How many different platforms do you post to each week for your youth ministry?
I wrote an article a few months ago called, “3 Instagram Accounts You Need To Follow“. When you start to follow other youth ministries on Facebook, twitter, and instagram, you quickly notice that there is a lot of thought that goes into their “brand”. The way the over all posts look and feel. The colour of the photos. It all is saying something. Most of the posts say things, but the way it’s complied says something more than just text, or images, it shows you what the ministry is really like. The posts show you what the youth ministry is about, who goes there, and what they do.
I follow and unfollow youth ministries all the time on instagram, Facebook and twitter. Why? Because I want to be better. I want to learn what other youth ministries are doing. One of the best ways to learn is to observe other top youth ministries engage students online.
This weeks infographic is called: How To Create Perfect Posts On Social Platforms. It’s worth checking out. Actually, it’s worth printing off and posting on your wall somewhere so that you don’t forget. Here are a few things that stand out to me from this infographic.
Have a plan.
Don’t just post things. Make sure that someone is posting or passing everything. There is nothing worse than not knowing who is posting different messages. You can always sign off on messages by saying -name. This is one way of pointing out who said the message.
You need to know what you are going to post. What’s your logo? Are you going to use the logo over and over in different ways? How are you going to post photos? What programs are you going to use to edit images? You need to know how you are going to post to different accounts. Don’t just throw up any image. The best youth ministries that do a great job communicating online have a style, and a plan.
Don’t just wing it. Plan each post. Put effort into it, and make sure to follow the pros. They are the ones that have teams doing this. If you can just learn a few tips, and communicate better, that is a win!
This fall, I want to schedule every post the week before. That way during the week if you have to add something, you can do it easily. I find that if I leave the post, I have to write a note, or I could easily forget about posting.
There are two social media scheduling programs that I recommend. One is called Hootsuite. Hootsuite is free, and with a little time you can pick it up. Another program that I personally use for youth ministry media is called CoSchedule. This is the easiest way to post to different social media accounts. The only problem is that it costs $10 per month. For me and this website, it’s totally worth every penny. The feature that I love about CoSchedule is that you can see the month in calendar mode. If Hootsuite ever got this calendar mode feature, I would probably jump ship. I am just too cheap!
The only account you can’t really set up with any program like Hootsuite, or CoSchedule is instagram. What you can do is use a standalone program like later gram, and schedule your instagram posts. This is the best way I have seen to schedule posts to instagram.
Use what works.
I only use social media accounts my students use. The main way of communicating in my youth ministry is via text. The next is Facebook, and the way after that is instagram. My team and I have talked about using twitter, but for now we don’t feel this is needed.
When I teach a course on how to communicate effectively in a digital world, I tell people that they really need to find 3 different ways students are connecting digital and meet them there. I don’t think you need to be everywhere. Some larger youth ministries have teams than manage all their social networks. All you need to do is focus on using a few.
Creating a perfect social media post requires the ability to learn from the pros, and the ablilty to plan ahead. With a bit of time and patience you can easily master the art of creating awesome posts that will connect with students in your context.