Which social media platforms should your church use?
If you are just starting, or if your have limited resources, we would recommend choosing just one platform and invest in doing it well, rather than spreading your resources too thinly across multiple platforms.
To narrow down which social media platform best suits your church, it might be useful to consider these questions:
- Who are you trying to reach?
- What platform are your audience using?
- What are you trying to communicate?
Here is an overview of some of the main Social Media platforms to help you decide
Facebook is a website were you can connect with friends and family, and share with others. You can post a wide variety of content, including text, photos, links, events, interactive polls and more.
It is still a widely used platform and has a very diverse user base; so a great place to have a church presence.
The best place to start if you are unsure.
Active monthly users: 2.3+ billion (source).
Target audience: everyone.
Best for: all churches.
Twitter is an online news and 'micro-blogging' site. It is great for posting quick and frequent updates, and for interacting with other buisnesses, charities or public figures.
However, make sure to consider whether your target audience use twitter, as the site does have a certain demographic and using it as a church might not be successful if your audience isn't there.
It can be a really useful platform for people to engage with each other during large events.
Active monthly users: 330+ million (source).
Target audience: Twitter users.
Best for: engaging people in large events (i.e. conferences, festivals, concerts)
Instagram is photo and video sharing social networking app (now also on the web) owned by Facebook.
Instagram is a growing platform and whilst it is very popular with 18-34s, this is by no means the only demographic that use it.
If you are looking to the future, or wanting to reach a new generation, then Instagram is where you need to be.
Active monthly users: 1.0+ billion (source).
Target audience: young people.
Best for: urban churches / churches with youth work
YouTube - a video sharing service used by many young people.
It can be a great place to upload your church videos to use/embed elsewhere (or even for livestreaming).
However, it takes a lot of time, skill and resources to produce regular high-quality videos for success on YouTube.
Active monthly users: 2.0+ billion (source).
Target Audience: young people.
Best for: digital evangelism.
A professional social networking site. Active monthly users: 310+ million (source). Target audience: professionals working within your church (so they can add you to their CV).
Best for: large churches with lots of employees / volunteers
A messaging app, for private sharing of images/videos that disapear after they've been read. Not recommend for church use, but can be used by individuals. Active monthly users: 290+ million (source). Target audience: young people.
Best for: not recommend for church use, but could be utilised by young people within your church to invite friends to events
A messaging app for indivuals, and not usually considered a 'social media platform'. Used by a wide variety of people, and great for indivuals to communicate with each other within your church.
Active monthly users: 1.6+ billion (source).
Target audience: not applicable.
Best for: not recommended for church use, but great for individuals to communicate (an alternative to texting, and brilliant for small groups).