Social media marketing for churches can be overwhelming. With so many different options to reach your audience, it can be tough to decide how to invest your time.
Instagram is one of the original social media channels, gaining huge popularity similar to Facebook. It hit the one billion user mark at the end of 2020, and it receives 500 million Instagram story views daily.
Instagram has the potential to be a powerful part of your church's overall marketing plan but in order for it to be successful, you need to create a church Instagram strategy.
Table of Contents
- Why Use Instagram?
- Instagram Marketing Basics
- Church Instagram Strategy: Posting
- Church Instagram Post Ideas
- Beyond the Instagram Feed
- Start Engaging Your Community
- Instagram Marketing: What NOT to Do
- Instagram For Churches: A Four Week Starter Plan
- Get a Comprehensive Social Media Strategy Guide
So, Why Instagram?
Instagram is the fastest growing social media platform and out of its over one billion users, almost half of them use the platform at least once per day. Put simply, if your church is not using Instagram effectively, you're missing out on a huge audience.
Like other social media marketing platforms, your church Instagram will help build connections with existing and new church members outside the confines of your regular services. Instagram's emphasis on visual media is an ideal space for you to showcase the culture and life of your church online.
Even better, if you're looking to reach a younger audience, having a clear church Instagram strategy is the way to go. 59% of Instagram's users are under the age of 30 and if that doesn't convince you, here are some stats that vouch for the success of marketing with Instagram:
- 90% of all users follow at least one business account.
- 81% of people use Instagram to research products and services.
- 50% of users are more interested in a brand when they see its ads on Instagram.
- 83% of users discover new products and services on the platform.
Instagram Marketing: The Basics
If you're just starting out and not yet making regular Instagram posts, don't worry. Here's what you need to get started before developing your church Instagram strategy.
Create an Instagram Account
Setting up your Instagram account is fairly straightforward. A church Instagram account should be created as a Business account. This will allow you to enjoy features specific to Instagram Business accounts including the ability to run ads. You’ll need an active Facebook Business Page to create an Instagram Business account.
If you already have an church Instagram account, you can switch to a Business account in the Account Settings.
Optimize Your Profile
1) Your church Instagram username is your identity so you want to aim for one that is similar to your church's name and your other social media accounts. You might have to be creative if your ideal name is already in use.
When creating your Instagram username, there are two things you need to know:
- You have a maximum of 30 characters to work with.
- Your username can only contain letters, numbers or underscores.
2) The profile picture should be a high-quality version of your church logo that's consistent with your other social media channels. Instagram profile pictures are 110px and circular so make sure when you add your photo, it's easy to read and nothing gets partially cut off.
3) Your Instagram bio is where you introduce yourself and provide one primary call to action. It's prime real estate so take the time to make sure you're making the most of every character.
There are a few things to keep in mind when developing your bio:
- Description. You have 150 characters to let people know about your church, persuade them to follow you and lead them to take a specific step.
- Website. You have the opportunity to add a website to the bio. This could be your church's website, Facebook page or any other website that's appropriate.
- Location. Include your church's physical location so users quickly know where they can find you.
Church Instagram Strategy: Posting
Once you've got your profile sorted, it's time to develop a posting strategy.
How to Post to Instagram
1) Click the '+' at the bottom of the screen.
2) Select the photo or video you want to post or take a new photo or video directly in the app.
3) Edit your photo if needed with pre-designed filters and editing tools.
4) Increase your visibility with a caption, location tag and relevant hashtags.
How Often to Post to Instagram
There's no magic number of posts but the general consensus is to post to your feed 3-4 times per week and no more than once per day. The aim is to be consistent with your posting schedule and to have a clear purpose for your posts.
What to Post to Your Church Instagram Feed
It might seem impossible in the beginning to come up with three different posts each week, but don't worry. Start slow and build your way up to a consistent posting schedule.
At the start, you should focus on quality over quantity. Take full advantage of the content you do have and make it look great for your followers. To help get your creative juices flowing, these are some tried and tested church Instagram post ideas:
- Share images or videos of your worship service.
- Go behind the scenes during event planning and service preparation.
- Share Scripture or quotes from the last sermon.
- Highlight a volunteer or community service.
- Advertise an upcoming sermon or series.
- Promote upcoming church events and services.
- Share inspirational and engaging content like conversation starters or Bible verses.
- Celebrate baptisms, communion and significant events.
- Share content from your congregation.
Church Instagram Post Ideas
With so many of your church members on social media today, church Instagram post ideas can help you reach members where they are. Instagram posts are a great way to connect with members to inspire and encourage them. Your posts also can notify them of upcoming events, invite them to join groups and services and ask them to give. Think of the possibilities!
Clear and enthusiastic church captions for Instagram help you provide information and communication, and most importantly, lift up people who need a boost. But how do you start? Keep reading for 150 great Instagram captions you can use to reach your church community, both near and far. Start posting and connecting today.
Sunday Worship Service Posts
Make the most of your Sunday services by sharing highlights, reminders and live updates on your church's social media platforms. For example, church Instagram post ideas could range from posting about the sermon topic, sharing a snapshot of the worship team or previewing an aspect of the service. These examples are a great way to engage your church community and encourage attendance.
Listed below are 15 church captions for Instagram to inspire the congregation.
1) Sunday's coming! Can't wait to see you all there! 🙌🙏 #sundayservice
2) Sneak peek of tomorrow's sermon: Faith Moves Mountains. See you at 10 AM! ⛰️✨ #sundayworship
3) Our worship team is ready! Are you? Join us tomorrow for a blessed Sunday. 🎵🎶 #churchmusic
4) Tomorrow's sermon: Love Thy Neighbor. Join us tomorrow and bring a friend! 👫🙏 #sundaysermon
5) Nothing like a Sunday morning spent in fellowship. Join us for worship at 9 AM. 🌞🙏 #sundayservice
6) Join us for Sunday Worship Service. Let's praise the Lord together! 🙌 #sundayworship
7) Behind the scenes: Our team preparing for Sunday's service. See you tomorrow! 🙏 #sundayprep
8) Are you excited for tomorrow's sermon on forgiveness? We sure are! #sundaysermon
9) Can't make it to church? Join us live on Instagram for our Sunday service! 📲🙏 #livestream
10) Tomorrow's sermon: The Power of Gratitude. Don't miss it! #sundayworship
11) Who's ready for some soulful Sunday worship? See you at 10 AM. 🙌 #sundaypraise
12) Join us for a blessed Sunday. Our doors are always open. 🚪🙏 #sundayworship
13) Sunday's here! Let's gather in Jesus's name. 🙏 #sundayservice
14) Tomorrow's sermon: Finding Peace in Chaos. We hope to see you there! ✌️🙏 #sundayworship
15) Getting ready for a Spirit-filled Sunday. Join us for worship! 🙌🎶 #sundaypraise
Bible Study Posts
Bible study sessions are an excellent opportunity for your church community to dig deeper into the Word of God. As part of your church Instagram strategy, use social media posts for church Bible study sessions to spark interest, encourage participation and share insights from your sessions.
Encourage your church members to attend Bible study and get involved with these 15 church Instagram post ideas:
16) Join us tonight as we dig deeper into the Book of Romans. 📖 #biblestudy
17) Wednesday night Bible study: Bring your questions, we'll find the answers together. 🙏 #biblestudygroup
18) Tonight's topic: The Sermon on the Mount. Join us! ⛰️ #biblestudy
19) Have you read your Bible today? Join us for Bible study tonight to explore God's Word. 📖 #biblestudygroup
20) Bible study tonight at 7 PM. Let's learn and grow together. 🌱 #biblestudy
21) Tonight, we dive into the Book of Psalms. Join us and invite someone! 📖 #biblestudygroup
22) Join us for Bible study tonight as we explore the life of Paul. #biblestudy
23) Wednesday Bible study: Tonight, we discuss the power of prayer. 🙏 #biblestudygroup
24) Can't make it to church? Join our Bible study session live on Instagram. 📲🙏 #biblestudy
25) Join us for a deep dive into the Book of Genesis tonight. 📖 #biblestudy .
26)Tonight's Bible study: Faith in Action. Hope to see you there! #biblestudygroup
27) Bible study tonight: Exploring the miracles of Jesus. Join us! 🙏 #biblestudy
28) Wednesday night Bible study: Tonight, we discuss finding peace in God's Word. ✌️ #biblestudygroup
29) Join us for Bible study tonight as we explore the parables of Jesus. #biblestudy
30) Tonight's Bible study: The power of God's love. See you at 7 PM. 💕 #biblestudygroup
Church Event Posts
Use church social media to promote and inform members about upcoming events. This can include fundraisers, fellowship meals, community service opportunities and more! Instagram for churches is a great platform to visually showcase these events and get your congregation excited about them.
So, let's dive into these 15 church captions for Instagram:
31) Mark your calendars! Our annual Fall Festival is just around the corner. 🍂🎃 #churchevent
32) Join us this Saturday for our community outreach program. Let's make a difference together. 🤝 #communityservice
33) Don't forget: Women's Fellowship Brunch is this Sunday after the service. 🍽️ #fellowship
34) Save the date: Our annual Christmas caroling event is next Friday. 🎄🎵 #christmasevent
35) Join us for our Youth Group outing this weekend. Fun, fellowship and faith! 🎢🙏 #youthgroup
36) This Saturday: Church cleaning day. Many hands make light work! 🧹✨ #volunteer
37) Don't miss our Bible Quiz night this Friday. Fun, food and fellowship! 📖🍕 #churchevent
38) Join us for our annual Charity Bake Sale this Sunday after the service. 🍪🍰 #charityevent
39) Save the date for our Scriptural Easter Egg Hunt. Fun for the whole family! 🥚 #easterfun
40) Join us for our Men's Fellowship Breakfast this Sunday at 8 AM. 🍳 #fellowship
41) Our choir is performing a special concert next week. Don't miss it! 🎵 #choirconcert
42) This Saturday: Community Cleanup Day. Let's take care of our neighborhood together. 🏘️ #communityservice
43) Volunteers are needed for our Food Drive next week. Can you help? 🥫 #volunteering
44) Youth Group Movie Night this Friday. Popcorn and fun are guaranteed! 🍿🎥 #youthgroup
45) Mark your calendar for our upcoming Prayer Service. It's going to be a night of reflection and faith. 🙏 #prayer
Inspiring, Motivating and Scriptural Posts
One of the most influential church social media strategies is to share uplifting and inspiring content. This can include scripture verses, motivational quotes or encouraging messages. These posts can provide a moment of peace and reflection amid the hustle and bustle of daily life.
We have composed a list of church Instagram post ideas for you to use:
46) Remember, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. 🙏 #inspiration
47) With God, all things are possible. Believe in His power. ✨ #motivation
48) Be still and know that I am God. Take a moment to find peace in His presence today. 🙏 #scripture
49) God is our refuge and strength, a forever-present help in trouble. Trust in Him. 🛡️ #inspiration
50) Let all that you do be done in love. Share some love today. 💕 #motivation
51) God does not look at the things people look at. He looks at the heart. 🙏 #scripture
52)Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me. Find comfort in God's presence. 🙏 #inspiration
53) His mercies are new every morning. Embrace the fresh start of a new day. 🌞 #motivation
54) I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Believe in your potential. 💪 #scripture
55) God is love. Share His love with someone today. 💕 #inspiration
56) Trust in the Lord with all your heart. He is your guide. 🙏 #motivation
57) For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son. Reflect on His love today. 🙏 #scripture
58) You are the light of the world. Shine brightly today. 🌟 #inspiration
59) Faith can move mountains. Believe in the power of your faith. ⛰️ #motivation
60) Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid, do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. Find strength in His promise. 🛡️ #scripture
Words of Encouragement Posts
Everyone can use some encouraging words from time to time. As a church, using social media for churches to share uplifting messages can be a powerful way to support and inspire your community. These messages can also help to foster a positive and caring church culture.
Encourage your members with these 15 church captions for Instagram:
61) Stay strong, your story isn't over yet. 🙏 #encouragement
62) Remember, God has a plan for you. Trust in His timing. ⏳ #inspiration
63) God doesn't give us what we can handle, God helps us handle what we are given. 💪 #encouragement
64) Keep the faith. The most amazing things in life happen right at the moment you're about to give up hope. 🌈 #inspiration
65) You are stronger than you think. You are guided by God's love. 🙏 #encouragement
66) When you feel like you're drowning in life, don't worry. Your Lifeguard walks on water. 🌊 #inspiration
67) Don't forget, you are a child of God. He is proud of you. 👑 #encouragement
68) In the middle of every difficulty lies opportunity. Keep the faith. 🙏 #inspiration
69) You are never alone. God is with you, always. 🙏 #encouragement
70) Let your faith be bigger than your fears. God is with you. 🙏 #inspiration
71) Remember, every setback is a setup for a comeback. Keep going. 🚀 #encouragement
72) With God, there is always hope. Hold onto that hope. 🌈 #inspiration
73) God's plans for your life far exceed the circumstances of your day. Trust in Him. 🙏 #encouragement
74) Don't worry, God is never blind to your tears, never deaf to your prayers and never silent to your pain. He sees, He hears and He will deliver. 🙏 #inspiration
75) You are loved more than you will ever know by someone who died to know you. Remember God's love. 🙏 #encouragement
Easter is a significant time and a fantastic opportunity for your church social media to share the message of hope, resurrection and new beginnings. Use these 15 church captions for Instagram to connect with your community, invite them to Easter services and celebrate this special time together:
76) He has risen! Celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ this Easter Sunday with us. 🌅 #easter
77) Join us for our Good Friday service as we remember Jesus's sacrifice. 🙏 #goodfriday
78) This Easter, let's celebrate the hope and new beginnings that Jesus's resurrection brings. 🌷 #eastersunday
79) Join us for our Easter Sunday service. Let's celebrate the resurrection of Jesus together. 🙌 #easter 80) Please mark your calendars for our Scripture Easter Egg Hunt. It's fun for the whole family! 🥚 #easterfun
81) Join us for a special Easter service as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. 🙌 #eastersunday
82) Good Friday service is at 7 PM. Let's remember the sacrifice of Jesus Christ together. 🙏 #goodfriday
83) Easter is a time of hope and renewal. Let's celebrate this special time together. 🌷 #easter
84) Don't forget, Easter Sunday service is at 9 AM. Jesus has risen! 🙌 #eastersunday
85) Our Children's Easter program is this Sunday. Bring the whole family for a time of joy and celebration. 🐣🎉 #easter
86) Celebrate the miracle of Easter with us this Sunday. Jesus has risen! 🌅 #eastersunday
87) Join us for a special Good Friday service as we reflect on the sacrifice of Jesus. 🙏 #goodfriday
88) This Easter, let's remember the hope we have in Jesus's resurrection. 🙌 #easter
89) Come celebrate Easter with us! Let's rejoice in the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. 🙌 #eastersunday
90) This Good Friday, let's come together to remember the sacrifice of Jesus. Join us for an exceptional service at 7 PM. 🙏 #goodfriday
The Christmas season is a joyous time to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Use these church Instagram post ideas to share the joy of the season, remind your congregation of the reason for the season and invite them to your special Christmas events. Here are 15 awesome posts to use:
91) Join us for our Christmas Eve service as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. 🌟 #christmaseve
92) Mark your calendars for our annual Christmas caroling event. Join us in spreading joy! 🎄🎵 #christmascarols"
93) Remember, Jesus is the reason for the season. Merry Christmas! 🎄 #christmas
94) Join us for our Christmas Day service as we celebrate the gift of Jesus. 🎁 #christmasday
95) Save the date for our Children's Christmas program. It's going to be a day of joy and celebration! 🎄🎉 #christmas
96) This Christmas, let's remember the greatest gift of all — Jesus. 🎁 #christmas
97) Join us for our Christmas Eve candlelight service. It's going to be a beautiful night of peace and reflection. 🕯️ #christmaseve
98) Christmas is a time of joy, love and remembering the birth of Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas! 🎄 #christmas
99) Mark your calendars for our annual Christmas celebration. Let's share a meal and celebrate together. 🍽️ #christmas
100. This Christmas, let's celebrate the birth of our Savior. Join us for our Christmas Day service. 🎄 #christmasday
101. Join us for our Christmas caroling event. Let's spread the joy of the season! 🎄🎵 #christmascarols
102. Christmas Eve service is at 7 PM. Let's celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ together. 🌟 #christmaseve
103. This Christmas, let's remember the love that was born on that holy night. Merry Christmas! 🎄 #christmas
104. Join us for a special Christmas service as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. 🎄 #christmasday
105. Don't forget: our annual Christmas celebration is this Sunday. Let's celebrate the season together. 🍽️ #christmas
Posts to Encourage Giving
Churches need to encourage generosity and giving. Use social media posts for church to share the impact of tithes and offerings. These 15 church Instagram post ideas promote regular giving and inform members about specific giving opportunities.
106. Every gift makes a difference. Thank you for your generosity. 🎁 #giving
107. Your tithes and offerings help us serve our community. Thank you for your generosity. 🙏 #giving
108. Join us in making a difference. Your gift can change lives. 🎁 #giving
109. Give generously, for your gifts will be returned to you in full. 🎁 #generosity
110. Your contributions help us spread God's word and love. Thank you for your support. 🙏 #giving
111. Thank you for your generosity. Every gift helps us serve our community better. 🎁 #generosity
112. Giving is not just about making a donation. It's about making a difference. Thank you for your love and support. 🙏 #giving
113. Your generous giving allows us to continue our work. Thank you for your support. 🎁 #generosity
114. Remember, it is more blessed to give than to receive. Thank you for your generosity. 🙏 #giving
115. Your offerings help us spread the love of Jesus. Thank you for your support. 🎁 #generosity
116. Please support our mission with your tithes and offerings. Every gift makes a difference. 🙏 #giving
117. Your contributions make our work possible. Thank you for your support and generosity. 🎁 #generosity
118. Join us in our mission to serve. Your generous giving can make a big impact. 🙏 #giving
119. Every act of generosity counts, and each means even more when we give together. Thank you for your support. 🎁 #generosity
120. Your offerings help us serve and reach more people with God's love. Thank you for your generosity. 🙏 #giving
The Call to Salvation Posts
Inviting people to experience the love of God and accept Jesus as their personal Savior is a key part of any church's mission. Social media platforms provide an excellent opportunity to extend this invitation, not just to your immediate congregation but to the broader online community as well. Use church captions for Instagram to post about the call to salvation and inspire those searching for answers, peace or a deeper spiritual connection.
Explore this variety of church Instagram post ideas:
121. God's love is waiting for you. Are you ready to accept it? 🙏 #salvation
122. Today is the day of salvation. Open your heart to the love of Jesus. 🙏 #calltosalvation
123. Jesus loves you, and He is waiting for you. Will you answer His call? 🙏 #salvation
124. There is joy and peace in accepting Jesus as your personal Savior. Are you ready? 🙏 #calltosalvation
125. Salvation is a free gift from God. All you need to do is accept it. 🎁 #salvation
126. Are you searching for peace and purpose? You can find them in Jesus Christ. 🙏 #calltosalvation
127. Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. Will you follow Him? 🙏 #salvation
128. It's never too late to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior. Today could be your day of salvation. 🙏 #calltosalvation
129. God's grace is sufficient for all. Will you accept His love today? 🙏 #salvation
130. Are you ready to start a new life in Christ? He is waiting for you! 🙏 #calltosalvation
131. Jesus is calling you. Will you answer? 🙏 #salvation
132. Do you want to experience true love and forgiveness? You can find them in Jesus Christ. 🙏 #calltosalvation
133. Jesus is not far from any one of us. Reach out to Him today. 🙏 #salvation
134. Are you longing for peace and forgiveness? Jesus is the answer. 🙏 #calltosalvation
135. Experience the love of Jesus today. He is waiting for you with open arms. 🙏 #salvation
Posts about Forgiveness, Hope, Joy, Love and Peace
Sharing messages about forgiveness, hope, joy, love and peace can uplift your church community's spirits. These timeless themes resonate deeply with people, offering comfort and encouragement and reminding them of God's unchanging love.
Here are 15 powerful church Instagram post ideas to share with your members:
136. Forgiveness is the key to peace and freedom. Let go and let God. 🙏 #forgiveness
137. Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness. Keep believing. 🌟 #hope
138. Joy is the simplest form of gratitude. Celebrate God's blessings every day. 😊 #joy
139. God's love for us is unconditional and unchanging. Embrace His love today. ❤️ #love
140. Peace is not the absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict peacefully. Seek God's peace. 🕊️ #peace
141. Forgiveness does not change the past but enlarges the future. Forgive as God forgave you. 🙏 #forgiveness
142. Never lose hope. Storms make people stronger and never last forever. Keep the faith. 🌈 #hope
143. The joy of the Lord is your strength. Rejoice in His love. 😊 #joy
144. We love because He first loved us. Spread God's love today. ❤️ #love
145. In His presence is fullness of joy; at His right hand are pleasures forevermore. Seek His presence today. 🕊️ #peace
146. He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. Embrace His forgiveness. 🙏 #forgiveness
147. There is always hope in Jesus. Choose Him. 🌟 #hope
148. Choose joy today. For the joy of the Lord is your strength. 😊 #joy
149. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. Live in His love. ❤️ #love
150. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts. Embrace His peace today. 🕊️ #peace
We hope these church Instagram post ideas help inspire your social media strategy. Remember, the most effective church captions for Instagram connect with your congregation and community in meaningful and engaging ways.
A hashtag is a single word or phrase preceded by the pound symbol. Some examples of hashtags are #WeekendVibes, #MondayMotivation and #churchfamily.
On Instagram, a hashtag serves as an indication that a piece of content relates to a specific topic. They help make your content discoverable in searches, allowing it to reach more people. Hashtags are also a way to connect content to a specific topic, theme, event or conversation.
Why use hashtags?
Of all the features of Instagram, hashtags are one of the few that you really must use to reach new audiences. Here are some of the most important reasons to use hashtags in your social media marketing:
- Increase engagement. Including hashtags means your post becomes visible to others following or searching that hashtag and can lead to greater engagement.
- Build brand awareness. Creating a branded hashtag can be a powerful way to promote your business and drive conversations.
- Add context to a post. Including a hashtag can be a simple way to contextualize what you’re sharing without using up valuable characters.
How to Find Hashtags for Your Church
To find hashtags that are specific to your brand, you’ll have to do a little research. Here are four simple steps to help you find ones that are relevant to your church and what you represent.
1) Monitor other churches and social media influencers
Do a competitive analysis on social media to gather intel about your competitors and any relevant influencers within the church niche. Take note of which and how many hashtags they use in each of their posts. This will help you learn how other churches are engaging with your shared target audience.
2) Analyze which hashtags were successful
Consider which posts have been most popular and then see if there’s a trend with the hashtags you’ve used. When you notice some of your most popular posts always contain a few of the same hashtags, make a point to include those in your future posts as well.
2) Find Related Hashtags
Once you have a good grasp of which hashtags work well, consider trying related hashtags. These will likely be more specific than the popular hashtags you’re already using but can help your church connect with a more targeted audience.
On Instagram, related hashtags show when you type a hashtag into the search function. You'll get a dropdown menu of similar hashtags related to that search term along with how many posts they’ve been used in.
3) Find the Sweet Spot With Volume
With hashtags, you don't want to choose anything that's too popular as you'll just get lost in a sea of posts. Likewise, you also don't want to target anything too niche that would limit your post's visibility.
The sweet spot will depend on how well your content matches. A good guide is to aim for anything with under 500,000 posts on them and a sprinkle of hashtags with around 20,000 posts.
Working with Hashtags
Here are some other tips for working with hashtags when marketing on your church Instagram account:
- Hashtags always start with '#' but they won’t work if you use punctuation, spaces or symbols.
- You can post a maximum of 30 hashtags in a post.
- Hashtagged content won’t be seen by any non-followers if your account is private.
- When creating your own, don’t string too many words together to the point where it's too difficult to read.
- Use relevant and specific hashtags.
- Mix up your hashtags to attract different groups of people and to keep your content fresh.
Beyond the Instagram Feed
Once you've got your regular Instagram posts sorted, you'll want to dive into the world of Instagram Stories and video. Right now, Instagram has a huge emphasis on showing video content. While regular photo posts are still necessary, to really dominate with your church Instagram strategy, you'll need to invest some time in creating a variety of video content.
There are three types of video content that you can post on Instagram and if that all sounds too complicated to even bother, don't worry. It's now easier than ever to make your own fun videos to share with your followers, and it can all be done using your phone and some simple editing apps.
Regular Instagram Videos
You can create a long-form video that's up to one minute long to post in your feed.
Stories are a compilation of photos or short video clips (up to 15 seconds in length) that vanish 24 hours after posting. They’re highlighted within a circle around your profile picture and at the top of your followers’ Instagram feeds.
Stories don't need to be highly curated and instead can be a fun, creative way to share raw, authentic content with your followers.
Live videos give churches an opportunity to connect and interact with their followers in real-time. Similar to Facebook Live, you can add guests, exchange comments with viewers and save replays to share later.
Instagram Live is ideal for behind-the-scenes footage or Q&A sessions with your followers and works great when you want to launch an exciting new event or promotion.
Reels is Instagram's answer to Tik Tok and is an additional format that allows you to create and share short engaging videos. Instagram Reels are videos that can be up to 60 seconds long.
Reels offer a suite of in-app editing tools that allow users to create engaging and fun video footage. It can include multiple video clips, captions, filters, interactive backgrounds and stickers amongst tons of creative options.
Start Engaging Your Community
A church's community doesn't just have to be members of your congregation. Chances are, your church is doing great work already with different parts of the community, such as helping those who are less fortunate. Your church's Instagram is just another way to reach this extended part of your community.
You might have heard of the practice of buying followers but this is a very bad idea for your church Instagram strategy. The aim of developing your follower base is to create a highly targeted local audience. Buying followers will just give you a large number of users who have no interest in what you have to say. Plus, the way the Instagram algorithm works is the fewer people who engage with your content, the fewer people they'll share it with.
Instead, target accounts that will actually show interest. Which restaurants in your community have an Instagram account? What about service providers, like gyms, dentists or car maintenance? As you get started, aim to follow 5-10 church members or local accounts every day. You can search for people and places by typing in your area in Instagram’s search bar.
Partnering with influencers has been around since the early days of marketing. From athletes promoting sports drinks to models touting the latest domestic craze, it's a common practice. As a church, you might not have a six-figure Instagram marketing budget but that doesn't mean you should discount collaborating with influencers.
You can adapt the same strategies by partnering with members of your church on Instagram who could be considered influencers.
What is an Influencer?
Put simply, influencers are people or organizations who have an expert level of knowledge or social influence in their field. Micro-influencers can have anywhere from 10,000-50,000 followers and nano-influencers can have less than 10,000 highly engaged followers.
Think about any churchgoers or members of the local community who use their Instagram as a platform for sharing with their followers. Depending on the demographics and location of your church, there’s a high likelihood that your congregation has a few people on Instagram who might be a good candidate to collaborate with.
What is Influencer Marketing?
Influencer marketing is a form of marketing involving product placement or endorsements from social media influencers.
Your church can use influencer marketing to help make connections with people and further reach your community. Consider partnering with the Instagram users in your church to promote your existing content or you can provide them with content ideas and images they can share. You can also use influencers to help brainstorm ideas for your own channel.
Working with a group of people in your church will accelerate your efforts to get better connected with people in your community on Instagram.
Instagram Marketing: What NOT to Do
We've covered a lot of 'must do's' for when you're creating an effective church Instagram strategy but equally as important is what you should avoid doing. This list could go on and on but here are some of the top things you should not do on Instagram:
- Don't post more than three times a day. There's nothing worse than scrolling through your Instagram feed and seeing multiple posts from the same user.
- Don't post without captions. Sure, some people are in it just for the pretty photos but, for the ones who aren't, a caption-less photo is a missed opportunity to connect.
- Don't auto-post to Facebook and Twitter. A well-crafted social media strategy should be tailored to the distinct audiences you're trying to reach on each platform.
- Don’t post too many stories. It's easy to go overboard but avoid posting so many stories that the lines at the top turn into tiny dots.
- Don’t just talk about the church. Try to connect with your followers and avoid constantly promoting your church and its activities.
- Don't ignore the comments. If people have taken the time to like and comment on your content, take the opportunity to respond and improve relationships.
- Don't start your church's Instagram marketing without having a social media policy in place. This is a prerequisite for any social media use. Ministries establish a basic church social media policy to protect themselves from the negative effects that can come with social media. In most cases, the policy isn't an elaborate manual, just a short piece of guidelines designed to protect your church.
Instagram For Churches: A Four Week Starter Plan
Now that you've got all the tips and tricks you'll need to get your church Instagram strategy started, it might seem overwhelming. How are you supposed to go from zero to posting daily and engaging regularly with your followers?
Don't worry. You don't need to do everything all at once, and it should just take a few weeks to really get up and running. Here's a general guide on how to start marketing your church's Instagram account during the first month.
Week 1: Build and Enhance Your Instagram Profile
Dedicate this week to either build or optimize your existing church Instagram profile. Don't stress about hashtags or content just yet. It's all about getting your profile and bio ready for all the eyeballs that are about to be focused on it.
You're more than welcome to start posting if you feel comfortable but the aim of this first week is to prepare your church Instagram profile.
Goals for Week 1:
- Create your username.
- Optimize your bio.
- Add a photo to your profile.
- Add your location.
Time commitment: 1-2 hours
Week 2: Build Your Social Media Strategy
The second thing you want to do is to critically assess how much time you actually have to devote to your church's Instagram. If your schedule is looking tight, now is the time to delegate the responsibility of enacting your social media strategy to someone else. This could be a staff member or church volunteer.
Develop a clear plan of what types of social media posts you will publish, on which days of the week and what hashtags you'll be using. Your strategy should also include how often you will revisit it. This includes reassessing your hashtags and using Instagram analytics to see what content is resonating with your audience.
Goals for Week 2:
- Decide responsibilities.
- Use hashtags.
- Start sharing.
Time commitment: 2-3 hours
Week 3: Put the Plan Into Action
It's time to turn your dream into reality. As well as engaging with users who like and comment on your own posts, you'll now want to start connecting with people and other organizations in your community.
Goals for Week 3:
- Publish posts according to a schedule.
- Spend time connecting with people.
- Respond to comments on your posts.
Time commitment: 1-3 hours
Week 4 and Ongoing: Plan on Engaging
This is where the social side of social media kicks in. You should now have a handle on your posting schedule. You should also be responding to comments on your own posts and have followed some people in your community.
The aim going forward is to continue being social by engaging with your existing followers and potential new followers that fit into your target audience. To really get the most out of your church's Instagram and make meaningful connections, you’ll need to spend time on the app.
Jump back into your original church Instagram strategy and make sure that everything you planned initially still makes sense. Are your hashtags working? Do people prefer one type of post over another? Should you focus more or less time on Instagram Stories or Reels? Your strategy will start to fall apart without the right oversight and review.
Goals for Week 4:
- Continue posting according to your schedule and ramp up if required.
- Respond to comments on your posts.
- Spend time connecting with people.
- Revisit and assess the performance of your first month.
Time commitment: 1-3 hours
Don't Let Your Church's Social Media Presence Languish in the Dark!
Tap into the power of 72% of Americans engaging daily (PEW Research Center). Download our FREE Guide today to elevate your church's social outreach to glorious new heights.
- The eight crucial tips for a powerful start.
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- Guidelines for robust policies.
- Three-step ladder to boost your giving potential.
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