I had the privilege of helping lead a social media for ministry webinar recently. During the webinar, I talked about resources for social media ministries. I thought the same list might be worth publishing. Prayerfully it will help churches everywhere! (Tip: There are a huge number of links in this article so you may want to read through the entire article and then begin working your way through the links. This may be the kind of article that you want to come back to a few times. Try the resources over the space of a week or so. Don’t get overwhelmed by the fire hose! Just process it a little piece at a time.)
Here is a list of some of the resources I use and recommend.
Images are a huge part of having an effective social media presence. If you’re downloading images from google image search, you’re probably breaking copyright laws and ass churches we should want to operate in a way that honors the law but don’t often know how.
There are a number of things you can do to avoid this problem.
- First, you can create your own content. This is where smartphones with their cameras come in handy. When you see something interesting, take a picture and then use the iPhone app wordswag.co to add text, captions, and designs. Wordswag.com is like having a designer in your pocket. Example: take a picture of your feet, add the text, “Blessed are the feet of those who bring good news!” along with the scripture reference and “Walla!” you’ve got content you can upload to your social media outlets. There are several photo apps (Dianna, Repix, PS Express, Snapseed, Tangent and Steller) that have similar capabilities).
- A second option is to spend some money on professional images. I use several different photo sites, but my favorite is lightstock.com. They sell stock images and video content that is faith-focussed. Those who sign up for an account (free to sign up) get a free photo and vector in their inbox every week. Another great resource is creationswap.com.
- Over the last few years, I have come across a number of lists with photo resources. The most important thing to remember, pay attention to the copyright use requirements of images. Be willing to spend some money when necessary to get the exact image you need. Here are a couple of lists to get you started on your image search journeys.
CONTENT CREATION HELP
- Canva.com is an incredible tool for social media content creation. They have a great Design School with tutorials specific to social media.
- More Image Creation Tools
Coaching Tip – Get a Social Media Coach
I’ve spent hundreds of hours learning social media and have been coaching individuals and churches for the last few years. Coaching is essential, but most churches can’t afford a professional coach.
If you’re interested in taking your Social Media Ministry from 0 to 10, then having a coach or teacher walk you through every step is essential. Justin Wise, former pastor and the founder of Think Digital, has designed a training tool specifically for churches called Social Church Academy.
Social Church Academy is a monthly membership site however, you can get a 50% discount using this link. After the discount, the cost will be $39.00 a month, a huge value. You can cancel if it doesn’t work for you. I am a subscriber and I wouldn’t recommend it if it wasn’t worth the expense.
Don’t subscribe to Social Church Academy without a plan!
Gather together a team to walk through the coaching with you. Find one or two people to watch the videos and implement a social media plan for your ministry. Again, there is no contract and you can cancel at any time if it doesn’t work for you. But consider checking it out. Visit the Social Church Academy landing page for more information. You can subscribe, start the process and then put together a team along the way.
Prior to yesterday’s webinar, I received permission from Justin to refer you to Social Church Academy’s free Power Pack of Social Media Documents. This download includes a sample content calendar, goals worksheet, strategy document and more. It’s a great resource for your social media ministry.
Facebook and Twitter Help Centers
Both Facebook and Twitter have help centers with free content to get you started.
If you need help developing your Facebook page spend some time on the Facebook Help Center site. They have tutorials to help you launch a page, understand page basics, promote content, and learn how to measure the effects of your social media efforts.
Over the next few months, you’ll be getting more tips, tricks and resources about Social Media for Ministry from Ministry Logistics. If you have a specific request for information, I may even include it in the content I send out. Send me your questions and or requests and I will consider producing content dealing directly with the problems you’re trying to overcome. You can also post your comments, questions or requests below.
Don’t get discouraged. Every ministry endeavor has a learning curve.