With 200 million active users each month, Instagram has quickly become a must-use social media platform. Here are five of our favorite tips for using Instagram to promote your ministry.
1. Use #EventHashtags
Anytime you select an event name, also decide on a hashtag for that event. Make the hashtag short and logical. Check to see if that hashtag is already in use for a different purpose. You must come up with an original hashtag or your tweets will be mixed in with a group that's not associated with your church.
For your family fun day, you might make it #FamFun. If it's a yearly event, add the year to make it #FamFun14. As you publicize the event, always add the hashtag and remind people to tag their photos. This will help users quickly see all the photos from the event.
2. Provide Instagrammable images.
When you send promotional emails, attach a square image that will look great on Instagram. Ask people to help you spread the word by sharing the image on Instagram and adding your hashtag in the description.
3. Do an Instagram contest.
Ask everyone to share a picture on Instagram with your event hashtag. Let them know prizes will be awarded to those who submit the best photos. You could include the following categories:
- God's creation (nature)
- Trick shot
- Sports action
- Church building (inside or out)
When you give away the prizes, show the winners' pictures on the screen and call out their Instagram user name.
4. Make a meme.
Pictures you've seen on social media with catchy phrases or funny words on them are known as a memes. Make your own for your event or program using a meme generator. Just search the term "meme generator." They all have different features to choose from.
5. Create an Instagram Live slideshow.
Once people are using your hashtag, several products will let you automatically display images in a slideshow. Liveflow.in is a great free tool that will do just that. If you want more control, including the ability to approve images before they go live on the screen, you can use a tool like Eventstagr.am or Instafeed Live.
Want more ideas? We have five more tips for you in our new video 5 Instagram tips for churches.