This article, written by Jonathon Howe, was originally published at ThomRainer.com on 6/8/17. Thom S. Rainer serves as president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources. Among his greatest joys are his family: his wife Nellie Jo; three sons, Sam, Art, and Jess; and ten grandchildren. Dr. Rainer can be found on Twitter @ThomRainer and at facebook.com/Thom.S.Rainer.
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.