As a leader in student ministry, you know better than anyone that trying to find a way to communicate information to your students is a challenge.
Have you ever tried…
• Sending home a flyer?
Never made it out of their backpack.
• Making an announcement from stage?
In one ear and out the other.
• Sending a text or an email?
Forgotten as soon as it’s read.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a way you could quickly and easily get information out, send reminders and updates and just have a little fun in communicating to your students?
Enter social media!
What better tool for communicating with your students than the one they use all day everyday to communicate with the world?
Developing a strong social media presence for your student ministry can not only help you better connect to the students already in your ministry, but can also get the word out to other kids in your community who haven’t plugged in to student ministry just yet.
We know the idea of building your student ministry’s social media presence might be overwhelming. That’s why we turned to our resident social media guru, Tiffany Andrews, for tips on developing a strong social media program for your student ministry. Take it away Tiffany!
Here at BigStuf, social media is an essential (and growing) part of our ministry and communication. Here are 5 ‘best practices’ that I have found over the years, which allow you to manage effective social media accounts without getting overwhelmed!
5 Social Media Essentials for Youth Ministry
- Put someone in charge.
With so many channels for social media, things can get confusing pretty quickly. Start by putting someone on your team in charge of social media. If no one person owns this part of your program, it will show. Having a person dedicated to developing and posting content will create consistency and intentionality.
- Create a calendar.
Stay organized by creating a calendar to help ensure you post on a variety of topics. Think about what makes your student group special and what things you’d like to highlight online. Schedule your posts around those things-small groups, events, worship, a memory verse, your apparel, meals provided, etc. Planning this content ahead of time also helps you avoid posting the same things each week.
- Pick your pictures.
You only have seconds to grab the attention of the students looking at your post; pictures are the key to using those seconds wisely. Avoid fuzzy, low-quality photos and go light on the text. We prefer to use pictures only and keep our text for the captions, but if you want to lay text over a shot, be consistent. Find an app that works well for you (we like Over and Legend) and use similar fonts or features each time.
- Make your bio a one-stop shop.
Your Instagram, Facebook and Twitter bios should be a one-stop shop where students can go to quickly find the basic information they need to know about your program. Keep it short and include things like who you are, where you’re located and when you meet. Give a quick, one-sentence summary of your mission and include a link to your website where they can go to read more.
- Create a hashtag.
As you begin to grow your presence online, a hashtag will come in handy to help categorize the posts about your student ministry. Make your hashtag short, easy to remember and reflective of your student ministry. As students post about the fun they’re having in your ministry, ask them to use your hashtag, making it easier for you to see what they’re posting, too. If their posts and photos are great, you can even repost them to your student ministry’s account (just be sure to give them photo credit).
We hope these tips help you to increase your social media presence and better connect with your students!
Have a great week and see you this summer!!
Tiffany and Team BigStuf