As a pastor, you may not be aware of the immense potential that Instagram holds for your church. This social media platform is one of the fastest-growing with over one billion users, and almost half of them use the platform daily. In other words, if you're not using Instagram effectively, you're missing out on a huge audience.
Instagram is a great platform for building connections with both existing and potential church members outside of regular services. The platform's focus on visual media offers an ideal space for you to showcase the culture and life of your church online.
In addition, if you're looking to reach a younger audience, Instagram is the perfect place to do it. Nearly 59% of Instagram's users are under the age of 30, making it an ideal platform to connect with this demographic.
To further convince you of the potential of Instagram for marketing your church, consider the following statistics:
- 90% of all users follow at least one business account, which includes churches.
- 81% of people use Instagram to research products and services, which can include researching churches in their area.
- 50% of users are more interested in a brand when they see its ads on Instagram, meaning your church could potentially see an increase in engagement and attendance.
- 83% of users discover new products and services on the platform, which means your church could potentially reach new members who may not have heard of your church otherwise.
Having a clear church Instagram strategy is the way to go if you want to make the most of this platform. In the following sections, we'll discuss how to create a strategy that works for your church, including what kind of content to post, how often to post, and how to engage with your followers.
Using Instagram - The Basics You Need to Know
If you're a pastor who is new to Instagram and haven't been regularly posting on the platform, don't fret. You can start by taking some basic steps to get started before you dive into developing a full church Instagram strategy.
1. Create an Instagram Account
Getting your church started on Instagram is a fairly simple process. To get started, you'll need to create an account and set it up as a Business account. This will give you access to features that are specific to businesses, such as the ability to run ads.
In order to create a Business account, you'll need to have an active Facebook Business Page. Once you have that setup, you can use it to create your church's Instagram Business account.
If you've already created a regular Instagram account for your church, don't worry! You can easily switch it to a Business account by going into your account settings. This will allow you to take advantage of all the benefits that come with a Business account.
2. Optimize Your Church Instagram Profile
- Username: Choose a username that is similar to your church's name and other social media accounts, and is also creative if your ideal name is already taken. Remember that your username can only contain letters, numbers, or underscores, and has a maximum of 30 characters.
- Profile Picture: Use a high-quality version of your church logo for the profile picture that is consistent with your other social media channels. Keep in mind that Instagram profile pictures are circular and 110px, so ensure that everything is easily readable and nothing gets cut off.
- Instagram Bio: Craft a compelling bio that introduces your church and provides one primary call to action. Your bio should be concise as you have a 150-character limit. Make sure to include a website link that is relevant to your church, and also add your church's physical location so that users know where to find you.
Here's an example of an Instagram bio for Faith Ministries International Church
- Description: Sharing the love of Christ and empowering believers to live a life of purpose.
- Website: faithministries.org
- Location: 14 Adeoba street, Surulere, Lagos
- Call to action: Join us for Sunday service at 10am!
3. Create a Plan for Posting on Your Church Instagram Account
Now that you've set up your church's Instagram profile, it's time to start thinking about what kind of content you'll be sharing and how often you'll be posting it. This is where a church Instagram posting strategy comes in. It's important to have a plan in place to ensure that your content is consistent and engaging and that your followers are regularly seeing updates from your church.
How to Post to Instagram?
- Open the Instagram app: To post on Instagram, you'll need to have the app installed on your smartphone or tablet. Once you open the app, you'll be taken to the home screen.
- Click the "+" button: At the bottom of the screen, you'll see a "+" button. Click it to start creating a new post.
- Select your content: You can post a photo, video, or multiple photos in a carousel. Select the type of content you want to post.
- Edit your content: You can use Instagram's built-in editing tools to enhance your photo or video. You can add filters, and adjust brightness, contrast, and other elements to make your content more visually appealing.
- Add a caption: In the caption box, write a description of your post. You can also include hashtags, which help your post appear in searches.
- Add a location: If your post is relevant to a specific location, you can add a location tag. This can help your post appear in location-based searches.
- Share your post: Once you're happy with your post, click the "Share" button to publish it to your Instagram feed.
- Engage with your followers: Don't forget to respond to comments and direct messages from your followers. Engaging with your followers can help build a strong relationship and grow your following.
How Often Should You Post to Instagram?
When it comes to posting on Instagram for your church, it's important to find the right balance. You don't want to post too much and annoy your followers, but you also don't want to post so infrequently that they forget about you.
So, how often should you post? While there's no one-size-fits-all answer, most experts suggest posting to your feed (the main Instagram page) three to four times per week. However, you should also avoid posting more than once per day, as this can be overwhelming for your followers and cause them to unfollow your account.
Ultimately, the key is to be consistent with your posting schedule and to make sure you have a clear purpose for each post. That way, your followers will come to expect and appreciate your content, and you'll be able to build a strong online community for your church.
What Should be Posted to Your Church Instagram Feed?
At first, generating three unique posts every week may seem like a daunting task, but fret not. Begin gradually and work towards a regular posting routine.
In the beginning, prioritize quality rather than quantity. Make the most out of the content available to you and ensure it looks fantastic for your audience.
Here are some ideas of what to post on your church's Instagram feed:
- Scripture quotes: Share inspirational verses from the Bible, paired with a beautiful graphic or photo.
- Devotional thoughts: Share short devotionals, insights, or reflections from sermons or teachings, accompanied by an image or video.
- Worship updates: Post updates on upcoming worship services, including the time, location, and any special themes or speakers.
- Sermon teasers: Share short clips or quotes from upcoming sermons to build anticipation and generate interest.
- Volunteer opportunities: Use Instagram to recruit volunteers for church events, community outreach, or other initiatives.
- Prayer requests: Use Instagram to encourage prayer for specific needs, either within your church community or the wider world.
- Celebrate milestones: Share photos or stories of baptisms, confirmations, or other milestones in the lives of your congregants.
- Behind-the-scenes glimpses: Use Instagram to give your followers a glimpse behind the scenes of your church, such as photos of the worship team rehearsing, or staff members preparing for an event.
- Community outreach: Share photos and stories of your church's outreach initiatives, such as a food bank or homeless shelter.
- Announcements: Use Instagram to announce special events, guest speakers, or changes to your worship schedule.
Remember, it's not about posting a lot; it's about sharing content that's meaningful and relevant to your audience. With consistency and a focus on quality, your Instagram feed can become a powerful tool for building community and sharing the love of Christ.
Over to You
I hope this article has been helpful in guiding you on how to build an effective Instagram strategy for your church. Social media is a powerful tool for reaching people and sharing the Gospel, and with the right approach, you can build a thriving community on Instagram.
Remember to focus on creating valuable and engaging content that aligns with your church's values and mission. Consistency is key, so aim to post regularly and interact with your followers to build relationships and foster community.
As you implement these strategies, keep in mind that building a successful social media presence takes time and effort. Don't be discouraged if you don't see immediate results. Keep experimenting with different types of content and strategies until you find what works best for your church.
If you have any questions or need further guidance, please don't hesitate to reach out. We're always here to help.
As a parting shot, I'd like to ask: What challenges have you faced in building an Instagram strategy for your church? Have you had any successes that you'd like to share? We'd love to hear from you!
Thanks for reading, and God bless you!