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Church Communication: Snap to a New Generation

John Gilman July 25, 2016

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If you want to reach the next generation, you have to meet them where they are. And these days, they’re on Snapchat. More and more people flock to this fun social media platform designed to share photos and 10 second videos for 24 hours. After 24 hours, the photo or video disappears, creating a sense of urgency for the viewer that drives an impulse to view it.

Having a church Snapchat account is a great way to reach out to your audience, particularly the younger generation with your church communication. It’s definitely not the only way you should be communicating with them, but it’s perfect for:

  • News and updates
  • Encouragement and reminders
  • Sharing of scripture or talking points
  • Funny church pics
  • Behind the scenes snaps
  • Anything fresh and noteworthy you want to share quickly

Lots of celebrities, universities, and organizations – including many churches – have Snapchat accounts because they know it’s a great tool for sharing “insider” information. For example, you could share a video from a worship service planning session, pose a question for people to consider, spotlight volunteers and staff or even host a live Q&A session.

Unlike other social media channels that make discovering and adding other users easy, Snapchat is more about pushing information than building a network. This means, you have to get followers the old fashioned way, you’ve got to promote it. Once people know your username, they can start following you to receive your updates.

To get started, simply:

  • Download the app on your phone
  • Create an account with your email and password
  • Share your username with your church members
  • Start posting photos and videos

There is no need to add people or follow a lot of people. For church use, all you really need to do is get the word out and start sharing.

Here are a few tips and tricks to make sure all the Snap-chatters in your church are following along:

  • Use your church ministry software to share your username as well as highlight the types of things you’ll be chatting about
  • Promote your Snapchat username on Facebook and Twitter
  • Add a banner or page on your website and where your contact info is shared
  • Download your Snapcode (kind of like a QR code) and make it your profile picture
  • Sign off blog posts and emails with your Snapchat username
  • Put your username on printed materials and business cards
  • Announce it from stage
  • Have your youth and young adults ministry leaders promote it at meetings

It might take a little time to catch on. But, once your church and your people embrace it, you’ll have a great, fun, community-building tool that will help increase church communication and connection.

The only thing left to do is start. So, snap to it!

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