By Jonathan Howe
Last week on the blog, I tackled ways your church can maintain momentum throughout the summer. While there will be an expected summer dip, I covered ways to mitigate that summer slump. One particular example was through the use of social media.
As is the case the rest of the year, social media is a simple tool churches can use to stay in touch with their congregation—no matter where church members and guests happen to be for the summer.
Here are seven specific ways your church can use social media this summer to help build and maintain momentum:
- Facebook Live. Churches have SO MANY opportunities to use Facebook Live in the summer to update members on events. You could host live reports from mission trips, provide live updates from VBS, and stream worship services from student camp or kids camp. Depending on what you’ve got going on at your church, the opportunities to utilize Facebook Live have never been more abundant.
- Instagram Stories. As with Facebook Live, Instagram stories are perfect for updating members about what’s going on with summer church events. With the addition of filters and the option of video or still shots, Instagram stories can serve as an immersive media experience for parents and friends back at home.
- Sharable graphics. Create graphics for upcoming events or as prayer prompts. Take VBS for example. You know what the focus of each day will be. Post a graphic each morning about the focus and list a specific way to pray for the kids and teachers at VBS. You can do the same with camps or mission trips—it just takes planning.
- Scheduled tweets. Summer calendars often differ from the rest of the year. Use Hootsuite, Buffer, or another social media scheduler to provide regular reminders about changes in the church schedule or any special events you may be hosting.
- Special social series. Develop a theme for a social media series for the summer. Maybe it’s “Favorite Summer Reads” or “Favorite Summer Movies” from your staff members. Every week, highlight one of the favorites on your Facebook page or Twitter account. This can be used to help congregants get to know the staff better.
- Special meet-ups. Announce a spontaneous lunch outing on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook. It could be a youth group lunch or a nursery worker coffee break. For those who show up, buy their lunch or coffee as a way of saying “thank you.” Do this once or twice and people will start paying close attention to them. No one wants to miss out on a free gift.
- Scavenger hunts. Use your Instagram account to post a picture of a free gift. It can be a gift card, a book, a CD, or anything else. Post a pic of where you’ve left it and give people a hint as to where they can find it.
There are so many ways to use social media to stay connected in the summer. What are some that you would add? Have you done any of these?
This would work in larger churches. Have the leadership and pastor(s) take questions one night in a live, round-table discussion.
Love that idea
Here are step-by-step instructions for using Facebook Live on the cheap for your church – http://getreal.typepad.com/get_real_with_david_tarki/2017/06/using-facebook-live-on-your-churchs-page.html
If one of your church goals is to promote congregational participation in worship services, particularly singing, short videos of the songs that you will be using during the summer will help the congregation to learn new or unfamiliar songs and will help the congregation to avoid the deadly summer doldrums. Include short videos of familiar songs too. New families often move during the summer and check out new churches. These song videos may prompt newcomers to your community to visit your church.
Would you elaborate on number 7 a little please. It sounds like a fun idea, but I’m unclear about the purpose or how it helps with gaining/keeping summer momentum. Thanks.
This would most likely be a youth event. Youth pastor puts out a pic of the gift and tells people where to find it. Do this regularly, people will start paying attention. They follow closely for this but also see other information being sent out. They get used to getting info and rewards from the youth pastor. They stay more informed. They become more involved.