by Bob D’Ambrosio
Just ten years ago you wouldn’t have thought you’d be promoting your church through social media. With Internet access growing worldwide and mobile devices numbering in the billions, we have new, innovative ways to connect with people around the planet—all with the click of a button.
While most churches have a Facebook page, or Twitter account, few know how to use social media effectively. Here are some tips to get you on the right track, from Jason Caston, author of the book, The iChurch Method.
What to Post
While there’s a lot of cute kitten photos out there, that’s probably not going to help you recruit kids for VBS. It’s usually wise to vary what’s posted, to keep it fresh and interesting. Here are a few categories that Jason suggests:
Photos/Images/Graphics – Photos help people visualize what you’re communicating. Use it to promote excitement and create interest. Don’t forget to receive permission from the parents if you use any pictures of kids at your ministry events.
Video – You could post a video announcement, ministry advertisement, interview, or your worship message.
Links – Links can take people to an article, registration page, a website, or an audio file. Provide the link to guide people to what you want them to do next.
Questions/Polls – You can gather information from a poll to help you plan an event, or start conversation by having people post their answers.
Events – In Facebook, you can set up events, invitations, and reminders and your people can RSVP online. This feature provides the same functionality as services like Evite, and lets you see who’s coming to your event as well as letting people share your event.
When to Post
Don’t worry about trying to post items 24/7. Sites such as Hootsuite.com allow you to schedule when you want things posted. Here are the peak times that Caston recommends: (Based on your local time zone.)
Facebook: Daily Best: 1pm – 4pm; Peak Time: Wednesday 3pm
Twitter: Daily Best: 1pm – 3pm; Peak Time: Monday through Thursday 9am to 3pm
Pinterest: Daily Best: 2pm – 4 pm / 8pm – 1am; Peak Time: Friday 3pm
Tumblr: Daily Best: Friday 7pm; Peak Time: Sunday through Tuesday 7pm – 10pm
How Often to Post
It is possible to get too much of a good thing. But posting too little may be just as bad as posting too much. Here are some guidelines from The iChurch Method.
Facebook: Post 1-3 times a day
Twitter: Post 4-6 times a day
YouTube: Post 1 video per week
Pinterest: Post 1 photo per week
Instagram: Post 1 photo per week
Tumblr: Post 1-3 times a day
These platforms are available for free so use them to grow your ministry. And now you’ll be just like the pros with these tips! Enjoy the journey. Who knows what the next ten years will bring.