So, you’ve finally created a Facebook account for your church. Or, maybe you just decided to set up your church’s Instagram or Twitter account. But then you find yourself asking the question:
Cluelessness about what to share is pretty common. How can you reach your target audience, the youth? Or as they are called nowadays, the Millennials?
Rest assured, you are in good hands. Whether you have just set up a social media account, are considering setting up one, or already feel like you’re on top of your social media game, we have a few tricks and treats to help you engage millennials on social media.
1. Be consistent
If you are new to social media, we are going to let you in on an insider tip. Millennials love consistency. Whether it is the current crazy world we live or simply a deeper need for stability, youth crave a consistent brand. Treat your account like the big brands do. Aim to post consistently at least once a day even if you have a small following to begin with.
The same goes for the branding of your church. Maintain the same voice and tone across all your social media platforms. Consistency is key because it builds recognition and keeps people interested in your posts. We repeat: consistency is key!
2. Engage with your audience by encouraging user-generated content
If you have a special account for your youth ministry, encourage your followers to respond to your stories with personal questions and comments. You can ask them to share a verse that speaks to them following a Sunday sermon or share about on a topic you discussed at a weekly youth group meeting. You could even ask for pictures they took during the gatherings and then re-post them so they get credit as the photographer.
The goal here is that you want to keep social media interactions two-ways. Ask your youth group to share about themselves, and always make sure to respond back. This will encourage them to remain engaged by making them feel that they are a part of the community and makes social media a fun – and positive – place to be.
3. Share about trending topics
No rocket science here! If you want to reach millennials, talk about topics that interest them. Whether it has to do with the social landscape we live in, trends in fashion, or dating, there are countless topics you can use to get the conversation started on your social media accounts. You can connect almost anything to the mission of the church – be creative in your efforts to speak in the language that will connect to millennials.
4. Keep your posts short
Social media is not where you should post your whole sermon – use your website for that! Instead, social media is a place for short snippets of information. This is even more relevant if you have a Twitter account, but this rule spans across all social media. Make sure that your content is quick, to the point, engaging, and easy to read.
5. Create attractive, mobile-friendly content
Your content must look good and fit nicely on the small screen of a mobile. Most people access social media from a phone, so once you’ve decided on the topics you want to explore for a week or a month, make sure each post is short and concise and is the adequate format for a smartphone. Run a test on everything in advance to make sure that there aren’t any glitches in Facebook posts or Instagram posts. Also, if you add links to other resources, check in advance to ensure that they work and link to the right content.
6. Respond to your audience
Once your content ‘calendar’ is set, you’ve gotten your post written, you’ve made you’re your content is mobile-friendly and the links all work, chances are, you are going to generate comments. Whether your audience asks questions or simply comments to show their appreciation, make sure to respond in a timely manner across all social media platforms. Try to allocate a bit of time at the end of the day (or in the morning) to reply back or comment, even if you use only a few emojis. Millennials recognize and appreciate the effort.
7. Don't underestimate the value of visual content
Nowadays, you should not think that you can get away with text-only posts, even on Twitter! Even if your content in itself is amazing, your audience spends hours online, scrolling through countless posts. The best way to get their attention is by combining great text with compelling imagery. It could be pictures, infographics, gifs, or even memes. Whatever kind of visual you use, content that combines great writing with interesting imagery will boost engagement.
Putting it all together
Don’t be afraid to browse social media for inspiration as you go through these seven steps! See what works with bigger brands or churches and think about ways you can apply their tactics. If your content, your voice, your tone resonates with your audience, it will generate clicks. Getting the hang of social media can be tough at the beginning, but it will begin to pay off a few months down the road!
Now you have the general strategy. Want to get into the nitty-gritty of setting up an Instagram account and building an audience? Sign up for our free ebook: