Instagram is fast becoming a marketing powerhouse. From its ‘visual first’ approach to its amazing options for discovering new content, Instagram has a lot going for it. It also has managed to keep its timeline feel fairly organic due to content publishing restrictions it has in place… in other words, businesses can’t schedule out millions of posts on Instagram, they have to publish them one by one.

Churches can benefit a lot too from  have a presence on this social media site. For those of you unsure of where to start, here are 4 tips to starting your very own church Instagram account.

1. Evaluate

This is my favorite one to include with EVERYTHING! Just because the megachurch down the street does it, it doesn’t mean you HAVE to do it. You need to have a marketing plan in place first, then see if Instagram will fit within your plans and goals. Example: You are a smaller church near a retirement community. You have an aging population, and you are primarily looking to gather others from the retirement community. If 40 teenagers showed up on your church doorstep, you would love to have them but currently have no plan in place to accommodate them long-term. In this scenario, Instagram might not be the best choice. Evaluate and decide what fits your plan and vision.

2. #HashtagIt!

Hashtags are the golden child of Instagram. With them, you can quickly associate your content with like content from around the world. People can also follow their interests via hashtags, which creates a very powerful ecosystem for getting your content discovered. A good rule of thumb is to include 3-7 hashtags with every post. Make sure they actually match your content, otherwise you will NOT benefit from it. Personally, i did some research beforehand and came up with 30+ hashtags that i use on a regular basis. Some of these hashtags are evergreen (they can be reused over and over) and some are event related and have a short life. Both have their benefits, and you should be using them simultaneously to achieve the best results.

3. Post live

One of my favorite things to do it to post LIVE during our services or events. This serves to both immortalize the service for members to comment and share afterwards, but also gives an organic feel to our marketing efforts, making our brand seem human. Whenever i post live, i also always include a link to watch (since our services are streamed online). If people like what you are posting, there’s a good likelihood that they will like your services too. Adding a link to your post encourages them to click, watch and participate.

4. Follow, like, repeat

Like with so many other social accounts, liking and following other people and ministries is vital to your marketing. If you like a ministry, they have a greater chance of liking yours. Then everything you post will show up in their feed, giving them yet another opportunity to like your posts and engage with your brand. Make it as easy as possible for them to see what you are doing and participate with you. Engage with others, and they will  engage with your brand back.

So what do you think.. did that help you out at all, or do you think missed something? Let me know in the comments below.

 

 

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Written by David Belich
David Belich is the Media Director at World Revival Church, and an avid technophile. David has a passion to grow the kingdom of God by helping churches utilize media and emerging technologies more effectively.