Is your children’s ministry active on social media?
If not, why?
Have you given up because no one liked your page or your posts?
Social media can be an incredible tool to reach our communities.
Below is a list of questions you might have about using Social Media for Children’s Ministry.
Should my children’s ministry use social media?
The answer is YES, for many reasons, but really, YES.
Your parents are on social media, and more than likely, your kids are using various platforms too. Parents will share what’s going on with their kids and respond to your posts.
Social media is instant, and you can see who saw your posts and have immediate responses and follow up.
How do I get started with social media?
First, you need to pick a platform. At the time of this writing, Facebook is probably the best place to start. There are a large number of parents and kids that both use Facebook. Mainly parents and they can share the information with their kids. Don’t be sucked into posting on other platforms. Focus on one platform at a time.
Next, you need to select the type of Facebook presence you are going to have.
Personal Profiles – When you set up a Facebook account, you’ll get your profile. Personal profiles are NOT the best way to communicate with your parents and kids. Socially, Facebook profiles have become very “personal” in the sense that it gives you access to kids and families. Because of accountability, it’s probably best not to friend kids or parents from your profile.
Pages – Anyone can create a Facebook page. Your Facebook page is like a website. Pages are public, and posts are made available to anyone. Facebook allows you to schedule your posts in advance so you can do a week or two of advanced posting at once. We would highly recommend you start with a Facebook page and then expand from there once you get the hang of posting regularly.
Groups – Anyone can create a Facebook group. Groups are closed environments for people to interact with each other. Groups are a great place to have a Team group and a Parent group. They can interact with each other, and you have segregated groups in which you can share information.
How often should I post?
Generally, once or twice per day would keep your community engaged.
You can post more or less often, but you run the risk of doing too much or too little.
How much time does it take to use social media?
One of the biggest hurdles is the idea that “I don’t have time to do social media.” You’re right, and anything good or worth doing takes time out of your life. You can’t just give it to a teenager and expect them to do all the posts and be engaging.
Cut yourself some slack. You’ll need to set up templates and files for graphics. The first month is going to take longer because you’re learning. Once you have the process down, you can decrease the amount of time needed each month.
It does take a few hours a month to gather information, create graphics, and schedule the posts. Once you start, you can train someone else.
What should I post?
Another bone-of-contention with people is finding the time to be “creative” with their posts. We all suffer from creative block or just creating new ideas. The trick here is to break down the task in smaller bites. When it’s all said and done, you’ll have 4-5 of each post to make in advance.
Create a Social Media Calendar
- Monday – Encouraging note
- Tuesday – Team member spotlight
- Wednesday – Verse
- Thursday – Family activity
- Friday – Thought of the day
- Saturday – Encouraging song (YouTube link?)
- Sunday – Post a short lesson recap with memory verse and learning goal for the day. Be careful not to use copyrighted works from a purchased curriculum.
For the safety of your families and team members, don’t post:
- Prayer requests, medical diagnoses, or basic personal health information could be an invasion of privacy
- Videos or pictures (of kids or team members) without the prior written consent of those pictured
- Names and locations of children
- Copyrighted photos or videos
When should I post?
Once your Facebook page has been online for a few months, you’ll be able to see when people are most active. Generally, the two times that most people are checking Facebook is between 8:00 – 10:00 AM and 6:00 – 8:00 PM.
Do I need special software?
Yes and No. You don’t need special software to schedule your posts on Facebook, but you might want something to help you create images. Some useful software packages:
- Adobe Spark
These are all online and work well for beginners or those needing a quick run-and-gun type of image creation.