Growing Your Social Media Strategy

Wednesday, June 05, 2024

The KidzMatter Blog/Growing Your Social Media Strategy

No doubt about it, social media can be an effective tool for ministry. You can use it to connect with your church between Sundays. You can provide updates, announcements, and trainings. You can use social media to create community. Social media is a resource with limitless possibilities.

But how do you break through on social media as a ministry in a day where everyone is spending so much time online? How do you get people’s attention and help the most people you can?

1. You need to start with a schedule.

If you aren’t careful, social media can be a black hole where you spend hours and hours without being effective. Choose a couple hours a day (every day) that you spend on your ministry’s social media. Pick a time and schedule it. Get into a routine, and start creating content and engaging on social media.

A social media schedule is not only good for your personal time management, but consistent social media posting is a must! If you are sporadically posting whenever you feel like it, chances are, you won’t be as effective, if you are effective at all. Make a schedule and stick with it, even if engagement doesn’t seem to be happening at first. It takes time.

2. Choose where you are going to engage.

Are you going to focus on Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram, Tiktok? There are so many apps and platforms to choose from, how do you know which ones to focus on? Starting out, you don’t have to have a presence everywhere. Pick just one or two and focus on doing a good job on these one or two platforms.

If you are just starting or maybe rebooting your church’s social media plan, pick one or two platforms that your members are on. If you want to connect with your parents or your volunteers, find out where are they. Then, go where your target group is! If the majority of your parents are on Facebook, focus on Facebook. If the majority of your volunteers are on Instagram, do more things on Instagram. Choose where you are going to give your attention.

3. Understand that social media is a way that people can get to know you (or your ministry) and understand what your ministry is about.

Be real! Think about what would happen if you decided to do a video once a week, letting people know how this past Sunday went, what your upcoming plans are – taking people behind the scene. Maybe every day you share a paragraph or two, a thought to kickstart the day – what God is teaching your or that you hope God will teach those around you. This would connect people with you and your ministry.

One of the biggest things people want from you is to know you. They want to have a relationship with you. Social media can help you accomplish that. Use it as a tool to be real with people, to let them know what God is teaching you, what you are studying, where God is leading you, or what you are working on. Share praises (personal or ministry related). What are prayer requests that people can pray for? When you use social media to let people get to know you and what your ministry is about, it will give you an advantage.

4. The goal of social media (especially as a ministry leader) is engagement. not a one-sided conversation.

The goal of your Facebook posts, Instagram stories, and YouTube videos should not just be announcements, with you telling people information that they need to know. You need to create engagement.

I’m going to say that again, because this is a big one – you need to create engagement. You should not be using social media as a digital billboard announcement only. Create engagement.

There are lots of ways to create engagement. One way, is to ask good questions. Good questions always creates engagement. Maybe you are creating a poll or asking people to share stories. Creating opportunities for people to engage in meaningful conversations. When people are engaged in the conversation, it creates a community. Communities are seldom born out of one-sided conversations.

5. Start creating content.

Create content that will help the people that you are serving. It might help them overcome an obstacle they are facing or a problem, something that will make their life easier.

What if you created a 5-minute video every Saturday telling your volunteers that you are praying for them? On your phone, you shoot this short 5-minute video, thanking your volunteers for their service, you include any announcements you need to make and a short 60 second training topic. Put it on YouTube and share the link through text or Facebook. This would be a blessing to your volunteers, something they would look forward to every week.

Start creating that content. As you progress in your social media strategy, you’ll get into making sure you are posting on multiple platforms and evaluating to see the effectiveness. But before you can maximize your impact, you have to get started.

As you ask yourself how you can better serve people through social media right now, keep in mind that you need to be consistent. Consistency is key with social media. You don’t want to engage people, creating this community, but all of the sudden you stop and they don’t hear from you.

You don’t have to do all of this yourself. Build a social media team. Enlist young people, even! They are a valuable tool! Chances are they are more than happy to show you how to use features you might not know about or be comfortable with.

Social media is a great tool that can take your ministry to the next level. But you need a strategy, a scheduled plan. I know your life is busy. You don’t have the time to waste by posting on social media ineffectively. Create a strategy and follow it. This is will you accomplish your goals, get people’s attention, and help the most people. But you have to start somewhere.

Ryan Frank is a pastor, publisher and an entrepreneur. He and his wife Beth are the founders of KidzMatter.

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Membership with KidzMatter PRO strengthens your skills and links you with a thriving community committed to empowering kidmin leaders like you.