If you were to do a Google search for social media tips, you would find a seemingly infinite number of articles telling you how often you should post (probably more often than you think), what your content should be (fewer ads, more stories and inspiration) and whether reels, stories or something else is hot right now. (It’s reels at the moment.)
For most churches (even low-tech churches), the key to increasing your effectiveness with social media is the people sitting in your pews. Here are four ways you can leverage people to increase your impact.
1. Give multiple leaders ownership/authority
Most churches don’t have the luxury of having a social media specialist on staff, but sometimes that can be an advantage. Rather than place all social media responsibilities on a single person, you can leverage the power of social media by giving admin access to multiple leaders.
With multiple leaders, you can post more often, respond more quickly to queries and offer various perspectives on what is happening in the life of your church.
Once you make sure everyone involved knows how often you want to post and what boundaries there are around types of content, you’re off to the races!
2. “People pictures” and tags
Logos and pictures of your building are great, but people don’t typically log onto Facebook or Instagram to look at logos or buildings. They are there for the social part of social media: people.
When you take and post pictures, do your best to feature people. To take it to the next level, make sure that descriptions have quotes from the people pictured or who are telling their stories.
Of course, the real power of these “people pictures” is in the tags. When you tag people in posts, it increases the reach because social algorithms will not only try to put your post in the feed of people who follow your account, but they also will place it in the feeds of the people who are friends with the people you tagged.
3. Find the creators among your church
With a little effort and networking, you will very likely be able to find a local person who is a social media creator/influencer in your church or connected to one of your church members. These people have accounts 10 times or maybe 100 times what the average church does and can be a huge asset. Getting them to help you understand what works in your local area can be invaluable.
In recent months, advertising budgets for many have shrunk. As a result, many creators/influencers are getting paid promotion offers. Consider an opportunity to support local small-business owners and get them to help you advertise your next event.
4. Collab (that’s Gen Z for collaboration)
There are very likely people and organizations in your area that overlap with your church in their purpose/mission. You may already partner with them, doing food drives, literacy initiatives or disaster relief.
In between your concentrated moments of active collaboration, do a “collab” on social media. Create and post content together to raise awareness about an issue or event.
Instagram has a special collab feature in business accounts that will increase your reach and get more followers. When creating the post, select “tag people” from the post details menu and “invite collaborator.” The person who runs the collaborator will then need to log in and accept the collaboration invites.
Whether you are doing a collab or just giving more people the keys to your social media account, leveraging the power of people can take your social media to the next level.
Jeremy Steele is a writer, conspirator and spiritual entrepreneur who refuses to give up on Christianity. He spends his time resourcing the dreams of the next generation and helping it discover paths to spiritual enlightenment and connection with God. He lives in Arlington, Virginia, and is associate pastor at Chesterbrook UMC. Find more about him and his work at Jeremy-Steele.com.