In A Holiday Frenzy?

Getting weary as the holidays get nearer?

I think it is easy during this time of year to get frustrated, overwhelmed, and tired. After all, we’ve spent all year giving it our best, trying to get the word out to people about our church, coming up with new and creative ideas, and so much more.

*Enter holidays* and we know that it is time to amp up our game.

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I want to take the opportunity to speak encouragement over you today, whether you’re feeling overwhelmed right now or not.

The work you are doing is good. It’s not work that will be forgotten by the time next year rolls around. It means something. Every graphic you make, every picture you take, every idea performed holds weight. You’re doing Kingdom work.

God is working through you. He’s put you in this place for such a time as this to serve Him in the way He created you to do so. When you get weary, remember why we do what we do. Remember the new people that will walk in your building’s doors and be greeted by the Church during this time. When you get tired, choose joy for He who loves you is very near.

for all ages

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9 NIV

Keep going, keep working, and keep encouraging one another. God will be with you every step of the way!

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Content Strategy Example 1 :: Instagram

Today we’re starting a series of posts that will focus on good and timely content posted on various social media platforms. Hopefully this series will give you a better idea or new ideas to aid in your creation of content for your ministry’s social media accounts!

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The first one we’ll look at is Instagram.

First, when creating and scheduling content, it’s important to know who’s on that platform and when.

The Who

Social-Demographics-instagram
Photo from Sprout Social

Ages

53% of 18–29 year olds use Instagram.
25% of 30–49 year olds use Instagram.
11% of 50–64 year olds use Instagram.
6% of people 65+ use Instagram.

Gender

29% of online females use Instagram.
22% of online males use Instagram.

Education

31% of Instagram users have some college experience.
24% of Instagram users are college graduates.
23% of Instagram users are high school grads or less.

The When

A study was done in early 2015 by Latergramme to discover when people are engaging most on Instagram. The two following photos give us a picture of their findings.

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Photo from Huffington Post
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Photo from Huffington Post

The Examples

Here I’m going to give you a preview of three examples of good content, taken from social media accounts of ministries I follow!

Advertising for an Event

Sozo Children is a nonprofit ministry here in Birmingham that I enjoy following and learning more about. Below you’ll see a post they put up not long ago advertising for an upcoming missions opportunity.

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This is example is a good one because it provides efficient information, but also an emotional connection through the photo and the description of the trip.

Storytelling

Church of the Highlands, my home church, posts many of this type of post throughout each month. I always really enjoy reading them and I know my church family does, too.

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This example is great because it allows the viewer an inside look of Shelby’s story. With such a large congregation at Highlands, Instagram provides an opportunity for storytelling and the connection of people that we may not see otherwise! As a church family, we are able to celebrate with Shelby even though we don’t know her personally.

Encouragement

Incourage, a company owned by DaySpring, is a blog site for women. I follow this account on Instagram mostly for the encouraging content.

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This post is a good example in its simplicity, but also in its ability to catch the attention of the scroller with the graphic. The caption is short but meaningful and allows the viewer to meditate on the words because of the lack of length. It uplifts and adds a little love to their newsfeed.

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I hope this post has given you some tidbits on how to better your Instagram account! Feel free to leave any comments or questions below.

Sources: Sprout Social, Huffington Post,

7 Things I’ve Learned As A Ministry Marketer

As I’ve mentioned before, I am currently the Marketing Intern at Redstone Church in Vestavia, AL. With the experiences I’ve had there in addition to what I’m learning in my classes as a marketing major at Samford University, I want to share with you some things I’ve learned in the past year.

This is indeed more so a post of encouragement rather than a how-to, but as brothers and sisters in Christ, I believe it’s important to encourage one another in our work for the Kingdom.

7things

  1. Not to put my value as a ministry marketer in the numbers. I’ve always been a numbers person. As a lover of math and structure, numbers make sense to me and provide me with a type of security. However, numbers can also be dangerous when I put my value in them. I’ve learned and been reminded again and again of this: the value of the gifts God has given me to do this work cannot be measured in numerics. It can’t be scored, tallied, or counted. Your value isn’t represented in the number of likes you can accumulate, how many followers you have on an account, or your reach for a particular week. Your value is found in Jesus alone.
  2. Not to focus on growing the numbers. With a business-focused mind, the focus is to sell, to increase the numbers. Thank the Lord that in ministry, that is not our main focus. Our focus in this space of marketing our ministries is to encourage people, reach people, and glorify God in all things. We are called to do our best with the gifts and resources He’s given us, and to do everything short of sin to reach as many people as we can for Christ, but to leave the growth of our Eternal Family and His Church up to Him. We need to trust that as we are obedient, He is faithful.
  3. It’s all about trial-and-error. Subconsciously, I guess I thought this whole thing was going to come easily. I’m a marketing student and my generation is so familiar with social media that it’s practically our second language. It was humbling to remember that, no matter how true those facts are, I don’t know everything and there’s always more to learn. Social media and the world around us changes every day, and we must do what we can to adapt to the way it receives communication. I’ve sat down with quite a few social media managers of ministries and have asked them how they decide what content to write and when. Answers vary, but it always comes back to one thing: trial-and-error. The great thing about the environment that we’re marketing in is that we aren’t generally motivated by quotas of followers and reach, we are motivated by lives changing.
  4. I need a daily reminder of my purpose. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.” – (Galatians 6:9-10 NASB) Often times I get caught up in the job aspect of this position. I have my to-do list and my planner out and I spend hours scheduling and planning posts and content. There are days where I slip into an attitude of complaining and weariness. I see the numbers standing still and I feel defeated. This goes back to not placing your value there, but it also points to the importance of trust. Let us pray daily that we will rejoice in the little things and in the opportunity to pour into peoples’ lives in such a big way. We are doing good for the Kingdom with every work day. Let us be glad in that God is using us and trust that we’re reaping despite what we see.
  5. Importance of knowing your community. Really knowing the people of your church and ministry – the leaders and the congregation – is so important in connecting with them on social media. Being familiar with their lives, reactions, preferences, and personalities is helpful to the formulation of content and structure of your social media platforms. This also helps you to know the best way to encourage them and give them the information they need and want most effectively.
  6. Importance of adapting to the culture. When I first came to Redstone, I unknowingly used terms in my posts on social media that I adapted from my home church and its culture. My wordage and terminology were from the environment of a different space and didn’t fit the culture of the church I was speaking for. {Here’s an example: In posts advertising for their Sunday services, I was often using the term “worship”, which is a word they aim not to use. Instead, they use the term “sing” in order to make the unchurched person feel more comfortable.} It’s important for us as ministry marketers to be aware and conscious of the words we use to speak for the ministry we’re marketing for. Let’s join leadership in being intentional to create a culture of welcome, whatever that may look like for your ministry.
  7. I don’t always have the words. When I’m posting about an event, I have a pretty easy time saying what I want to say and relaying the right information to my audience. It’s when I’m wanting to encourage the Redstone community and speak truth into their week that I come up short. I’ve been reminded lately that I need to leave room and time for God to speak to my heart what to say to His people. He has given us such a huge opportunity in the space of social media to speak truth to people; let’s choose to let Him give us the words.

I hope this post encouraged and spoke truth to your heart! Be affirmed that you’re doing a good work, and that God is using every post to benefit His Kingdom. Keep working hard and doing your best, because that is enough.

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For an additional word of encouragement, I would direct you to one of my favorite posts here.