Use your social media strategy to increase engagement with your guests through Facebook, Instagram and more.

Having the opportunity to work with dozens of churches each year has taught us a lot. As they’ve learned about creative marketing and communications from us, we’ve learned about their hearts for ministry and the day to day struggles that come along with working in it.

We’ve learned about what works and what doesn’t—in a lot of different areas! Today, we’re taking a look at an area that you either love or hate. That’s right folks, it’s social media.

As far as I can tell, churches love social media. One thing they don’t usually love is trying to develop a strategy or allocating the time it takes to create content for social media. 

And that’s fair, it’s hard to see the impact you and your church are having through a screen. But rest assured, you’re making a bigger impact than you know! You and your work matter, including what you do on social media. The people are there, so let’s go and connect with them on purpose. 

Decide your content buckets.

Perhaps the most daunting part of being in charge of corporate church social media accounts is what you’re going to post each day, week and month. Depending on the season, it can be quite difficult! Let’s talk about a way to help make that process a little easier.

Deciding which content buckets (or topics) are an essential part of your church (and therefore social media presence) to post on routinely. 

We’ve put together a few choices below that you may consider pulling from:

  • Current sermon series or topic
  • The Gospel
  • Encouragement for your people
  • Current or upcoming campaigns (event, holiday, next step or giving drive)
  • Value-based content and resources
  • Getting to know your pastors and staff team

Determine your voice.

The voice of your social media platforms can be difficult to pin down. Should they all be the same … or different? Should they be the voice of your Lead Pastor? What about each ministry?

Those are all great questions to ask, and ultimately up for you to decide. At Fishhook, we’d recommend that each social media account (for your church, pastor and ministries) have a unique element to their voice. 

If they all sound the exact same, they may as well be under the same account. If they’re going to be separated, you should give them a unique voice that best reaches that account’s primary audience. 

While we do recommend a unique distinction between voices, we do not recommend using different language across each account. Common language will make communication to your audiences unified and clear.

So to summarize things, account voices should be unique but united through common language.

Try a few things.

Be open to some experimentation! Social media is always evolving and so is your audience. If you’ve gotten into a comfortable rhythm on social media, so has your audience (and that could mean less engagement)!

Here are a few things to try experimenting with:

  • Post time. Try publishing posts at different days and times to see what works best!
  • Post type. Have you been focusing on graphics? Trying blending in some fresh photography or maybe some video! 
  • Keep it reel. While content in your grid or feed are key, adding in Reels (on Instagram) and Stories (on both Facebook and Instagram) will boost your social engagement. Social platforms are loving these and giving them more prominence within their platforms.

And don’t be afraid to fail! Some posts and new things won’t work, and that’s okay. You’ll learn a lot when they do. And for every failure, there’ll be a success story to match it.

Make things unique!

Publishing the same content across all of your social media platforms may be tempting. It’s easy, it’s fast and it’s all we have time for. But, it’s not usually the best way to increase engagement. 

Here are some ways to make your content unique across platform to grow your audience and engagement:

  • Text only posts on Facebook are performing well.
  • Reels on Instagram (90 seconds and under videos) are seeing strong engagement.
  • Graphic carousels are a good way to engage your audience.
  • Shorter videos perform better with engagement across all platforms. 
  • Posts catering towards relatable, need-based content can be a unique way to reach people. Give your audience what they need in this season.

Making your content unique across multiple platforms incentivizes your audiences to engage with each of them. If your content is the same everywhere, they’ll choose just one to engage with instead of all of them.

Don’t let it become an afterthought. 

Social media management is not easy, especially with more and more platforms seeming to be a relevant part of the puzzle. It requires a lot of time, effort and strategizing to make it work and really engage your audience. 

One of the best things you can do on social media is to keep putting the effort in. During busy seasons, it can be easy to stop prioritizing social media if managing it falls on one person or a small team.

It may require some tough conversations, but your social media accounts cannot be sacrificed so that other programs or work can be done. It’s too important! 

Social media is the best way for your church to communicate and minister to people throughout the week. Does that sound like something that should be abandoned? Not to us!

See the people on the other side of the screen.

Above all else, don’t forget the focus of why we use social media. Social media is the best tool the church can use to reach people when they aren’t in the building on Sunday. 

Because of that, we need to give it the time, attention and strategy it needs to be an extension of your church and its efforts to reach people for Jesus.

If you ever need help with social media, either in execution or strategy, Fishhook is here for you! We’d be happy to have a conversation about what’s going on in social, or about your church’s specific situation.

We see you—church and communications leader! You and your work in this space matters.