Where should you even start when making your church’s social media strategy going into 2022?
With all of the changes on social media and rising new platforms, don’t let shiny-object-syndrome get the best of you and pull you away from your purpose online.
So you don’t get overwhelmed by all the details, I’m going to boil your Church Social Media Strategy down to 7 key areas, why each of them are important and what action steps you should take.
Go over these 7 key areas with your social media team and make minor adjustments or additions as needed.
I’ve also made a free editable template outlining the strategy we go over in this post that you can use as a guideline for your church. Get the Church Social Media Strategy Template here!
Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- Church Social Media Strategy #1: Post Consistently
- Church Social Media Strategy #2: Utilize Content Categories
- Church Social Media Strategy #3: Serve People
- Church Social Media Strategy #4: Tell Stories
- Church Social Media Strategy #5: Proactively Engage
- Church Social Media Strategy #6: Optimize Instagram Bio
- Church Social Media Strategy #7: Build a Team
Church Social Media Strategy #1: Post Consistently
Why: To reach more people on social media you need to provide opportunities to connect with people. Growth requires balancing the tension of quality and quantity.
Action Step: Decide how many posts you can stay consistent with each week where every post adds value to your community. Consistency is more important than quantity. If you are just starting out, shoot for 3-4 posts each week.
Later analyzed over 81 million feed posts (not including Reels) and found that the more you post on Instagram per week, the greater your overall reach will be if you have between 1k-250k followers.
In other words, the more posts you put out there into the world, the more times people will have an opportunity to see your post.
Here’s what they found in the survey:
Both reach rates improve as posting frequency increases per week for accounts with less than 1k followers, with the average engagement rate climbing from 3.1% at one post per week, to 4.9% at 20 posts per week.
For accounts with 1k-250k followers your reach will increase as you post more and engagement will drop.
For accounts with 250k+ followers, posting less is better for reach and engagement.
However, this data is without considering Reels. At this time, quality Reels will increase both reach and engagement more than any other post.
Posting daily is a great goal to shoot for in order to grow your reach but if it causes you to post very poor quality content that receives low engagement, posting more poor quality content may not be the best next step in your strategy. It may be time to tighten things up and post less in order to figure out what posts are meeting the needs of your community.
Church Social Media Strategy #2: Utilize Content Categories
Why: To help you create a versatile feed and to paint a full picture of your church for a person who stops by.
Action Step: Decide on 7 content categories to rotate through every week.
When someone lands on your profile they have about 10 seconds before they make a decision if they want to follow your church so I want your overall grid to create connection right away.
This framework enables that to happen.
You will choose 7 main categories that exemplify who you serve and how you serve the world. If you post daily, this will cover what to post each day of the week.
Then you’ll rotate through these categories every 7 posts.
Of course there are always exceptions to the rule and you may need to post out of order or change things up occasionally depending on what you have going on. Your categories can also be updated as needed.
Church Social Media Strategy #3: Serve People
Why: Posts that give value will be engaged with more and therefore the algorithms will show it to more people.
Action Step: Audit your last 20 posts and evaluate the current state and increase your number of value giving posts.
Most churches are approaching Instagram with the idea of advertising their church, but Instagram also wasn’t created for that purpose.
Instagram was created to build connections between people.
Changing your approach will have a high impact on your results. So here’s how I want you to shift your approach:
Instead of ADVERTISING on Instagram, I want you to SERVE on Instagram.
We need to share content that serves people and adds value to people versus only asking people to come join us at our church or events.
When you serve, people will come to know, like and trust your church before even showing up!
Church Social Media Strategy #4: Tell Stories
Why: People remember and connect with stories.
Action Step: Share a story before announcing an event.
People remember and connect with stories. So before you make the big ask in your caption, share a testimony of how someone was impacted through what you are announcing or share the why behind the invite.
The church is full of stories, and we need to be putting those stories out for the world to hear as much as possible. This is the highest impact thing you can do for your Instagram and for your church and to reach more people.
When you shift your messaging to this new approach of serving instead of advertising, it will completely change how people respond to your posts because they will make a connection with your church as a personality and not just a business page.
You’ll actually be creating this brand that people can get to know, versus creating a bulletin board where people find out about your doing.
Church Social Media Strategy #5: Proactively Engage
Why: Engaging first shows that we care, we are listening and foster’s engagement from our community.
Action Step: Acknowledge every comment, reply to every DM and provide clear answers. Initiate contact with people who like and comment on our posts.
Your church needs to be reaching out first, not waiting for others to reach out to you.
This shows Instagram that you do have a true relationship with that person, making it more likely for your content to be seen by that person and their friends in the future.
It is important to engage with others and monitor your Instagram. Think of it like this, having a church social media account without any real monitoring is like opening your church doors to the public but not having anyone at the welcome table to greet the people who come in needing prayer or some other kind of help.
It creates the illusion of availability and openness but doesn’t deliver on it.
Even if you don’t have a ton of comments or DMs flooding in, having someone ready to connect and starting to connect with others is important so that you are prepared for people.
Church Social Media Strategy #6: Optimize Instagram Bio
Why: Create a great first impression and make it easy for people to connect with you.
Action Step: Use multiple lines for better reading, keep up to date, highlight weekend service times and keep the most effective link in bio based on our current focus.
Your Church’s Instagram Bio is the first impression for a lot of people checking out your church.
This is like your business card, website home page and church pitch all rolled into 150 words.
People will decide to follow you based on a quick scan of your bio.
When your bio is clear it makes it easy for someone to take the next step at your church to watch a message online or visit in person.
Having a complete bio makes it look like you are a legitimate organization subconsciously builds credibility to the people checking out your profile.
If you have nothing in your bio or it looks sloppy, people may wonder if your church still meets or if anything is really going on at your church.
The goal of your Instagram should be to bring people off Instagram and into the community and your Instagram Bio is a place where you can tell people exactly how they can take the next step with your church.
If you want to learn more about optimizing your Instagram Bio, head to this post: 6 Church Instagram Bio Rookie Mistakes
Church Social Media Strategy #7: Build a Team
Why: Social media is only getting bigger and a team will strengthen your online presence and potential reach.
Action Step: Focus on building teams of 4-5 volunteers that can project manage, write captions and plan content. Build layers of teams for each facet of social media (photo, video, design..)
Building a team will help you to stay consistent on your posts and set you up for the future.
You can build a team of volunteers, staff or a mix of both! One of the most important aspects of building a great team is having clear expectations.
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 give them the confidence to get the job done.
Now you know the 7 key areas to focus on when it comes to your church’s social media strategy this year. Again, here’s the 7 key areas:
- Post Consistently
- Utilize Content Categories
- Serve People
- Tell Stories
- Proactively Engage
- Optimize Instagram Bio
- Build a Team