Switching from posting content just for the fun of it to strategically planning what you will post and when you will post it might feel excessive. But, it is a necessary step when marketing your church online. Having a content strategy on Instagram will boost your engagement and increase your online presence.
Ready to tackle Instagram for your church? Read on for our top tips to get you started.
Instagram has been a social media favorite for a long time, and it isn’t going anywhere! With an emphasis on visual media, it stands out from the rest and allows more creativity as a platform. From stories and posts on your feed to reels and live videos, Instagram offers you a variety of different posting options.
As it has over two billion active users, your church is missing out on a huge audience if it doesn’t get involved. Hashtags and geotags enable people on the other side of the world to engage with your posts alongside members of your congregation. As a medium that connects people together, Instagram is unmatched.
Instagram tips for beginners – the basics.
First things first – create an optimized account. Create it as a business account so you can access some of the additional features that give you insight into how people interact with your posts. This is especially useful when growing your account, as you can see how far it reached and how successful that type of post was.
To make the most of your Instagram bio, which is only 150 characters long, you should include the basic information while introducing your church. So, where are you based? What’s your church website? Include a call to action that encourages people to follow your account or attend your church.
Church Instagram post ideas.
Now your account is set up, it's time to start posting! There are many popular posting ideas, but this is the time to get creative and let your church’s personality shine through. So, while a certain amount of copying successful accounts is useful, don’t let your church account become a replica of another.
Add a personal spin to some of these tried and tested ideas:
- Share images or videos of your worship service
- Use Bible passages alongside visual media
- Celebrate significant events like baptisms and weddings
- Share behind-the-scenes footage of an event
- Promote upcoming events at your church
- Interview your pastor
Church hashtags for Instagram.
Using hashtags is a sure-fire way of getting your account noticed beyond your followers. But, it takes some trial and error to discover the best #s to use for your church in particular. Do some research, follow other churches in your area whose content you like, and try out some of the hashtags they use.
If you click on a hashtag, you can see other posts that use it. So, try shopping around a bit, and imagine if you want your church’s content to appear alongside these other accounts. You can even create a branded hashtag related to your church and encourage members to include it whenever they post on a Sunday or at a church event.
Content strategy on Instagram.
Now you are ready to create your church Instagram content strategy. First, work out how much time you realistically have to dedicate to your Instagram account. Managing social media accounts is the perfect opportunity for your young church volunteers who might know a thing or two about creating reels and using Instagram effects.
Next – set a timeline. Aim for around four posts a week, but make sure you post slightly different things each time to keep your content fresh and exciting. Use SEO-optimized church Instagram captions with relevant hashtags to get your content noticed. Many accounts plan this out weeks in advance to ensure they are on the right track.
Tracking your progress.
Building an Instagram presence is a slow process, so don’t be surprised if you haven't gained hundreds of followers in a few weeks. It requires a consistent strategy while you get to know your target audience, so you can adapt your content and hashtags based on what is successful and what goes unnoticed.
Luckily, Instagram helps you track your progress with insights into how your posts have done. Assigning a social media team will help you keep a closer eye on how things are going, so you can note down which hashtags to ditch, which video style to replicate and which trend to jump on.
When you break your church social media strategy into week-by-week bite-sized pieces, it seems a whole lot less scary. Spend a couple of hours creating a detailed plan of post ideas by following other churches on Instagram and finding inspiration in the things they post.
Using trending reel audios and jumping on funny TikTok trends will get your church noticed by a younger audience. While more thoughtful things like having a #MotivationMonday prayer every week might capture the hearts of more mature users, so make you use a mixture to appeal to a wide audience base.