If your group of students is anything like mine, Instagram is the king of social networking with your crew.
So, you’ve done the only logical thing – you signed your student ministry up with an Instagram account.
Here are ten things you can begin doing this week that can take you from an Instagram novice to a X-Pro II kingpin:
- Post often. You can’t win at social media if you don’t post. At a minimum, you should be posting once or twice a week.
- But don’t post too often. You can go overboard, though. If you post more than a couple times a day, you’re likely to be thought of as spam. Nobody likes spam.
- Don’t usurp parents’ wishes. If parents don’t want their students on Instagram, don’t pressure students to have it. I usually say something like this to my group: “If you’re on Instagram, we’d love for you to give us a follow. If your parents aren’t on board with you having social media yet, that’s okay – they know when the time is right for you.”
- Post quality. There is something worse than not posting: posting garbage. Strive to make photos look as crisp and visually-pleasing as possible. If you post an image that is mostly text, do more than a screenshot of your notes app. WordSwag is a great app for making professional quality, text-centric images (like this one) – I use it every single week.
- Talk about it every week. If you have an account, promote it every single week. Yes, it will feel like you say the same thing each week – because you are. Each week you have guests and promoting your account each week invites them to be a part of your ministry online.
- Get your group behind one hashtag. Students in your group will use hashtags – and if you don’t guide them, they’ll be random. Pick a hashtag for your group and encourage them to use it, but make sure you pick a hashtag that’s not currently being used. My group‘s hashtag is #asmms (for Antioch Student Ministry Middle School).
- Comment on posts using the hashtag. If you see a student used your hashtag, comment on the picture and tell them how awesome they are. What get’s applauded gets repeated.
- Follow (most of) your followers. If your students follow your account, follow them back. Yes, I know they post twenty selfies a day, but this account isn’t for you. When students are followed, they feel like they belong. Note: don’t follow everyone that follows you. There are a lot of spam accounts out there and if your ministry follows them, your students will think you endorse them.
- Show your personality. Your ministry has a unique personality – show it off in your posts. Is your worship epic? Show it. Are small groups your focus? Post pictures of your groups. Do fun stuff? Show highlights.
- Keep the student ministry and the student pastor separate. It can be really tempting to merge the pastor and the ministry. Don’t do it – merging the two will ruin both. If you try and make your personal account a way to communicate all of your student ministry stuff, you’ll run off all your non-student followers. If you make every post on your student ministry account about you, you’re seen as conceited. Avoid all of this with two separate accounts.
Was this post helpful? If so, I’d be honored by a re-post on Facebook and Twitter!