By Caroline Eaton
Last week I gave you a basic introduction to the world of Instagram, so today we are going to discuss how to use it effectively for your ministry.
As with all social media platforms, the main purpose of using Instagram is to grow your ministry and reach people. Many of the same rules that applied to using Facebook and Twitter for your ministry also apply to Instagram.
Here is a quick recap of those rules:
- Share photos of events
- Tag the people in the photos
- Use relevant hashtags
- Post consistently
- The better the photo, the more feedback it should get. I recommend using some of the same graphics that you are already sharing on Facebook (reread the “Creating Graphics” blog post). You can also share your verse of the day graphics in Instagram.
Since those rules are fairly simple, let’s talk about demographics. Forty-one percent of Instagram users are between the ages of 16 and 24. This means that Instagram is a great tool to use if you are working with youth and young adults.
If your primary audience is above that age, your engagement on Instagram may be low. I encourage you to still use the platform, but I would not make it your main social media focus.
However, for those of you working with youth and young adults, a majority of your time spent working on social media should be going to your Instagram account. Make sure you are posting, tagging, commenting, and engaging regularly.
A quick idea for youth groups: host a “photo challenge.”
Pick a category and challenge your followers to take their own photos within that category. In order to be entered in the challenge, they must all use a common hashtag and tag your account in the photo. When the challenge is over, pick a winner and give them a prize.
A challenge like this will promote interaction with your account.
I hope you have fun exploring with your Instagram account! As always, send any questions you have to firstname.lastname@example.org. Make sure you are following us on Instagram (@cogdoe), and feel free to send us your Instagram user name so we can follow you!