What Younger Generations Want the Church to Know About Social Media
On top of all the other things on your plate, social media can often feel like one big question mark. Many churches understand there is value in social media, but struggle to execute a social media plan with strategy and vision.
Who should run our social media? What platforms should we use? Is it really worth investing our time in? Tough questions like these cause many churches to give up on the idea all together. Good news: it doesn’t have to be complicated. With the ever-increasing use of social media, here are a few tips from a Generation Z-er on how your church can do stress-free social media well:
1. Stay relevant—when it’s relevant.
Authenticity is essential for social media. While memes and GIFs might seem like the secret keys to engagement with younger people online, your strategy must match your identity. Trying to follow every social media trend will leave you burnt out and your audience confused; know your audience, but also know yourself. Don’t get distracted trying to keep up with what’s trendy and end up missing out on your real objective.
Tip: Humor doesn’t always translate well online, and people are quick to be offended. Keep your social media presence straightforward and build rapport from the pulpit instead.
2. Be consistent.
Social media can be a perfect one-stop-shop for hosting information about your church. It gives people a resource and an easy place to go back to for all the details about your campaigns, events, and initiatives. Never give someone a reason to say, “I wanted to get involved, but I couldn’t find ______.” Consistent posting also leads to consistent following and engagement, giving your social media presence, and therefore your church, a wider reach.
Tip: Post about an event a month out, two weeks out, a week out, and the day before. Answer any FAQs publicly, and respond to comments and questions quickly.
3. Keep trying.
We understand that social media is not your #1 priority—and it shouldn’t be. However, social media is not going away anytime soon, so don’t give up; no one is expecting you to be perfect and a little effort goes a long way. Even when you feel like you’re fumbling in the dark, reaching young people through a strong social media presence is worth the fight.
Tip: Don’t feel like you have to jump into every social media network all at once. Facebook is an easy place to start, and is still the most widely used social media platform. Wait until you feel competent and then consider adding another platform like Twitter, if your target audience frequents there.
When it comes to social media, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. At the end of the day, millennials and Gen Zers aren’t looking for the church that posts the funniest memes or has the best graphics. We simply want what all churchgoers are looking for—to be seen, known, and loved in community. Social media just might be the way to get us in the door.