Social media is everywhere. Most of us have Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and a plethora of other apps on our phones that we visit to either catch-up on family and friends, politics, world news, etc., to share news or opinions of our own, or simply to be entertained.
Companies also use social media to stay in touch with their audience. Churches use social media to engage their congregation and as a tool to reach out to the public.
How can a church use social media to their advantage? Having a plan is essential and necessary. Though it only takes a moment to share a post, it takes some foresight to make sure you are sharing both information that your followers are interested in, and that helps forward the mission of the church.
Here are some tips to help enhance your social media:
Have a Social Media Point Person
Have one person oversee your social media. They should know what is going on at the church, have a good feel for your congregation, and know what is appropriate to share. Creating posts can be a bit daunting sometimes, so it's imperative that this person have a schedule to follow and have goals that outline why social media is important to the church communication process. This person should have a team of people that they can call upon for post ideas, photos, videos, etc.
Use the Right Platforms
With the vast array of social media platforms that exist, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to use.
Do your research.
Who uses Facebook?
Who uses Twitter and Instagram?
Who uses Snapchat or YouTube?
The answers to these questions are easily found online.
Educating yourself on the platforms that have the most traffic will make your life easier. Visit this article to see what 2018 looks like for social media users.
Choosing the platforms that your audience will use the most will help you overall. Instead of using six platforms, for example, because they are there,' use the ones that have the greatest impact for your audience, and the ones that you have time to engage with.
Timeliness & Content Matters
Having a set schedule for posts makes it easier to make sure they happen. It's easy to push aside posting for other things, so make following your schedule a daily priority and an integral part of your communication.
Here are some ideas of posts to be used during a week:
Monday is for Inspiration: post something about the Sunday sermon a little snippet of something the pastor talked about that people can be reminded of, or share a Bible verse.
Tuesday is for Sermons: if you post your sermons and services online for people to view after-the-fact, post a link to the files on your website to remind people to listen.
Wednesday is for Children & Youth: share pics of kids or youth, ask the Sunday School teachers what their lessons were about and share something about them.
Thursday is for Adults: highlight a small group, a mission project, or something adults oriented.
Friday is for Sunday: Post about what is happening on Sunday. Is there is a special guest speaker? Talk to your pastor and ask him to share the sermon title, and a little about what people can expect to hear.
Sharing upcoming events, responses to current events, and community events are also a good idea, when they relate to your audience.
Use videos and photos often.
Don't forget to have fun too!
It's great to know that people can have a laugh at a funny post. All in all, your posts should convey the care your church feels for its audience.
Be inspiring, attentive, informative, consistent, and positive.
Remember that social media is a tool to share your church message. It helps to engage with congregation members and with new people in a way that can help to create a meaningful connection.
Take your time and learn about your audience, what platform(s) would work best for both your audience and for you, and use social media as a tool to enhance your communication processes.