Getting more Instagram engagement on your church Instagram account can seem complicated.

Maybe you've tried all the things you are supposed to try like commenting and DMing everyone back, using Call to Actions, and commenting on posts on your communities Instagram accounts.

But it's still not working.

There is a lot of talk about what to do to get more comments, likes, saves, views and shares.

And here's the thing, there’s no quick fix way to get more engagement.

But there are tested, tried and true, ways to grow your engagement that will work if you stick to it. Consistency is the number one way for you to grow your engagement on Instagram. 

Which means, being able to train your staff and volunteer team members is key to seeing results on Instagram.

Here’s 3 simple ways you may not know about to grow your church’s Instagram engagement.

3 Simple Ways to Grow Your Church’s Instagram Engagement

Instagram Engagement Tip #1: Use Clear Call to Action’s on Every Post

Instagram Engagement Tip #2: Discover Your Best Time to Post

Instagram Engagement Tip #3: Start Conversations with Story Stickers

Instagram Engagement Tip #1: Use Clear Call To Action’s Every Feed Post

Call to Actions (CTA’s) have a bad wrap. 

You may feel like CTA’s seem gimmicky or cheesy.

And they can be if done wrong.

But if you do not ask for engagement in some way, your audience will not engage as much.

Think of your CTA as you being the one to initiate the conversation with someone.

A good, genuine, CTA is like being the person who starts the small talk in the grocery store line to make a friend.

Let's go over some mistakes church's make with their CTAs.

Biggest CTA mistakes

The biggest mistakes church’s make with their CTA are: making them too wordy or hard to answer, not enough CTA variety, and not using them on every post.

Wordy and Hard To Answer CTA's

If a person is confused by your CTA because it is too wordy they won’t take the time to respond when scrolling through Instagram.

Make your CTA short, sweet, and clear.

It's important to only ask for one thing in your call to action.

If you ask people to head to the link in your bio and to also comment below and to also share they may not do any of it.

Keep it simple.

If your call to action burns too many calories to answer, less people will answer.

For example, if you ask someone to type there thoughts on the message in the comments you probably won't get very many comments, if any.

However, If you ask someone to put a hand raised Emoji if they agree with what you're saying, that is much easier to respond to, so people are more likely to respond. 

Not Enough CTA Variety

Another mistake is using the same call to action too often. If you use the same call to action, your followers will get numb to that called action.

When you use the same CTA over and over that is what can make you seem gimmicky or sales-y. Especially if you are only using call to action's when you are asking people to sign up for an event or come to church.

Not Using CTA's On Every Post

Make sure to use a call to action on every single post. Many church's think using CTA's too often is what makes you sales-y or gimmicky. When in reality if you don't use them very often, and you only use time to invite people to things, that is what makes you look sales-y or gimmicky.

It's good to get people used to you asking them to respond on Instagram.

Don't worry if your followers aren't responding at first and don't be embarrassed if there's no comments when you asked for responses. Keep trying different calls to action until you see which ones work and which one's don't.

Let your followers get used to being asked to respond. If they aren't used to responding or being asked to respond, it's going to take them some time to warm up to it.

Here’s some good examples and some bad examples of CTAs to get you started.

Good Examples of CTAs

  • Give me a 🙋in the comments below if you agree! 
  • Head to the link in our bio to register! 
  • Tag a friend who needs to hear this today!
  • Save this post for later!
  • Invite a friend by sharing this post on your story!
  • Share this post to spread the word!

Bad Examples of CTAs

  • What did you learn about the message this week?
  • How can we pray for you?

Instagram Engagement Tip #2: Discover Your Best Time to Post

Every church will have a different “best posting time” there is not one size fits all for every account because every church has a unique audience and demographic.

For example if you have mostly college kids in your church, they may look at their Instagram late at night or in the afternoon when they are tired of paying attention in class. If you have mostly families they may look right before work or just after their kids go to bed at night.

You need to look at the analytics from your specific audience. This is not a one size fits all kind of thing. There is no magic posting time for churches. 

One theme I have noticed across the board for churches is of course Sundays! A lot of churches post on Saturdays and Sundays because they are gearing up for service and people could be more likely to be thinking about church and checking their church's Instagram.

Test it! Try posting Saturday and Sundays and see how it compares to your posts during the week.

Another rule of thumb, is posting just before most of your audience is most active. This will help you post gain engagement quickly when you post.

Instagram likes when you get engagement quickly and the algorithm may show your post to more people. You can see the best time to post right within Instagram.

How to see your best posting time in Instagram Insights.

1. Select Insights from your main page.

2. Select audience. 

3. Scroll to the bottom and you can tap through the days and see when you audience is active hour by hour. If you use a scheduling platform like Later, you may be able to get a little more detailed information.

You can view the last 7 days or the last 30 days. Check both to see the difference. 

Instagram Engagement Tip #3: Start Conversations with Story Stickers

Story stickers are a great way to start conversations with people. You may not think of using your story stickers as a way to increase your engagement on your Instagram account, but it is an easy and effective way to start increasing your engagement right away.

Instagram tracks people who tap on your stickers and Instagram is more likely to show your other content in the future to those people because they've already started engaging with you through your story stickers.

Stories show up in chronological order of when they were last created, unlike feed posts, so post daily stories if you can.

Stories are the best way to stay in front of your current audience consistently. Which means, there is a higher chance they will engage with your stories than your posts.

The Story Sticker Secret: DM People Who Respond to Your Stories 

Something I love about story stickers is that you can ask specific questions about different groups of people, check who responded in your Insights Panel and then DM each person personally to follow up with them since the conversation is now open.

I’ve seen this work well when a church asks a series of questions (polls or quiz's) about relevant topics and then DM's the people who respond to to follow up about their response and start a conversation.

Instagram see's DM's as engagement towards your account as well and will show your content to people who are similar to those who DM you.

What is great about this, is that your follower responded first, so it’s not weird that you are reaching out to help or start a conversation! In this way, we’ve seen many people come to church for the first time or get connected with a small group.

The Story Sticker Mistake: Random Story Stickers That Don't Connect to What You Do

I recommend relating the polls, questions and quizzes to your current series or use them to teach about a relevant issue that keeps coming up for people.

It feels random to ask for people’s favorite food out of the blue like what does that have to do with anything?! Why are you asking me that? What's it to you! So make sure what you are asking your followers makes sense and is connected to you as a church somehow.

For example here’s how you can tie in the food question:

It's Father’s Day this Sunday and we want to bless our awesome Dad’s. What snack should we give them after service? Poll: Bacon on a Stick or Massive Donut Wall

See how it’s tied in? It’s not just out of the blue. 

Below are the main types of story stickers and some tips to get started with each one.

  • Ask your followers to ask you questions around a relevant topic like relationships, and then post stories to answer them. 
  • If people don’t respond, punch in some questions yourself and post answers to them. It will help people get started when they see there are a few questions already being answered. 
  • Ask questions about your next teaching series to see what people know and to get them excited to learn 
  • Remember, this one is not a poll, you have to choose the right answer and when they choose A,B or C it will show them if they got it right or wrong.
  • Find out people’s preferences about service for fun (voting for a certain snack after church, voting for the time something should be, polling them about how they feel about something silly)
  • Poll your followers on how they feel about doing something related to your message series and put two types of feelings they can choose from. For example: How grateful are you for God’s grace! Answer 1: Doing a happy dance rn Answer 2: I need more of it!! 

Take Action

If you skipped down to the bottom, here’s what I want you to know.

There are 3 simple ways you can boost your Instagram engagement this week. Tell your volunteers and staff and start doing these 3 things consistently. 

Instagram Engagement Tip #1: Use Clear Call to Action’s on Every Post

Instagram Engagement Tip #2: Discover Your Best Time to Post

Instagram Engagement Tip #3: Start Conversations with Story Stickers

Apr 16, 2021
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