When it comes to social media, if you are not on it and using it to connect with your students you are missing out on a key component of ministry. Why would we not go where our students are? Why would we not want to engage them in an area in which we know they spend a lot of time on? We want to engage them physically in our services but if we are not being strategic through engaging online we can miss out on creating the type of culture we want where students 1) love to be at 2) know what is happening in your ministry 3) know it could be a place where they can get friends to see.
If you want more detail, we dive deep into this via our Youth Ministry Hacks Podcast. Click HERE for that episode.
One of the biggest mistakes when it comes to social media is just to post things at random. You could do that because the students in which follow your ministry will see it, double tap it and then move on. But what we should go for is engagement. Because it’s mostly your students who would follow your account, you need to be strategic to make it a part of your invite culture.
I do have to say, it takes more than just two minutes a day to create the culture you want on social media. There needs to be a plan and you need to think through how you want to go about it.
Below are some thoughts to hopefully point you in the right direction.
- Don’t do it all. Depending on where you are at will depend on what your ministry will need to do. It is pointless to be in all forms of social media. It takes a lot of work to be able to post as effectively and as regularly as you need to be effective.Find out to see what people use the most on and pick two or three of them and just dominate those areas. Do those few really well.
- Make it stand out. Think about how many good looking advertisements there are. Think about how much marketing your students are seeing every day for things that do not make an eternal difference. There are plenty of apps out there to make legit looking graphics and posts.
- Word Swag
- Flyr (Motion graphics)
- Adobe Spark
- Snapchat Geo filters. For us, Instagram and Snapchat are the two biggest platforms for our students. Geo-filters for Snapchat are incredible because you can set a location to where the picture you upload can be used and anyone in that area can use that filter to promote your night. If you promote it from the stage, students will then go find it, use it and everyone who follows your students (friends) will see your service, your branding, your event and it’s like a free promo. Perfect for any event.
- Post continually. Just like how relationships form over time in person because you spend a regular amount of time with a person, social media is the same. It could take over a lot of time if you are not careful but I feel like if you want to most engagement you will need to establish that you are not just posting to post, but there is some sort of regular interaction happening on the page.
- Have a plan. Typically, we do this:
- Monday – Devo
- Tuesday – Teaser for the service topic on Wednesday
- Wednesday – Series graphic for the night
- Thursday – Video clip or main point graphic from the teaching
- Friday – Meme/Something funny
- Saturday – Summer Camp
- Sunday – free for all
- Post pictures of students. They love to see themselves and they love to tag friends who are in them. If you have a student or leader who is decent with a camera, have them take pictures every few weeks so you have something to post and students and leaders could be spotlighted on your social media.
Below are some examples of posts we have done on our ministry account to up our engagement with students and friends: