If you feel weighed down by social media or frustrated coming up with social media ideas. This is for you.
Social media never ends, once you finish a ton of posts, the next week starts! The cycle never ends. It's easy to feel behind, overwhelmed, and stuck creating redundant posts that you aren't excited about.
Creating a good social media plan will set you free from the vicious social media cycle so you can enjoy the process and see the benefits for your church, while not taking up extra time you don't have.
If you want to:
… be intentional and strategic
… be proactive
… grow your social media team
… and actually move your mission forward every time you hit “publish”
Then keep reading.
The Busier You Are The More You Need a Great Social Media Plan
Have you ever felt the stress of creating a social media post at the last second? Someone asks you, "Hey, can you post something about ___ real quick?!" and you do it "just this one time."
It feels like social media is always on the mind because you are posting day to day.
You may think if we had more staff, a larger church or a bigger budget, it will make social media easier.
It won't. It might even make it more complicated.
You can have a small team of even only volunteers with a great process that doesn't stress you all out.
The smaller the team, the more volunteers, and the more busy you are... the more you need to focus on your process so that social media doesn't become something you all dread.
Creating a great plan and process super important but not always prioritized because we got other saving-the-world things to do.
But the truth is, creating a great process will FREE YOU UP to do better work and not stressed work.
Not only that, putting in place a great social media plan is the key to KEEPING great volunteers.
In this post you’ll learn how to create your church's social media plan so you can finally be consistent and reverse the cycle of posting last minute.
Table of Contents
- Why You Should Plan Your Social Media Content in Advance
- How to Plan Your Social Media Content
- How to Batch Produce Your Social Media Content
Free Social Media Calendar Template
If you need a kickstart with planning your social media download my free social media content calendar. This tool will help you plan ahead and keep everything in one place.
This is not a random spreadsheet. It is a template for churches created in Airtable and all you have to do is make a copy in your own free account.
It’s a glorified customizable spreadsheet and if you want the paid features in the future, it’s low cost and will grow with you as your social team grows.
Inside The Church Social Media Content Calendar you'll find:
- A social media calendar template to schedule alone or with a team
- Ability to assign tasks out to team members
- A church master marketing calendar template
- Ability to view in calendar, grid, kanban or by team member
Ok, go get it (It’ll come to your email with a quick video from me on how to use it!) and then come back here. See ya in a second.
Why You Should Plan Your Social Media Content in Advance
Planning in advance will help you to:
You can now strategize based on your bigger marketing plan. You can think about what posts work, which ones don’t and have a plan to improve.
It’s hard to improve when you are posting day to day running with the wind. It’s time to be the boss of your social media versus it being the boss of you.
You can know what you are doing and why you are doing it. You aren’t just throwing things out there, trying to hit an imaginary target and then wondering if your time spent on social media is worth it.
You can think about the people you want to reach and intentionally create posts that will attract and serve them.
You can put out more valuable content because you aren’t being reactive anymore. The feeling of starting the day knowing everything is planned and set to go feels SO good.
Being reactive produces thrown together posts that don’t mean much to you and don’t accomplish your purpose.
Being reactive also hurts your chances of having volunteers who want to stick with you and help with social media. I don’t want your volunteers to feel on call with social media.
You are able to see what you are routinely posting to make sure you are covering a variety of topics. You can space out announcement type posts so your feed doesn’t feel like an impersonal advertisement.
Build a team
You are able to hand off tasks to a volunteer or assistant who can help you. When you plan ahead you have the ability to grow a big team. Even a volunteer only team.
Social media volunteer teams get shaky because of last minute planning. Not only that, getting people to serve will help them get more connected in your community. Win-win.
Let’s dive into what steps to take to plan your content smoothly. This will help you to overcome that “social media block”, where you stare at the screen, flip through other church social media accounts and think about how you wish yours was like theirs.
How to Plan Your Social Media Content
#1 Determine Your Content Types for the Week
First, set aside an hour to plan. Put it in your calendar and plan in one sitting! Next, choose your content type and how many posts you plan to do per month. Write this down in the content calendar you use.
- 3 Reels per week
- 2 Carousel per week
- 2 Photos/Graphics per week
#2 Choose Your Content Categories to Rotate Through
Next, decide on 7 content categories in the next column of the calendar. You can rotate through 7 these categories on your Instagram feed so that you always know what to post.
When a person shows up on your social media, you need to make sure they can get an idea of what your church is all about at a glance.
Choosing your categories that you always rotate through, with the exception of a few posts, will allow you to be intentional about how you want to serve your community and potential community.
Ask yourself these questions to determine your social categories
- If someone came to your Instagram, would they see everything you value at a glance?
- What is your visitor journey? What do you want people to do next after meeting you on social media?
- What content highlights your mission and culture?
Determine your categories
Here’s a starting point that covers most aspects of a church. Feel free to swap or add your own categories if some categories don’t apply to you.
- Message Recap
- Youth Ministry
- Kids Ministry
- Events: Conferences, guest speakers, youth camp, etc.
- Behind the Scenes
Now you can write out your categories on your content calendar for the entire month.
Glance at your master marketing calendar to make sure you aren’t missing something or if you need to adjust a bit.
Boom. You chose all your categories for the entire month and have them in your calendar!
Are you feeling organized yet??
#3 Choose Your Content Strategy
Choosing your categories to rotate through is a great place to start, but let’s take it one step further and choose your content strategy.
The purpose of choosing your content strategy is to bring out the uniqueness of your church. This step will help you show who you really are so you don't just look like everyone else.
Most church social media accounts feel exactly the same. Have you noticed that?
But no other church is like yours, no other church can reach the people that you are called to reach AND no other church has the voice you specifically have.
You can take your planning one step further by adding a content strategy to each category you chose to add variety to your posts.
Address the limiting beliefs of your community. Think about what limiting beliefs people have about themselves that are holding them back and how can you resolve it for them. Or what limiting beliefs do people have about God and what is your solution?
Words to inspire and encourage your community towards a purpose. For example: A quote graphic or motion background Reel.
A couple quick tips to help your community go somewhere. For example: A carousel or list graphic about “3 Tips to Overcome Fear”.
A story based post highlighting someone’s transformation story at your church related to coming to Jesus, taking one of your classes, or going to a group, etc.
This post addresses objections people may have about moving forward in their visitor journey. For example: what objections do people have about serving, going to a group, or having a relationship with God that you can acknowledge and address?
What myths do people believe about church, God, serving etc. that you can bring up and prove wrong? For example: “3 Common Myths About Christians”
Any post that is fun, makes people laugh, or builds up your church culture. For example: Reels/Memes that make fun of church culture or showing your behind the scenes to bring people into the lives of your leaders.
How to Batch Produce Your Social Media Content
I don’t want you randomly creating content here and there because it will suck your time away and your content will always be looming over you.
Batching your content by yourself
If you are creating everything yourself, plan to set aside a certain amount of time per week to create your content.
For example: You could plan 2 hours a week or 8 hours a month to create the content. You could spend 4 hours a day for 2 days in a row and complete all your social media for the month.
If your church doesn’t plan one month at a time right now, I suggest creating content week by week to start. For example: every Sunday, spend 2 hours and make everything for the next Monday-Sunday. Adjust these time frames based on what is feasible for your church right now.
Batching your content with a team
If you have a team, plan to send out the schedule monthly with everything delegated out and ask your team to turn in content to you every Monday morning to review and approve.
Ask your team to create all their content for the week in one sitting.
Batching Pro Tips
- If you are creating multiple Reels for the month, plan to create them all in a 1-2 hour period of time.
- Meet with your social media team once a month for a 3 hour content creation party
- Put a non negotiable time in your calendar every week that you will create your content so that you actually do it. If it’s not scheduled, it’s not gonna happen.
There may be some growing pains or some conversations you need to have with other church staff or volunteers to make this happen but I know you can do it!
I want you to plan each month knowing that every time you hit “publish” you are moving your mission forward. It will become something you look forward to each week, not something you dread every day.
Now all you need to do is put a time on your calendar today to plan your content!