Project Management
April 10, 2021

3 Things to Stop Doing Today if You Have a Small Church Instagram Team

3 Things to Stop Doing Today if You Have a Small Church Instagram Team

If you are an Instagram team of ONE, then you know there’s a lot to get done for only one person.

If you have an Instagram team of 1-3, then you know, there is still a lot to get done for 1-3 people. 

You have to remember some businesses (and churches) have large teams of paid staff with multiple departments all working together to make their Instagram and other social media happen. 

What does this mean for a small church Instagram team? You must be focused on what is most important and be okay that you aren’t going to do everything. Then you can slowly layer on more Instagram features and strategies as you grow your team.

In this post, you’ll learn 3 things to stop doing if you have a small church Instagram team. 

If you stick around to the end you'll learn the layers of what you should start adding in when you are ready to grow.

3 Things to Stop Focusing On if you Have a Small Instagram Team:

#1 Stop Creating IGTV videos (and spending time editing them)

#2 Stop Designing Graphics

#3 Stop Making Daily Posts

#1 Stop Creating IGTV Videos (and spending time editing them)

Why? Because Your IGTV Videos Will Get Way Less Exposure than a Reel 

Since Reels have arrived, if you can only focus on one type of video, choose Reels over IGTV. 

I would even go so far to say, don’t plan any IGTVs unless you are saving your Instagram Lives there. 

IGTV’s take time to edit, you have to post them by hand (unless you use another system called Creator Studio by Facebook) and then you have to make sure the cover photo is the correct dimensions so people's faces don't get cut off. 

It can be a pain and you’re not going to be getting the results for the effort you are putting in.

IGTV is most useful for:
  • Long form video on your feed (1 minute plus)
  • Saving your Instagram live interviews/conversations
  • Specific series you want to take your audience through to save into series' 
  • Your current audience versus your potential audience 
Reels are most useful for:
  • Expanding your reach to new audiences (your chances of people seeing your Reel is exponential in comparison to IGTV at the time of this post)
  • Short form video 
  • Engagement

So my advice is to drop the IGTVs for now. 

What to do instead:

Focus on learning how to edit and create Reels. If you need some ideas to get started head over to this post 12 Church Reel Ideas to Try Today

Get to a consistency of 1 per week and go up to as much as 3+ per week when you get more advanced. I've seen people from other industries go up to 5 Reels per week and they really see their Instagram account reaching more people.

Reels Pro Tips:

  • Try using the Reels video editor 
  • Don’t have a watermark from Tiktok 
  • Save your Reels on your Camera Roll so you don’t lose them
  • Make them fun and entertaining 
  • Don’t only relate them to your current church members by using insider language

How to Add IGTVs Back into Instagram

When you’ve got a handle on Reels, feed posts, carousel posts and stories, then, and only then, add your IGTV’s back in. 

The best content for IGTVs is:

  • Saving your Instagram Live videos 
  • A message series modeled after one of your current message series’ and saved as an “IGTV series”
  • 1-3 minute quick teachings on a specific topic people have a lot of questions around 
  • Intentional snippets of your Youtube videos/messages to solve a problem for your church members
  • Worship videos of your worship team

#2 Stop Designing Graphics  

Why? Because the time spent won’t make a difference for you

Have you ever spent a ton of time in Canva or Photoshop trying to design something “quickly” and then hours later you have a design that you feel “eh” about because you’re not even a designer anyway?

This is so me. I want everything to be perfect. Every design to look awesome. As of writing this, I created my website/design and everything myself on my social media. And you better believe I’ve wasted time. 

To avoid this, I now do the same design for every post cover and change the color slightly. This is a great way to have a consistent look for an educational type feed and I only had to make the design once. Time saved. 

Now if you don’t have a designer (or have limited design capacity) your priority should not be Instagram Quote posts.

I know they are so good looking when Elevation posts them, but if you don’t have fancy professional designers, this is not the highest and best use of your time right now.

You'll end up wasting too much time trying to get them to be perfect, and won't see much return.

What to do instead:

Focus on photos only (or mostly) and outsource to a real designer for your most important design work, which again is NOT Instagram quote posts. We have two designers on our team and our quote posts don't preform as well as our other ones.

This shows, that the language in the quote has so much more weight than the design itself. Of course, I won't claim all churches are the same, you'll have to test for yourself. But this is what I generally see.

Photos take way less time to collect and edit than trying to design the perfect post. A feed full of photos will look way better than a feed full of designs. Photos will show people what to expect at your church and give a good feel for your community, whereas designs can be more stale and in authentic.

If you are doing mostly design, switch to mostly or all photos on your Instagram.

Design has a place, but if you have one person running your social and no designer, graphics are definitely not a necessity to drive the results you want to see. And this is the opposite of what most big companies will tell you that are selling free designs for your church Instagram.

Don’t waste your time designing or trying to become a designer. Designed posts aren’t effective unless they have a really punchy quote, an incredible design, or if you are a megachurch with serious designers. 

If you have a designer or occasionally outsource to a designer ask them to focus on graphics for big events and signage versus Instagram.

How to Add Graphics and Design Back into Instagram:

Once you feel confident about your Instagram feed with photos only, you can ask a volunteer graphic designer or outsource to a graphic designer to create 2 social media graphics for your Instagram per month.

Say you post 3 times per week, 12 times per month, if 2 out of 12 posts are graphics, that is plenty of graphics for your feed. Focus on the quality and content of those graphics. Try educational carousel posts and punchy quote posts and assess how your audience responds.

#3 Stop Making Daily Posts

Why? Quantity could be doing more harm that good. 

Depending on the size of your following, you really don’t need to be posting daily on your feed. 

Your followers can get “post numb” if they see the same types of posts over and over or if posting more drops your quality. When you have a lot more followers, your posts will be spread out more to your entire following so you have the capability to post more to make sure you reach everyone.

Here’s a quick guideline of where to start:

Use this as a starting point and then adjust based on the response you are getting. 

  • 0-500 | 2 times per week
  • 500- 2500 | 3 times per week
  • 2500-5000 | 4 times per week 
  • 5000-10,000 | 5 times per week
  • 10,000+ | Daily+

What to do instead: Quality over quantity 

Using the guide above decide on how many times you will post per week and stick to it. 

Outsource Instagram Stories to church members who don’t have experience but can take videos of your church service and start learning. 

I do recommend working up to stories 5 days a week. This is the best way to stay in front of your current followers on a consistent basis.

Unlike feed posts, stories show up chronologically to your followers. So the more stories, the better. Start small, start with 2 days a week and increase from there. 

Teach other church members to take stories for you when they are at church, working during the week at the church or at events.

Consider training up one Instagram Story person for each ministry you have (kids, college, high school, Sunday services etc.)

Take Action

Stop doing these 3 things today on your church Instagram and free up your time to focus on what matters most.

#1 Stop Creating IGTV Videos (and spending time editing them)

#2 Stop Designing Graphics

#3 Stop Making Daily Posts

The goal is not to do everything right away, but to add layer by layer more Instagram strategies and tactics as you grow and develop your church social media team. 

Here's the Most Important Instagram Strategies to Add In When You Are Ready To Grow

Complete your Instagram profile

Make sure your entire profile is complete and every aspect of your bio is filled out. Create at least 5 Story Highlights because this makes your profile look complete, professional, like your Church is open, and like you have something great going on (which you do!). 

To avoid mistakes in your bio head over to this post, where I detail exactly what you need to know about your church Instagram bio.

Ask someone at your church to be in charge of Engagement

Engagement helps your profile reach more people. By asking one person to handle engagement, you are creating a super bite sized role, that almost anyone can fulfill. Here’s what they would be responsible for: 

  • Reply to every comment on posts as thoughtfully as you can
  • Respond to all DM’s 
  • Comment on church members accounts

Send your new volunteers this guide, 3 Secrets to Boost Your Church Instagram Engagement to get them started in the right direction.

Work on collecting more great iPhone photos 

Collecting big galleries of photos of everything you do at your church will come in handy and make posting on Instagram so much easier. 

If you need help, download this guide 10 Tips to Better Church iPhoneography and give it to people at your church to start learning.

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