The social media landscape is changing quickly for everyone, including churches. And especially the social media video trend continues to grow exponentially in demand.

You have to ask yourself – why is that? And what has changed. Here’s why in trend #1.

Trend #1 We Are Now In A New Social Media Age

In the last thirteen or so years as social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more lately, TikTok have grown in the number users, there has been a subtle, but undeniable shift.

We have moved from a social media world where once social connection was the key, with friends and new friends and acquaintances. We are now in the age of “discovery” where the algorithms are putting mostly video content they think you want to see infront of you. Does that feel familiar?

This presents a challenge and great opportunity for churches to be found by people who the algorithms think want to see content.

Trend #2: Social Media Video Is King

Video is now the number one form of post on all social media channels. It’s also being prioritised by all social media channels which means they are showing them to more people than any other kind of post.

In 2023 people are watching, on average, 17 hours of online video per week. That’s actually fallen from an average of 19 hours in 2022. 

Trend #3: Major In Short Form Vertical Video

Most church media folks are still used to using video in landscape 16:9 format. Which obviously for your in person IMAG vision or online services is great. But they tend to be long format and people watching for long. And because people don’t watch for long the algorithms will not show these types of videos to as many people.

Whereas short form vertical videos (around 60 seconds) like Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, Facebook Reels and TikTok vertical video will be shown to more people because if the content is engaging, the chances are more people will watch more of the video than the long form videos and therefore the algorithms will show the videos to more people.

Short form video retention (How long people watch) is broadly speaking around 54% globally, but I would say for the faith space it would be higher.

I found this software called Sermon Shots which can create short form verticals videos quickly and easily. Find out more here.

Trend #4 Most People Watch Videos With The Sound Off

Want your videos to be seen by more people? Well statistics show that more people watch videos on social media with the sound off, rather than with the sound on. Sounds crazy right? But most people are on their phones when in transit or at home without wanting to bother other people around them. Guess which videos they skip? Video’s with no subtitles. And they keep watching videos with subtitles.

So your lesson is to put really obvious subtitles on your videos. Again there is software like Sermon Shots that will automagically do the hard work for you. There are obviously web based video editing software products available, but I love what Sermon Shots are doing specifically for churches.

Your Turn

What social media video trends have you seens? Leave some wisdom below.