with Instagram and shared it via twitter on my church account:  ‏

@StTimsEpiscopal:  “Love heals every body” opening of Magdalene StL. #love 


What I like about the photo: It is a clear and simple message from the event.

What I could have done better: I could have included “” web address in the photo description to direct people to more information on the program.


I took a picture of the cathedral and speaker and posted it to my church’s facebook page:

St. Timothy’s Episcopal Creve Coeur, MO:  The opening of Magdalene House Stl at Christ Church Cathedral. Difficult but amazing stories shared here tonight.


You can see the photo here.

What I like about the photo: The photo shows the large crowd and the nice architectural features of the cathedral.

What I could have done better:  This photo has not been “liked” and only 23 people have seen the post, so I think it could have been much better.  I will take photos closer to the speakers at the event, or even have them pose for a photo after the speeches.  The iPhone camera does not have a good zoom feature, so I have to move closer to take better pictures.

I took a group picture of the St. Tim’s parishioners who had come to the event:

St. Timothy’s Episcopal Creve Coeur, MO:  St Tim’s at the opening of Magdalene StL. “Love heals every body.”


The picture can also be viewed here.

What I like about this photo:  I arranged the picture, so everyone knew ahead of time that it was going on facebook.  Four of us in the photo are active facebook users, so we “shared” the photo.  The photo has now been seen by 213 people and has 7 “likes.” Added bonus:  the BIG RED DOORS!

What I could have done better: I should have taken the photo outside where there was better natural light.

Lessons Learned

1.  Do Research Before the Event – Take note of important website address, twitter handles, and twitter hashtags that might be useful when writing photo captions, tweets or posts from the event.

2. Get Close to the Action – If you do not have a good telephoto lens on your camera, you will have to get close to speakers to take good photos.

3.  Wait Until After the Event to Take Some Photos and Videos – It is much easier to take photos and videos of people when they know what you are trying to do.  Get them in on the plan to share on facebook and twitter!

4.  Take Photos with Good Lighting – Go outside or find a well-lit area inside for the best photos.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice –  I have found that taking photos and videos “live” is very challenging.  I want to capture the best moments to share, but sometimes I miss.  So far fellow parishioners at St. Tim’s have been very supportive of my experiments with facebook and twitter.  They let me know what they like and what I can do better, and I am very thankful to for their help.


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