Many churches use social media as a promotional tool. Unfortunately, that misses out on one of the most important aspects of social media ? the social part. I don?t know about you, but I don?t try to sell something to my friends every time we get together for coffee. I know they would want to stop hanging out with me. And that?s often what happens with churches on social media.
Instead, if I provide my friends with encouragement and things that add value to their lives, they?ll love spending time with me. They?ll even invite their discouraged friend along to get some of what they?re getting from me.
That?s the opportunity you have with social media for your church. You just have to use social media correctly.
For many churches, though, this can seem overwhelming. They?re already devoting all of their energy to providing content for the weekend services. How are they going to add even more content to their week of work?
Fortunately, there are a few ways churches can repurpose what they?re already doing so it?s ready for social media. Here are ten ideas.
1. Video clips of the sermon.
Don?t post the whole thing on Facebook. Few people will watch that. Instead, grab a two or three minute, self-contained portion of the message and share that. Add a video tag on the end letting people know to follow your church page or to visit you on a Sunday. Your people will share that with their friends. And if it?s good enough, it might even go further. Imagine the potential reach!
2. Quote images from the sermon.
You can easily take a few good, tweetable quotes from the previous week?s sermon and post it on social media. Consider not posting your church?s logo on the bottom, because that might limit the reach of the quote image. But if you?re quoting your pastor, it still benefits your church.
3. Mini devotionals.
You could either post excerpts of the message ? in written form ? as a blog post or as a lengthy note on Facebook. Turn the whole sermon into bite-sized portions for mid-week consumption. Those who were already at the church service will enjoy reviewing what happened over the weekend. But for those who weren?t there, they get to experience it without having to download the podcast.[quote]Turn the whole sermon into bite-sized portions for mid-week consumption.[/quote]
4. Shoot a social media video of a children?s lesson.
Consider filming what?s going on in the kids? rooms. You might be surprised at the depth of teaching that happens in there. Even those in the congregation who don?t have kids would like to see what the kids are learning. And who knows, they might actually get more from the simplicity of those lessons than they do from the main service!
5. Post ?deleted scenes? from your pastor?s sermon.
Pastors rarely have time to use all of the ideas, illustrations, or Scripture passages they research for their sermon. Why not dip into some of that goodness each week and share some of the stuff that didn?t make the cut? Might be perfect for social media, where it wouldn?t have worked from the pulpit.
6. Share numbers of decisions on social media.
Each week people make decisions during your service. Why not share some of those numbers? Baptisms, salvations, or responses to the message. Especially if your church has multiple services, many people don?t get to see the effect your church is having on those who visit each week.[quote]Many people don?t get to see the effect your church is having on those who visit each week.[/quote]
7. Shoot a short video of behind-the-scenes volunteer action.
Show some of the preparation before a service. You can either post it before the service begins to get people excited about what?s to come. Or you can post it during the week to encourage others to get involved in volunteering.
8. Post some of the Scriptures from the message.
Watch people during the service. If, during a Scripture reading, you see more people taking notes than normal, make note of the Scripture. Then post that during the week. There?s a good chance the verse means a lot to your congregation.
9. Post some worship song lyric excerpts from the Sunday set.
Choose a line from a song the worship team lead on Sunday, and make a beautiful share-able graphic to go along with the lyrics. If you?re feeling a bit lazy, you might even just take a screenshot of the slide from the presentation software. (I won?t tell.)
10. Set up a photo booth on Sunday mornings and post fun pics of your people.
Besides being a fun feature for families on Sunday mornings, it?s great to be able to share photos of your people on your social media streams. You can brand the photos with your church name, and then tag the families on social media. Their friends will see it too![quote]Social media doesn?t have to be one of the most difficult things your church does.[/quote]
Social media doesn?t have to be one of the most difficult things your church does. In fact, you?re already wired for the social aspect. You just need to be intentional about being social on social media.