Social media might seem a little overwhelming. How do I post? How can I get my message out in 140 characters? I don’t have time to monitor every social media channel but how else am I going to connect? Is it really that important to use social media?
Take a deep breath. It’s not as overwhelming as it seems. Start small, there is no need to rush into having multiple social media platforms and accounts.
I will give you a breakdown of the top three social media sites being utilized by all age groups today (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram)
Facebook: A good place to start building an online presence for your congregation is through Facebook. According to a Pew Research study done on 2016 social media trends, 79% of online adults use Facebook.
Using Facebook is a great way to connect with all ages. On each Facebook post, users can like, react, comment and share making it easy to connect on a more personal level with people within your community.
One good piece of advice is to use pictures or videos on your Facebook posts to capture the attention of your audience. Often, simple word posts are easily missed due to being mixed in with media driven posts.
Twitter: This is a great platform for getting a message out in short, concise postings (tweets). Twitter only allows 140 characters to be used within each post, making it a great tool for doing quick announcements or to get your point across quicker than Facebook.
A neat way to integrate Twitter into your church service is to ask your congregation members to tweet out sermon snippets. This allows people to share the Gospel broadly and quickly. Better yet, take confirmation online and have your confirmation students tweet their sermon notes! It creates an easy way to develop your students into digital ministers and allows you to get on their level of communication (they may even find you hip).
Instagram: Instagram is a visual-based social media site. Utilizing photos and short videos, Instagram is popular with the younger generations. Six in ten adults (18-29 year olds) who are online use Instagram.
Using Instagram allows you to show your congregation what is happening throughout your community. During Advent and Lent, a lot of times people will use Instagram as a platform for their photo-a-day challenges.
No matter what platform your congregation is using to share the Gospel and the work your church is doing, be sure to connect with the Southeastern Iowa Synod on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Use the hashtag #inthistogether on your posts so others may follow along and connect with you in shared ministry.
*before posting minor’s images to any online source (website included) be sure to have a signed release form from a parent/guardian*
(for the full Pew Research Social Media Update 2016 click here.)