Come and See: Getting the Most Out of Instagram For Your Parish

Chruch InstagramWhen it comes to social networks most of us look at the major ones . . . Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, etc.  But have you considered adding Instagram?  Two things I can imaging you saying to yourself right now is:

  1. We don’t have the time or resources to add anything else
  2. Big deal, Instagram lets you add filters to photos and share them

On the surface, it doesn’t seem like a “big deal”.  But the one thing we forget is that if you look at your Facebook stats, photo posts most likely rank way up there with the highest level of engagement.  Therefore, Instagram can be a huge compliment to a parish’s social lineup.  Here’s some stats for them that are pretty impressive and from my personal expereince I am seeing a huge growth among the younger generations as active users.

According to Instagram, as of the writing of this post, they have:

  • 130 million users
  • 16 billion photos shared
  • 1 billion likes daily
  • 45 million photos per day

Ok, so how can you get the most out of Instagram for your parish?  Here’s how:

  1. Sign up for a PARISH Instagram account on a mobile device through the app.  I recommend using the same extension you use for other profiles such as Twitter and Facebook (i.e. instagram.com/yourchurch, twitter.com/yourchurch, facebook.com/yourchurch, youtube.com/yourchurch, etc.). 
  2. Update the profile with your parish branding
  3. Add the Instagram icon to your wesbite
  4. Set up to share to your parish Twitter and Facebook PAGE - Make sure to go through the steps to share to the page.
  5. Use and take photos (or short videos if you have a device compatible with Instagram’s video capabilities) to enhance the message you are putting out.  Not only will it catch more attention you’ve also shared it on another network.  You don’t have to take a lot of photos either.
  6. Tag the location in your posts to highlight your parish or location of the photo.
  7. Assign a hashtag to events and encourage others to take photos on Instagram and use the hashtag.  Make sure to search the hashtag and “Like” photos others have posted.

All in all, it’s one the best social compliments for parishes.  It’s a means to take otherwise bland messages and liven them up and it’s a means to encourage participation and and events a little more fun and memorable.

Are you using Instagram for your parish?  What’s been your experience?

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Author:Brad West

I live in Palm Coast, FL with my family and have assisted my local parish with our website and communications. Our parishes today can benefit a great deal from technology. Whether it's improving communications, community building, evangelizing, business operations, and much more; we have the tools today. To help provide some direction and advice to parishes and parishioners, I wrote and published an eBook titled "The Connected Church" which is available through Barnes and Noble (Nooks and Nook apps) as well as Amazon (Kindle and Kindle apps).