What have you heard about Instagram? That the social media site is for the artsy millennials? That churches have no place on social media? Both of those statements are wrong.

More and more churches are moving to social media to engage with their congregations and people they have never met before to spread the Gospel. Diving into the world of Instagram may seem daunting at first, but you do not need to be a fantastic photographer. Here are six tips to get your church started on social media.

1. Establish the Purpose

Everyone is goal oriented when it comes to social media. Whether it’s to gain a lot of likes or share cool pictures with their friends, everyone has one. It may suit a church best to establish a purpose for their Instagram. The purpose could be to spread the Gospel, sharing devotionals or growing the church congregation.

Setting attainable goals for yourself also helps complete tasks that may seem overwhelming. If your church has a big picture goal of growing the congregation, set mini goals for yourself that will also help build the congregation up one step at a time.

2. Stay Connected with the Audience

If a person does not feel connected or relate to an Instagram page, chances are the person won’t follow the page or stay up to date on posts. Staying connected with the audience is key to keeping the audience. A good way to stay connected is to reply to comments, questions and direct messages the Instagram page receives. It may seem like tedious work, but if people feel like they are being heard, they will be more inclined to stick around.

Another way to stay connected to the audience is to post frequently. You do not want to clog up their feed with numerous pictures from different activities all in one day. But you want to stay frequent enough that they see the Instagram page at least once every day so they remember you.

3. Be Honest

Millennials are all about being real and honest…even on social media. You can still post a really cool picture but be sure to stay honest and real about the content. The stories that are shared through social media can be impactful, especially if the stories come from an honest place. Do not get caught up with getting the most likes or having the most artsy picture. That is not why your church is on Instagram. Remember the churches purpose for Instagram, and stay true to that purpose.

4. Post “Behind the Scenes” Photos

Posting behind the scenes or behind the curtain photos are a great way to get people interested in what the church is all about. People love these kinds of photos because they get to feel that they were somehow a part of that photo. These kinds of photos are great to attract newcomers to the Instagram page as well as the congregation of the church. Let people see what you do behind the curtain. Let people in.

5. Use Instagram as a Marketing Tool

A large portion of churches use Instagram as a marketing tool. Now, before you run off, just listen. Marketing through Instagram does not have to be a bad thing. Using the social media site to share church service times is a common way to integrate marketing. If you want people to see the page, you also have to promote it. Does your church have a Facebook page? Promote your Instagram on it. Maybe sell the idea with posting exclusive photos and messages on Instagram to get people interested. Staying up to date with the church has never easier.

6. Make God the Center of it All

This is the most important part of it all. You have to make God the center of it. Whatever it is. If it were not for God, you would not be trying to set up an Instagram account for your church in the first place. Do not leave God out of the equation because you get caught up in the number of followers or likes the church may have. That is not why your church should be on Instagram. When you make God the center of all things, including what you post on Instagram, the outcomes will be so much better than you could have ever imagined.

Your church could profit from using a social media site like Instagram. Play with different photo ideas, or just start taking photos of everything around you. There is no right or wrong way to do Instagram. Talk with the congregation about what they would like to see. Create different ideas with the congregation. Keep God the center of everything you do. If your church can do all that, then you are off to a great start on Instagram.

Rebekah Yoder attends Liberty University. You can find her online here, or connect with her on Twitter or Instagram.


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Author: CMM Staff