Church Social Media – What To Post
Five Types of Posts to Engage Your Audience
You have probably heard people say that the purpose or goal of social media is to engage your audience. But what does that mean? And more importantly, what can you post as a church that will be engaging?
What Does it Mean to Engage My Audience?
Generally, it means getting your audience to interact with you. On Facebook and Instagram, that means getting people to like, share, or comment on your posts.
Why is Engagement Important?
The way Facebook and Instagram decide what they are going to show people is based on a really complex algorithm. Basically, it is a computer program that looks at posts and sees which posts are most likely to catch people’s attention, and then they show those posts to more people. This means the more people engage or interact with your post, the more people that Facebook and Instagram will show your post to.
How do I Know What to Post?
Anyone who has ever managed a social media account has sat at the keyboard (or on their phone), trying to think of what to post. What will get the likes and the comments rolling in? It is so hard to think of what to post in the moment which is why I do not recommend trying to think of your posts in the moment.
Like anything else in life, the more intentional you are with your social media posting, the more you will get out of it. People can tell (or worse yet, they just don’t care) when you post something just because you want to post something that day. I strongly recommend coming up with a content calendar at the beginning of the month to think through and shape what you will post all month long.
How does this help? Two ways. First, you don’t ever have to sit there wasting time trying to figure out what to post and then settling for something subpar just to be done. But second, by planning it out ahead of time, you can actually come up with a strategy in what you post. Then, as time goes on, you can measure what kinds of posts are getting the most engagement with your audience – and then post more of those types of posts.
What is a Content Calendar?
A content calendar is a simple document – I usually use an Excel or Google Sheets spreadsheet and have a cell for each day of the month that I plan on posting. I recommend posting 5 times per week – once a day Monday through Friday.
The spreadsheet ends up looking like a calendar with enough room in each cell to describe the post for the day. I generally recommend writing the type of post for the day (we’ll go over some post types in just a minute) and a short thought about what I want the post to be. Let’s say that the pastor is preaching a sermon series on James, and you know that next week he is going to be going over James 2. You may want to post James 2:14-16 as one of your posts with a caption talking about one of the points that your pastor made on Sunday. So, for that day, you’d simply write something like verse – “James 2:14-16.”
Now that day’s post is planned and whether you do your posting manually or you schedule them out beforehand, you won’t have to stress out about what to post on that day.
Quick note here – It’s important to remember that every post cannot be your best post. Treat every post as a learning experiment. See if that post encouraged engagement. If it did, try to figure out why and how you can replicate it. If it didn’t, try to figure out why and how you can improve on it for next time.
5 Types of Posts That Get Engagement
1. Sermon Highlight
It’s important to have some easy post types, and this will be one of the easiest. Take a quote from the sermon on Sunday that you found impactful and put it on a graphic. It’s an easy post for you to do, but if you picked the right quote (and if it was an impactful sermon) you can get a lot of engagement from this kind of post.
2. Stories From the Congregation
This is one of the hardest types of posts because it requires pre-planning. But when done well, this is by far the most impactful and engageable (is that a word?) kind of post. People love to hear about what is going on in the lives of people in the church. Someone had prayers answered in a powerful way? That’s a great post. Someone keeping the faith through challenging times? That’s a great post. Someone going above and beyond to meet the needs of others? That’s a great post. Someone impacting people for Jesus? That’s a great post. I think you get the idea – we all love stories and we want to know what God is doing in people’s lives. The best part about story posts – they are not only good for your congregation – they are excellent posts for the community around your church to see as well.
You may be asking, I know the story that I want to tell, but what do I post? You can do it two ways – a video post or an image post. If you do a video, keep in mind that Instagram’s limit for videos is 60 seconds if you want it to show in your feed which makes video a little bit tougher to do if you’re using Instagram. An image post is simply an image of the person that you’re highlighting with their story written out in the caption.
Because story posts are more time-consuming and require planning and getting other people to contribute (either by being in a video or writing out their story) I don’t recommend doing more than 1-2 of these a month. They are very powerful, but they do take a lot more work.
3. Promote an Event
Another super easy one to plan out. You know what events are coming up, make sure that you share about them in a way that is accessible to everyone – not just those in your church community. Take the time to describe what the event is, where it takes place, any cost, and why people should go. You get bonus points if you can add images from a past event because that will usually bring more engagement and it helps people who are unfamiliar with the event to know what to expect.
4. Highlight a Staff Member or a Volunteer
These are easy posts because all you have to do is send out a list of questions to the person you are highlighting and corner them at church so that you can take their picture. Once you receive the answers to the questions, you just need to copy and paste them into the caption and post a picture of them. Helps people get to know your church better, and it is something that is easy for people to engage with.
5. Ask a Question
These posts can be hit or miss – it all depends on the question that you ask. But done well, you can engage people in a meaningful way that will end up helping you to learn more about your audience. It should be a short question – and ideally, it should relate to a sermon, event, or something going on at your church.
There are tons of things that can post on social media that will bring engagement. These are five of my favorites that I feel will help get you started. Do you have any favorites that you think I should add to the list?