We’re in the middle of summer and headed (quickly) for the fall. Your congregation probably is taking a summer break since the kids don’t have school and many take family vacations. You may feel disconnected as they disconnect. Is there a solution?
Social media is a great way to maintain contact with your congregation during the summer. Few people take a break from social media! It’s also a great way to get the attention of anyone seeking a church to attend when they’re on vacation.
Here are some social media tips for the summer:
1. Embrace seasonal content: Be mindful of creating content that aligns with the spirit of summer. Share tips for family activities and highlight ministry events that are relevant to the season. Be sure that your posts are understanding to what your families are doing. Engage by showing fun summer images.
2. Leverage user-generated content: Encourage your followers to share summer experiences with your church by using hashtags or creating contests. User-generated content adds authenticity to your social media presence and helps build a sense of community. It can also provide you with a variety of content to share while increasing engagement and reach.
3. Be responsive and interactive: Summer is a time when people are often more active on social media, so make sure to be responsive to comments, messages, and mentions. Engage with your social media audience by asking questions, running polls, or hosting live Q&A sessions too. Use features like Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, or Twitter Spaces to foster real-time interaction and keep them engaged. Maybe a Pastor can give a short devotional video that coordinates with the sermon series!
4. Optimize for mobile: With people being on the go and using their smartphones more during summer, ensure that your social media content is optimized for mobile viewing. Keep posts concise and easy to read, use eye-catching visuals that are mobile-friendly — don’t use small fonts. Ensure that your website pages are mobile-responsive for a seamless user experience. Don’t say it all in your post — instead, refer them to your web content if they choose to want more information.
5. Provide video-on-the-go content: Sure, you’d like everyone to return on the weekend to attend service on Sundays. But consider what the next best option is: perhaps watch the sermon online? Social media content is the best way to remind them to listen or watch. Post a short (less than a minute) edited video from the service that leads into a critical main point. Then provide a link to the rest of the service. Ensure that the short video gives them a reminder of what they’re missing so they’ll return after the summer is done.
BONUS social media tips: Remember to analyze social metrics to understand what content performs well and adjust accordingly. And stay consistent with your posting schedule all-year-round.
EDITOR’S NOTE — Mark MacDonald is a communication pastor, speaker, consultant, bestselling author, church branding strategist for BeKnownforSomething.com and executive director of Center for Church Communication, empowering 10,000+ churches to become known for something relevant (a communication thread) throughout their ministries, websites and social media. His book, Be Known for Something, is available at BeKnownBook.com.