There has been a lot of buzz recently about churches using Snapchat. Is your church on Snapchat yet? You may be thinking ‘Steve, what even is Snapchat!’ I’ll start from the beginning. 

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is yet another social media platform for your mobile device. You can send messages, photos, videos and even drawings. It’s free and has the most confusing user interface I’ve ever come across.

Yet, it has become hugely popular in a relatively short space of time. It is the second fastest growing social media platform. Kids love it. Some older folk hate it.

I know what you may be feeling. Not another social media platform. I know. I felt the same way too. But many young people and now older people are joining.

4 Reasons To Use Snapchat (The why)

1) Firstly it already has over 100 million active daily users. The majority are 13-17 years old. Five billion videos are viewed on it every single day.

2) Unlike Facebook which hides your posts, the open rates for any content are almost at 100%. Simply put, you will reach more people of a certain age. But that age range is now growing rapidly.

3) To me, it reminds me of the rapidly changing emphasis of social media, video used to be the rarity, but now much of the content we see is video. Snapchat is predominately video driven in terms of usage.

4) What I love about Snapchat is that any post you create will have to feel a bit more raw and real (read authentic) as it doesn’t give you the capacity to upload highly produced videos.

How to get started on Snapchat

I won’t create a tutorial because there are some great step-by-step blogs that have already covered it, like this one on social media examiner. Once you are on. Then go play and look at what others are doing.

7 Smart Ways To Use Snapchat (The How)

I’m not going to pretend that I’m the social media jedi user of Snapchat. I’ve only been on it a short while myself (I’m stevefogg on Snapchat BTW). Here are some great ideas and tips that will propel you in becoming a ‘pro-snapper’

Tip #1: Get Personal

Rich Birch actually shares four tips and has some great thoughts around using Snapchat here. He also lists a few churches that are already using SnapChat.

Tip #2: Share A Day In The Life Of…

Stephen Brewster shares some great ideas about how to use SnapChat here. I picked the one I like the best but there is more ideas on the post. Sharing a ‘day in the life of’ is incredibly authentic. In a world where every marketing message is getting slicker I think the raw and real way this idea could be expanded on could be great. Volunteers may share their story. Staff may do a short devotional from a passage they love. Or they may share a peek behind the curtain into their ministry world. The possibilities endless.

Tip #3: Partner With Influencers

Building a following on a new social media platform can be a slow process. You can accelerate your reach quickly by handing over the account to trusted younger influencers who are using SnapChat. You will leverage their existing reach to build your church’s reach.

Tip #4: Exclusive Preview & Explanation

Social media examiner writes about previewing products (Read more here). It giving a peek behind the curtain and creates great opportunity to talk about the what and the why of the product. You can do the same for your church. You could preview part of a new worship song.

Tip #5: Talk About Relevant Issues

This could be an incredibly powerful short pastoral moment where you can have the chance to speak into relevant issues going on in broader culture that impacts the audience’s world.

Tip #6: Share A Memorable Moment

It may be a baptism or another significant part of a person’s spiritual journey. It could be sharing a thank you and shout out to different people who serve as volunteers. It may be a milestone in your church’s history such as an anniversary or new pastoral appointment.

Tip #7: Promotion

I struggled to write this as a ‘tip’. I generally prefer all social media be focussed on engagement rather than self-promotion. But there are occasions when you can use it for this. Just don’t major on the promotion. Major on creating engaging authentic content & minor on promotion.

More blogs about using Snapchat

What Darrel Learnt In His First Week Of Using Snapchat 

Some useful Snapchat guidelines 

Best Practices For Using Snapchat

The Inside Scoop On Snapchat (Handy Transcript from #cmschat that I host)

Your Turn

Like I said I’m not a social media Jedi on using Snapchat effectively – yet. I’m learning. But I wanted to write and share what I’ve learnt and read already so that I be a useful resource for you.

Got ideas about using Snapchat? Comment below.  Have you written about ideas about using Snapchat? Drop a link below.