Instagram has over 2.3 billion monthly users in the world today. It is one of the top 3 social media platforms in the world. With so many monthly active users, Instagram offers tremendous potential to extend your ministry's reach as a digital missionary. However, simply posting pretty pictures won't be enough anymore. You have to do more. And, the good news is that Instagram offers you lots of opportunities to reach people.
So what works on Instagram these days? How can you maximize your digital ministry efforts? Here are some tips for doing that today?
- Post Engaging Visuals: It's not enough just to post pictures or images these days. Your posts (Images, graphics, and videos) should be clean and grab attention. Make sure your text is easy to read and that it captures emotions and experiences.
- Post Consistently: Consistency matters. You don't need to post every hour or day, but you have to come up with a rhythm so that people know what to expect and how offend. Figure out the best days and times to post and what topics work best.
- Use Captions: This is when the words appear on your videos. It may seem distracting, but it is not. When you post, purposefully engage with people. For instance, you can ask thoughtful questions, provide biblical perspectives on cultural issues, share testimonies and spiritual insights. People can listen to you share and also read it.
- Use Stories: Instagram Stories and Reels are very popular right now. In fact, they are more popular than the regular feed. So, use Instagram Stories to share spiritual thoughts, behind-the-scenes ministry moments, Q&As, and more in a casual format. People like casual! Here is a blog post on how you can use Stories effectively for your ministry.
- Use Reels: With the popularity of TikTok, Instagram has made a very concerted effort to promote Reels. In fact, this is where you will be rewarded. If you post on Reels, Instagram will promote it and get it out to people. So, your reach is much more effective than using the Feed. Think of devotionals, testimonies, worship, sermon clips and other spiritual encouragement you can share on Reels.
- Go Live: Host live talks, sermon/service recaps, panel discussions, and Q&As. These are great ways to engage with people and get your Church or ministry more attention when people hop on Instagram.
- Use Hashtags: You can still have organic reach on Instagram. Therefore, research and use trending hashtags to reach new people and create your own hashtags so people can follow along with your Church or ministry.
- Engage: People do respond to your content. Therefore, respond to comments and DMs (although, make sure they are not scammers or bots - there are lots of those). Thank people when they give you a follow and ask for feedback and input on topics. Use it as a way to build relationships.
- Partner with Local Businesses: If there is a new business or restaurant in your neighborhood, connect with them on Instagram. Also, look for ways you can partner together and do give-a-ways. It's a great way to cross-promote for both you and them.
- Remember Your Mission. It's easy to get sidetracked on social media by following this trend or that trend. Remember why you are posting and the mission of your Church. Don't try to be this business or that Church. Be YOUR Church and reach people that are going to align with you and stick to it. This doesn't mean you can do trends, it just means that you should stick to the trends that align with your mission most.
Discover some more engagement tips for Instagram when Tom Pounder interviews Jennifer Benton on the TCD Sidekick Podcast. Jennifer has tons of great examples and encouragement.
Instagram has tremendous reach possibility for Digital Missionaries. And, there are lots of ways you can maximize it to reach more people for Christ. Approach it with intentionality and creatively and see what God does.
What do you think? What are other ways you can Maximize Instagram as a Digital Missionary? Share your ideas below or on social media.
Through the Digital Church Network we are helping physical and digital churches better understand the discipleship process, and helping churches and church planters understand this and other decentralized mindset shifts. Joining the DCN is free and be encouraged!