If you’re tasked with growing your church body, you are probably considering digital avenues that can get the word out about your worship center in a much more efficient manner than you can on your own. If you’re looking for a tool that won’t necessarily break the bank, we’re going to make the case for Instagram today: the number one fastest growing social media app in existence right now. Although it’s owned by Facebook, Instagram is its own beast, centered strictly on visuals.
Everyone from 14-year-olds to Baby Boomers are hopping on the bandwagon, signing in every day to post a photo, video, or Instagram Story that disappears in 24-hours.
So why should you consider Instagram marketing for your church? Well, considering 55% of Bible readers used the Internet to access biblical texts in 2017, with the figure assuredly only increasing, you want to capture these people – as well as the everyday individual with no biblical knowledge.
Here are a few critical engagement tools that can be accessed through Instagram:
- Instagram TV (IGVT): Instagram rolled out a YouTube-style feature last year that enables everyone to make and edit their own videos, which exist in a different channel from their regular profiles. It’s an easy way to get videos out there regarding your message, your services, and your worship team, as these videos permanently stay on your Instagram profile for visitors to check out at any given moment.
- Instagram Live: You can go live on Instagram, which is a great tool if you want to live stream your services and really provide your followers with insight to your congregation. Going live sends notifications out to Instagram users to tell them you have a stream of video up and running, entirely for free. Although the video disappears after (24-hours), it’s still a quick way to really catch the younger crowd, especially if your church is struggling to attract new members.
- Hashtags: Every time you post on Instagram, you can include up to 29 hashtags per post. These hashtags are simply keywords used to describe your content. With 29 different hashtag options, you can ensure you are hitting all points of interest with each post. With the hashtag, the post then appears in that hashtag’s feed for the day, which is a free way to come into contact with people. Focus on both local and international hashtags. Local tags can include where you are located, whereas an international tag can be broader, like #worshipmusic or #Godisgood.
- Personal Church Branding: You can come up with your own hashtag that you can use to create a campaign around your church. Churches are using Instagram every Sunday to post something like #BethelGospelSunday, in which all followers can expect a Bible verse or some kind of photo that continues the campaign. It makes your church and account more memorable, which means more people will be sharing your account with their friends and loved ones. The hashtag doesn’t have to be too unique – just something to get your brand stuck in everyone’s heads.
- Free Comments: Lastly, you can be proactive on Instagram and go into the app, searching hashtags on your own, and comment on media. If you see someone in your region posted about feeling lonely or needing God, you can comment under their photo, or send them a direct message, and offer them a prayer. This kind of support will show them how incredible joining a church family can be, which may open the door for them. Instagram is not a one-way street, so you are welcome to engage with people as much as you please.
Instagram for Churches
More than 70% of nonprofit organizations agree that social media is a critically important outreach tool for their platform today. Instagram is on just about every phone today, which is why you should consider its prominence and power for your church platform.
Whether you want to just post regularly to Instagram, live stream, record videos, or interact with followers, the sky is the limit. We know that this kind of social media marketing can be incredibly confusing and time consuming, especially if you are trying to run an entire church, which is why we offer Instagram marketing for churches through our team here at Worship Times.
If you’re looking to outsource the task, our team is looking to shoulder the load for you. We can worry about the small details while you run your ministry. Ready to get started? Contact us today!