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Five not-so-new but really important things to remember about social media

Social media can be a powerful resource to communicate with your church members as well as prospective ones. Knowing the interests and preferences of your digital audience can help you better focus your social media efforts. Photo by Nathan Dumlao courtesy of Unsplash.
Social media can be a powerful resource to communicate with your church members as well as prospective ones. Knowing the interests and preferences of your digital audience can help you better focus your social media efforts. Photo by Nathan Dumlao courtesy of Unsplash.

With the COVID-19 pandemic largely behind us, pews haven been filling up again, yet many churches are still serving digital audiences. 


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With that in mind, here are five important things to remember about social media ministry. 

It’s OK to be selective

With more than 4 billion social media users worldwide, churches should not ignore social media platforms. However, if you are feeling overwhelmed, it’s OK to be selective. 

Every church has unique demographics. Consider your congregation and the audience you are trying to attract. Target the social media outlet that appeals most to your groups. 

For example, Business Insider reported that Facebook is still the most used platform of all adults. Gen Xers also like Instagram while boomers enjoy Pinterest. Snapchat is most popular among teens.

Social media preferences may also vary by race and ethnicity. Instead of diluting your efforts by maintaining multiple accounts, do some research and target your message to one or two primary audiences.

Consistency tops frequency

Crowded social media platforms actually increase the likelihood that your message will not be seen. There are so many messages bombarding users that it can be hard to stand out. In addition, complicated and ever-changing algorithms dictate how many people see your posts.

The debate used to be about how often to post, but the narrative has changed. In general, posting consistently is considered more important than posting more frequently. 

If you can post once a day, do it. But don’t post once a day for three weeks and then fall back to two times a week and then go to four times a week. Pick a number, make a plan and follow through. 

Quality content is also paramount. Examine your previous social media posts and metrics. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • What type of post garnered the most comments, likes or shares? Examples of post types include images, reels, memes, personal stories, quotes, etc.
  • Did the posts have a common theme or topic? If so, what was it?
  • Was the most popular content posted on a particular day of the week? What time of day was it posted?

Once you discover what posts were most successful, post more of that content consistently — even if it means fewer posts overall. 

Another way to help with consistency is to create content categories to follow each week. For example, you may do ministry Mondays, where you share information about the ministries of your church or throwback Thursdays, where you post pictures revealing the history of your congregation. Social media calendars are another way to improve consistency. 

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Reels rank as the most popular

Reels are short videos, usually between 15 and 60 seconds long. Although they are native to Instagram and TikTok, reels are now featured on Facebook. 

These easily digestible videos garner more likes, comments and shares than any other type of post. When a reel is combined with another reel or images inside one post, it is called a carousel. The increasing popularity of carousels make them another great way to increase your audience. If you want to ensure engagement, post a reel.

Don’t be afraid to use TikTok

TikTok is a social media platform that is based on the popularity of video images. Users post and view 15-second to 3-minute videos on continuous playback. TikTok statistics report more than 1.5 billion active monthly users. More than 1 billion videos are watched every day on this social media platform. 

At its onset, TikTok was filled with videos of singing and dancing. Today, TikTok content includes skits, pranks, challenges, devotions, instructional content and more. Although the user base is beginning to level out, TikTok is still one of the fastest growing social media platforms. 

More than any other social media platform, TikTok makes it easy to go viral, and TikTok produces the highest rate of social media engagement. Since almost half of TikTok users are under 30, this platform is ideal for churches seeking to reach a younger audience. 

Consider the user’s experience

This goes without saying, but is so easy to forget. The purpose of social media content is to meet the needs of the users. Whether you are updating your website or reevaluating social media platforms, user experience should be paramount.

  • Make sure that your bio and account information are accurate, thorough and easy to find.
  • Consider the needs of your target audience and how you can meet them.
  • Determine what will make your audience want to come back for more.
  • Rather than basic advertising, share content that ministers to people.
  • Personalize the experience. Share stories. Highlight the lives of individuals. Tell the why behind what you do.
  • Foster engagement by acknowledging comments and replying directly to messages.
  • Initiate discussions with the people who are liking and sharing your posts.  

Social media is now a common tool in the ministry toolbox. Like any good tool it must be well-maintained. Spend time reevaluating your social media strategies as you launch into another new year.

Tricia Brown

Tricia K. Brown is a Christian author and inspirational speaker. She shares stories of life, loss and laughter to encourage women to grow in their relationships with the Lord and each other. Her recent fiction release, “Seen, Heard, Beloved,” can be purchased on Amazon. For more information about her ministry and books, visit The Girls Get Together


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