Health and Growth

Boost Your Church’s Instagram Reach: 5 Tactics You Can Use Today

Health and Growth

Boost Your Church’s Instagram Reach: 5 Tactics You Can Use Today

There’s a chance you’re overlooking an easy to use outreach tool: Instagram.

If you're not currently leveraging Instagram for churches, an amazing social media platform, you'll want to start using it after seeing these statistics:

  • 70% of Instagram users in the US have a post-secondary education
  • 35% of Instagram users in the US are between 30-49 years old
  • 60% of Instagram users are 18-29 years old
  • Users under 25 years old spend at least 32 minutes a day on Instagram
  • Users over 25 years old spend about 25 minutes per day
  • Users spend more time viewing "Instagram Stories" than regular posts

Although Instagram may not reach a lot of people who are over the age of 55, it's wildly effective for people from high school to 50-years-old.

Over the past year, more and more churches are leveraging Instagram because it's working. Churches have found that outside of using a custom church app, Instagram is arguably the second best way to engage your church throughout the week.

Here are five simple ways you can use Instagram to engage your church throughout the week and reach your community.

#1. Use Instagram stories

Users spend more time viewing Instagram Stories versus regular posts—so post stories on Instagram throughout the week.

The beauty of stories is that you can pre-record them and then post the best take or picture and import it into your stories.

To help you get started, here are some ideas for you to consider:

a. Share the news!

Have someone share brief video updates about what's going on at your church.

Nothing fancy—just find some good lighting, stand in front of a recognizable place in your church, and talk away.

Are baptisms coming up?

Do summer camp registrations close next week?

Is there an event your church is preparing for?

Talk about this kind of stuff and make it fun.

b. Create live tutorials

Are you preparing to launch Tithe.ly? Maybe online giving is new to your church.

Post step-by-step tutorials on how to give online or how to give with your church app. Show people fun video clips of all the different ways people can give.

Do you have a parking problem at church? Be creative and show people where to park when your lot is full.

Are the people in your church not sure how to respond in worship? Have fun, and create a video showing the members of your church what to do with their hands.

 

The possibilities are endless with live tutorials and using instagram for church!

c. Give behind-the-scenes access

One of the most exciting aspects of Instagram Stories is for people in your church to go behind the perfectly designed and curated images your church posts.

Introduce a new team member, take people through a day in the life of your lead pastor, or let people see the work that goes into getting ready for your worship service.

d. Department takeovers

Most people don't know what church staff does throughout the day, and many think that we just sit around all day (I’m joking). Showcase your different teams and give backstage access to your church.

Pop into a creative meeting and have the team walkthrough planning a service or show a clip from a fun part of your staff meeting

e. Offer sneak peaks of what's to come

Are you getting ready for a big community event? Is there a big announcement you’re preparing to make? Give people a sneak peak of what's to come using instagram for church.

Surveys show that this type of fun, spontaneous content is what people in your church want to watch when viewing your Instagram Stories.

The best way to find out what resonates with your people is to get a small group of people together and ask them what they’d like to see and what they want to see more of.

Related: How to Create Your Church's Social Media Strategy in Minutes

#2. Instagram posts

Use the good 'ole classic Instagram post.

Post inviting images of your worship services, small groups, and lobby experience. The most liked photos on Instagram are engaging, fun posts of people.

Here are some post ideas for you to consider:

  • Share scripture or quotes from this past week's message
  • Promote an event or a sign up for baptisms
  • Highlight a volunteer or share what you're doing in the community
  • Share images from your worship services
  • Advertise an upcoming sermon series
  • Ask questions—you'll be surprised at how many responses you get
 

#3. Free apps to create scripture art

Not a trained graphic designer?

No sweat.

Creating great looking scripture art for your instagram for church account, as shown above, is really easy.

You can use apps on your iPhone or Android device like Adobe Spark or Canva.

Search the app store on your phone to download these apps. Once you've downloaded the apps and created a free profile, it takes no time at all to create scripture art or a sermon quote from the past weekend.

#4. Use Instagram Business for boosting your profile

You won’t need to take up a special offering during your service to promote your church on Instagram. It’s super affordable to advertise your church and reach new people for Christ.

To get started, you’ll need to use an Instagram Business account to boost and promote your church's profile and your posts to people in your community. You’ll be able to set how much you want to spend, and you can get away with paying as little as $5 a day to show your post to a few thousand people in your community.

Is football huge in your city? Make a post inviting people to church before the big game on Sunday and target it based on your location and interests like "football" and "sports."

You don’t have to boost your posts all of the time. But this is a great way to highlight an instagram for church post about an upcoming event, capture the attention of your community, or invite people to your worship services.

Your turn

Are you a newbie to Instagram?

If so, check out this post on Instagram for churches to get up and running.

Also, don’t feel afraid to ask for help! There is bound to be someone in your church who knows their way around Instagram. After to talking to people in your church, you’ll quickly learn what type of posts generate good responses and likes.

Do you have questions about any of the tactics I mentioned above? Drop a line in the comments below, and I’ll be more than happy to help!

Eric Bryant serves as the implementations team lead for Tithe.ly. He has spent the last decade in the local church as a creative pastor. He lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and two dogs.

Expert Tips on How to Effectively Launch a New Online Giving Tool

01
Make it accessible so people can give in the way that is most comfortable to them. Don't make it hard for people to give money.
Some people like to give online, some like mobile, some like text. Whatever they like, let them give in that way if you can.
02
Brady Shearer
www.storytape.com
Talk about it every single week. Consistently promote it on every platform. 
Be patient. We all resist change.
03
Michael Lukaszewski
www.churchfuel.com
Launch it to your staff, your leaders, and your volunteers (in that order) and help those groups use it before you launch it publicly.
04
Teach it in your new member class.
Allow for people to sign-up right on the spot via their mobile phone (or through a laptop or iPad for those that don't have a mobile device handy).
05
Justin Dean
www.thatcc.com
On launch weekend, have volunteers and staff accessible with iPads to walk people through how to set up an account and get recurring giving configured.
06
Daniel Irmler
www.churchhero.com
On a regular basis, tell stories from members who are using and loving it. 
You don't don’t need a big production value shoot. Keep it simple by using an iPhone (horizontal) and a decent mic.
07
Invite your congregation to take out their phones and download the mobile giving app right in the service.
08
Nik Goodner
www.crtvchurch.com
Explain the why behind the change and highlight the benefits of the new system. 
People like to be "on the team".
09
Kevin Ekmark
www.church.org
I always tell people, "you need to clean your house before you invite friends over". It's crucial that your giving platform is easily found, whether it's on the web or in the church. 
On the web, making sure that your website is mobile friendly (Google and Bing both recommend mobile responsive design) can be a huge help. You can also incorporate bots from Facebook or a service like Intercom to help walk people through online giving on your website. When necessary, a human can jump in and help too. This helps complete the process from being found online to completing the online giving.
10
Logan Fields
www.theappguys.org
Tell them the real reasons. Giving members are concerned with what's best for the church and not just what they individually prefer. Transparency.
"This platform will allow us to better manage finances and spend less staff time on the books and more on people." etc. The temptation is to treat members like consumers who we need to impress instead of team members. Treat them like equals who you assume are interested in what's best for the church/ mission and people will likely rise to it.
11
Kenny Jahng
www.kennyjahng.com
Launch a $3.16 campaign. Ask people to all give just $3.16 to a weekly or bi-weekly blessing fund. Then, pick one person or cause to bless IN TOWN and go give that person all the money collected.
  • It could be the all volunteer firefighter squad in town. "We'll take all the $3.16's collected and go buy a meal or treat and drop off for the firefighters who volunteer."
  • It could be a widow the church knows about - bless her with something new for her home or hobby or pets.
  • Single mothers - supply them with a night out. Or pay for a house cleaner or a handyman for a couple of hours.
  • Special needs families - pay for evening out for the parents and child care for the special needs kids so the parents get a break.
  • You can ask for "sponsors" in the future, getting people to nominate good causes (let the youth do this!) and let them deliver the blessing and report back each sunday.
  • You can ask for "sponsors" in the future, getting people to nominate good causes (let the youth do this!) and let them deliver the blessing and report back each sunday.
This works incredibly well because you are teaching generosity / outward posture to your people on a consistent basis and getting people to give on mobile- while making it about PARTICIPATION vs AMOUNT. You'll have people regularly trying out the mobile option as well as pre-register them in the system.

There you have it! Some amazing tips, right?

Which tip stood out the most to you … or looked to be the craziest?! Share with us in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you!

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Boost Your Church’s Instagram Reach: 5 Tactics You Can Use Today

Tithe.ly

Tithe.ly powers mobile, text, and web giving for
churches and ministries.

LEARN MORE
Sign Up