Instagram has arisen as the second-largest social media tool. Despite its size and popularity, it is the most difficult to “hack.”
- Instagram has more than 400 million active users around the world. That’s A LOT of people.
- In the US alone, there are 64 million active users, a figure that is projected to hit 111 million by 2019.
- According to comScore’s 2015 mobile trends report, Millennials spend upwards of 420 minutes a month on Instagram alone.
- Another report by Forrester Research found Instagram users were 58 times more likely to like, comment on or share a brand’s post than were Facebook users, and 120 times more likely than were Twitter users.
I have, however, discovered an awesome way to use it for church growth. Here’s what you do:
Wherever your church is located, search in Instagram for that location. Once you search for the location, then you’ll find your target audience for Instagram. This is the key practical way to find people.
Search for a local audience, then resource them with practical tools customized to your community.
Once you’ve found the people right around you, provide practical resources and forms of encouragement for them. For example, I live in a lake community. We can provide a blog post for them to say something like, “5 Family Friendly Things to Do On Your Weekend Getaway at the Lake in Harrison Bay.”
Finding the people in your community is the easy part. Just search, and BOOM, you have them at your fingertips. The tricky part is how you resource them.
How do you resource them? Make a list of things for which your community or city is known. Here is the list for my area of Chattanooga:
- Paddle Boarding
Once thinking through what the community likes, then write a simple blog post giving some tips that use words that are just for your community. Use the names of neighborhoods, local restaurants, and things that make it personal just to people who are near your church. That way, they’ll know it is personalized just for your community.
If there are some local companies with whom you can partner, offer a coupon people can download from the article. For example, there is a little boutique down the street from my church that my wife loves. It is called “Owl Cove.” What if I went to the owner and explained what I’m trying to do, and said, “If people showed this article at checkout, could they have 10% off their purchase of $25 or more?”
When you find people on Instagram who are posting from right around your church, and you have some simple ways to resource them with both ideas and financial breaks, those people will naturally think favorably of your church.
After you’ve poured into them, invite them, via Instagram, to come to your church next Sunday. Give—Give—Give—Then Ask.
What is your favorite thing about Instagram? Comment below!
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