Growing and keeping social media team volunteers can be a headache.

You may deal with things like... 

Volunteers not doing things the way you want them to do them.

Having to hand hold instead of completely delegate because of lack of experience.

Not having the time to become an expert teacher for your volunteers or to help them fully succeed.

So then the cycle continues, you train a volunteer, then they drop off the face of the earth. 

Or they love Jesus so they just handle it lol. 

If you want to learn to grow your social media team fast, come along with me in this post.

3 Reasons You Can't Grow Your Social Media Team

Reason #1: They need their hand to be held to do anything
Solution #1: Create a plan for them to follow  

Reason #2: They feel pressed for time and serve in 19 other volunteer roles
Solution #2: Create bite sized roles and give brand new people a chance

Reason #3: The lose motivation after a while
Solution #3: Help volunteers see what's in it for them

We grew our social media team from 1 person to 8 people in 6 months

I stepped in to run the Creative Team at my church and at the time we had 1 person helping with social media. We are a 350 member church that currently spans across two towns, a total of 150,000 people. 

That one person was also responsible for everything at our church from being the worship Pastor, doing practical behind the scenes roles, to preaching on Sundays and more. 

So social media was really on the back burner for us because we didn’t have the time to put into it. And compared to other things, it wasn’t the main priority. We knew it was important to do, but at the same time, you only got so many hours in the day. 

Although I could try to handle the social media myself, I wanted to create a system where we could scale the team, maximize our efforts and where I wasn’t the bottleneck for the team to grow and implement their ideas.

So I started finding people at our church who were even remotely interested in social media and started to train them on social media.  

We were able to release the one person who used to be in charge of it to fulfill his pastoral role and grow the team to 8 members in six months time. 

The team is still developing, and they are not professionals by any means, but these days you don’t need to be a professional to create great social media content.

With the right tools and training, your team can rock social media. 

If we did it, you can do it too.

We had to overcome 3 common challenges to grow our social media team. I am going to go over those challenges and what we did to overcome them.

Reason #1: They need their hand to be held to do anything

Volunteers need their hand held because they don’t have a plan set out for them to follow. They aren’t necessarily thinking ahead, thinking of how to overcome all obstacles or creating a system for your church’s social media.

Because of this every time a challenge comes up, they ask for help or they are blocked until you help them.

There are so many facets to social media and it can cause brain overwhelm just thinking about what to post, what to say, how to say it and when to say it. There are many skills needed like design, video editing, photography and editing, technical skills, and copywriting. 

So basically, you have to be good at everything to volunteer on the social media team at your church. And that’s a lot! I hope you find that 5 talent person to be your everything.

But even if you do, when there isn’t a plan, a social media calendar, and scheduled times when their work is due, volunteers will just forget about the church’s social media until you hold their hand again. 

Solution #1: Create a plan for them to follow  

By creating a plan for your church social media volunteers to follow, you can step back and let them follow the plan.

Create clear job descriptions  

First, create clear job descriptions that include: how many hours a volunteer will put in per week, how many posts, stories or reels they will create per week and what the process will be to create and approve posts.

Clear expectations helps church social media volunteers to wrap their head around what they are doing and see that it’s not that big of a commitment. 

Plan your social media calendar 

Next, plan of how you will plan your social media content. Yes, plan to plan! 

Know the answers to these questions: 

  • How many times are you expecting to post per week?
  • What type of posts will those be every week? 
  • What content categories are you going to rotate through? 
  • Where will you organize, schedule and approve social media posts? 
  • Who has authority to approve them? 

If you need a good system and free social media calendar template to use (example below!), check out this post: How to Plan Your Church Social Media Calendar 

Volunteers stop volunteering when they feel confused, the expectations of them aren’t clear and when they don’t feel they have the support they need to be successful.

Improving or creating your job descriptions and planning your social media calendar will be a step in the right direction to grow your church social media team. 

Reason #2: They feel pressed for time and serve in 19 other volunteer roles 

Of course, the people who are good at social media at your church are also your main leaders, your worship team, your kids volunteers, and your welcome team.  

So how are they supposed to also keep up with social media trends and plan all your posts? 

These volunteers are great, but then aren’t very reliable on social media since the other tasks at hand end up taking priority. 

Solution #2: Create bite sized roles and give brand new people a chance

We’ve overcome this by finding some people who want to focus on social media entirely and then allowing the people who serve in other necessary places to have a bite sized role in social media to help.

Breaking up roles into bite sized roles 

Start by breaking up their roles into smaller roles based on what they love to do. 

They will be motivated if they love to do it. Social media has SO many facets and so many different types of skill sets. 

Someone that loves writing, may hate designing. Someone who loves Reels, may go blank when trying to make stories. 

Someone may love taking photos and editing them on their iPhone, but the scheduling seems overwhelming. 

Meet with your current volunteers and find out how they can help and give them a small role. You’ll need one person to be the project manager to pull everything together as your team grows. 

Give brand new people a chance 

Pick a brand new person to help who may not know much about social media but is excited to learn. They will need to learn how to communicate on behalf of your church and maybe even how to use social media. 

If they are excited to learn and willing, you can work with that. They can be trained. 

Even if your social media isn’t perfect when you are trying out new volunteers, remember that done is better than perfect. If they never get the chance to practice, they will never get better, and your church social media will stay the same. 

Let people make ugly posts, say weird things, and learn from it. I have my team run everything by me every Tuesday, so I do try to avoid ugly, weird and boring haha!

Reason #3: They lose motivation after a while  

Volunteers need to have a real sense of purpose to stick with your church social media team. If they feel like they are just a bulletin board to the church, or they aren’t getting much engagement on social media, they will lose motivation. 

This is especially true if you got some millennials on the team. Millennials are driven by purpose.

Imagine if DMs were flooding in with people asking your church for prayer, wanting to get involved in small groups, commenting with excitement on all your posts and all the people desiring to get involved and know Jesus. 

Wouldn’t that make you really want to be on the social media team? Uh yes!! 

Serving at church is using your gifts to serve God and even though that is the foundational reason to serve, to be a good volunteer leader, we have to help our volunteers see what’s in it for them.  

Solution #3: Help volunteers see what’s in it for them

Come up with a clear purpose

First write down a clear purpose for your church’s social media in your own words.  

Write down the answers to these questions: 

  • What are we trying to accomplish through social media?
  • Who do we serve on social media? 
  • How can we better serve our community through social media?
  • If we didn’t have social media, what would we lose? 

After you answer those questions, below are some general suggestions for your church’s purpose on social media. You can pick one of these, create your own, or combine them! Just keep it simple.

  • We build our church culture throughout the week on social media 
  • We help our community live like Jesus and do like Jesus on social media
  • We use our social media to lead people to Jesus 
  • We meet new people on social media with the goal of bringing them to church 
  • We develop our church community and reach out to the lost through social media

Great, now you’ve got your purpose. 

Initiate a monthly recurring meeting

I know I know, you love more meetings right? People are all about saying this today… “If you can send it in an email, then why are we having a meeting about it.”

While this can be true for bad meeting facilitators (which I know isn’t you), some frequency of recurring meetings are crucial for volunteer teams, otherwise your team momentum and motivation will die. 

You could send some info over an email or in your task management system about what you want them to do practically but what you can’t send over an email is: good leadership, momentum and team building to keep them excited about serving.

Plan a monthly 30 minute recurring meeting with the team to check-in, brainstorm for the next month, connect about the process and how things can be improved.

Meeting gives your volunteers purpose. They will see that they are important to the church. 

What to do at your monthly meeting:

  • Share your purpose in 1 minute each time 
  • Brainstorm for the next month’s social media calendar and include your team as part of the process (if you need a social media calendar, click here to use mine!)
  • Write down any action items for the month and make sure they are assigned directly to each volunteer 

Make it a good resume item 

If your volunteers are in school or in the work field, let them know this is something you definitely want them to put on their resume and you will be happy to talk to future employers as a reference if they volunteer for at least 6 months.

Create a job description for them to give them something tangible to work towards and put on their resume.

Take Action

There you have it, 3 challenges that you can now overcome to grow your church social media team fast.

You know I love to take action and not just sit on my butt with information in my brain. 

Growing your church social media team just got a whole lot easier! Phew!

Jul 5, 2020
Team Building

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