Social media can be a powerful communication tool for our ministries, but it can also seem too complex to manage. There are a lot of questions you might ask yourself about how to approach it.
What do we post?
How often should we post?
Which platforms should we use?
Should we post the same thing across all platforms?
How to Use The Top 3 Platforms
I certainly don't have all the answers, but here is a simple social media strategy you can use for your ministry. If you lead in student ministry, you'll want to pay attention to platforms such as TikTok, Youtube, and Snapchat. For everything else, Facebook, Twitter & Instagram still rule, with us old folks keeping Facebook as the clear favorite. A 2018 study showed a major decrease in teens using Facebook and found that Snapchat and Youtube among one-third of teens ages 13-17.
If you're like us, you have a far greater reach on Facebook than anywhere else. Facebook also allows you to put in more content so it is the best platform for promoting things related to your ministry. You can promote upcoming events, resources for parents, new series, and more.
If you want to get more into using Facebook as a serious marketing tool, Facebook Ads is a robust and detailed system you have access to when using Facebook Business. There are lots of free resources where you can learn the basics and get started. These Ads feature is a great resource for smaller local businesses and churches because you can target specific areas, ages, and interests.
With the 280-character limit, you won't get a whole lot communicated through Twitter, but it is a great way to remind people of things you need them to know. The deadline for an event sign-up, a note about services that Sunday, or a reminder for people to invite their friends.
This is also a great way for leaders and pastors to directly connect with people. Quotes and one-liners from the message are popular content people often like to share. Unlike the other platforms, it's hard to post too much on Twitter. You can “live tweet” events so people feel like they are the first to know what's happening at your church.
Instagram is all about pictures, and pictures are a great way to celebrate what is happening in your ministry. Instagram is also a place for learning and inspiration. People tend to follow accounts that catch their attention, make them laugh, and make them feel good. Give people the chance to remember what they experienced or view what they wish they could have experienced had they been there.
Instagram can be a window into your ministry for anyone who hasn't been. Studies show that people will often visit a brand's profile before making a purchase. The same goes for churches. People will often look up your church on social media before visiting for the first time. Like window shopping. Make sure what they see is an accurate and compelling representation of your ministry experience.
Infographic on Social Media Use In Churches
See the infographic below for some more information about how churches are using social media and their websites. You can actually purchase the By The Numbers eBook with more detailed research at ChurchmagPress.com.