Doing great youth ministry on social networks first requires a basic knowledge of social media platforms and which platforms are successful at reaching teenagers. A flourishing Facebook page probably won’t reach the youth of today and if you are still updating your MySpace page, you probably need to do some research before planning to connect with students. Social media is always changing and so are the platforms that teens frequent. New updates come out every day and new features can leave us overwhelmed when trying to keep up with the times. Here are some simple tips for conquering whatever social media platform you choose to use for your ministry.
Do Post Often. Give your followers something to follow and leave them expecting more. If they can go weeks or months without hearing from you, you probably aren’t connecting with them in a way that is going to be life changing. Create a social media strategy and stick to a schedule. Use your social media to encourage students to attend your services or listen to a short devotional. There is so much that you can post on social media. Be creative and use content that will leave your followers looking forward to your next post!
Don’t Be Too Private. Private pages in youth ministry can be great but they can also stunt your growth. Make sure that students can share the exciting scripture references, service reminders, and video messages with their friends. Make sure that your settings don’t hinder your students from being able to get the word out. If you are sharing something that connects with your students, they will be willing to share it with their own followers so make sure to be prepared!
Do Provide Biblical Content. The best blogs, Instagram influencers, and Youtube sensations have a target audience and use their content to reach that target audience. Your target audience is students and your content should be related to your ministry. Share scriptures, video devotionals, prayers, encouraging quotes, and other content on your social media. Fun and flashy content can be interesting material but students are also looking for something with substance. Don’t let the latest Instagram influencer be the only thing they see every day on social media, influence them to become more Christ like.
Don’t Do All the Work. The great thing about social media is that you can always get others involved. Ask your students and adults to send you content and photos for your accounts or schedule an Instagram takeover with one of your students or volunteers. You can also ask questions on your social media that will require responses from students. Ask them what their favorite part about your Wednesday nights were or what verse is encouraging them during finals week. Students want to feel like they are engaged and have a voice so don’t forget to factor them in when dreaming up what kind of content you would like to provide to students. This would be a great way to involve some of your student leaders in active ministry!
Do Provide a Next Step. Great social media posts don’t just attract people to a digital platform, they also provide a call to action. Make sure your social media posts invite students to a daily devotional journey, provide avenues for students to attend your weekly gatherings, or share with students a way to become more involved in your ministry. Use your social media platforms as a way for students to connect to your actual ministry. Always continue to invite students toward a next step in being involved in your ministry.
Jen Willard is a full time youth pastor in Sherwood, AR where she lives with her husband, Bryan. Jen is a coffee snob, beach addict, and travel enthusiast who loves walking with teenagers toward Jesus! Find me on INSTAGRAM as @DUCKJD.