Everyone uses social media, and your church should too. But, if you’re going to use it, make sure you’re doing it right. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are on the same tier of social channels and they really own the social media market. Each reaches a different crowd, but you should use them all. While they are each different, there are some universal rules that can apply to all of them.
Some churches use social media well, and others fail miserably. Here’s some help for those churches who aren’t using it to the best of their abilities.
Personal Social Media Accounts
1) Don’t make your first name “pastor”, unless it is pastor. You can put pastor in your “about” section.
2) Personal accounts are for personal things and “group accounts” are for group things.
3) Don’t just promote your church or ministry on your personal page. People will stop following you. They connected with you to learn about you, not get weekly commercials about your church.
4) Post some personal things to show you have a personality and character. Make things funny, serious, or spiritual.
5) Rarely get political or you’ll lose your influence as people unfollow you.
6) Share your values. People will learn as much from what you do with your life as what you say from the pulpit.
Your Church’s Social Media Accounts
Your church social media page is just as important as your website. People check these before ever visiting your church.
1) Keep your page clean, the information correct, and the pictures engaging. Some social media accounts let you filter profanity and decide who posts on your site. People will scroll through your pictures to see who you are.
2) Answer messages. Many people will ask questions though your church’s social media account that they’d never ask in person.
3) Post lots of good pictures. Post pictures that bring out the best in your church and your people. Do not post blurry, sloppy-looking pictures, or embarrassing pictures. Your people do not need to be embarrassed by your social media. Find the person in your church who loves to take great pictures. They’d probably be happy to help.
4) Don’t just remind people that church happens Sunday. People already know that, and if your posts are lame, they will unfollow your account. Share excitement for upcoming sermon series, special guest speakers, or events. For instance…
– Don’t say…We have church tomorrow at 10:00 am…Don’t Forget!!!
– Instead say…We are so pumped that XYZ Music Group will be joining us tomorrow for worship!
5) Promote Events. Over-communicate your events. Many people miss out on events they want to go to because they simply forget. Don’t just remind them about the days and times. Remind them about the awesome things that make the event special.
6) Get conversations going. Ask questions, send out surveys, and respond to comments. People spend time on social media because they enjoy the community.
7) Inspire people. Post encouraging and thought-provoking quotes and Scriptures. Spend time prayerfully thinking about what to post. Create a folder with cool quotes and Scriptures that you save things as you come across them to use later.
8) Highlight your people. Share pictures of your mission teams, outreach ministries, food bank, and volunteers. Let your light shine. Let people know what’s going on. (Just make sure they aren’t embarrassing)
9) Encourage check-in’s. Many social media accounts allow users to check in at different locations. Other people see this so it’s basically free marketing for your church. Encourage and/or require your leaders to check-in on Sundays or at special events. Make a contest or tie it to benevolence. Maybe donate $1.00 for every check-in to a local or global compassion ministry…
10) Create contests. Social media is supposed to be fun. Pick three charities that your church would like to support and have your people vote via likes or favorites. Get them to get their friends involved in the “liking” process. This highlights the biblical directive of giving, gets people involved, and promotes your church.
11) Make a calendar. This ensures that you’re covering all the different types of posts that need to be on your page. You can schedule posts in advance. Twenty minutes may be all you need for a week’s worth of social media.
How are you using social media to get your congregation involved? Let us know!