I love Instagram. It’s one of my favourite social media channels. They recently released a new feature called Instagram Stories to increase the level of engagement.
After spending a few weeks testing Instagram Stories out I think it has real potential for your church.
What is Instagram Stories?
With a nod to the success of Snapchat stories (Yes they copied it) it is just another way to post on Instagram. The only difference is that the post will disappear in 24 hours.
In reality, Instagram wants to increase the frequency of posting on the platform because it is known as a curated visual social media platform, it requires more effort to create content for it. They also realize that the lower the bar for creating content means that more people will post on the platform.
Why use Instagram Stories?
With changes that Instagram is making to its algorithm (you no longer see everyone’s posts) creating engaging stories that people watch or read means that you are more likely to appear in the timeline of someone’s Instagram feed.
More visibility equals more engagement. More engagement will mean more reach.
The live nature of the video’s on Instagram stories means that Instagram is pushing you not to create the most artistically curated story, but to tell a story that is authentic and in the moment rather than professionally curated.
The opportunity is that you can be authentic and still build your brand rather than just push out professional looking ads.
What I personally love about stories is that you can get people to message you privately and interact with you. That provides a great opportunity to engage with your audience.
How Instagram Stories work
They appear at the top of your feed and all Instagram accounts will have the ability to create stories.
What types of posts can you create?
- Picture post that you created earlier
- 10-second video story
You can do them live or get the content from your phone (Check out my Instagram account for my stories here. Or Just search on Instagram for @stevefogg).
21 post ideas for Instagram Stories
I host a weekly Twitter chat called #cmschat for those who serve in churches or Christian non-profits who want to be more effective in their communications. In our recent chat, we shared ideas about different posts you could use on Instagram Stories. Thanks to you all who shared, there are some great ideas you can use for posts for your church.
- Behind-the-scenes content
- Video quote a leader loves
- 10-second devotion
- Celebrate volunteers & get people to message their thanks back and pass onto volunteers.
- Have fun in different ministry areas
- Invite people
- Report on events as they happen
- Daily ministry life
- Tour of your church (Separate out the different areas)
- Pre or post sermon Q&A with pastor
- Worship leader interviews
- Prayer requests
- One question interviews with staff
- Call out for stories about how God is at work in people’s lives
- What people are reading
- Favourite worship music
- Show how easy it is to park for visitors
- Show the hospitality you have ready for people who have never been to your church before (Food/drink/people)
- Sneek-peek into different ministry areas eg. Youth, kids, weekends
- Quick vocal rendition from your best singer
- Teaser of your worship team preparing for the services
Check out the transcript our weekly chat here. You can also join us each Thursday night 9pm ET (USA). Australia 11am (AEST), this changes depending on the time of year for us Aussies.
There are so many great ways we can use Instagram Stories. I’d love to hear your ideas on how you use them. Also, If you have any questions about Instagram stories leave a comment below.