Hello and welcome to the #AskNatchi show. Today, we are talking about ‘Stories’, we are talking about Instagram, and Facebook, and WhatsApp Story ideas. Because Stories are usually associated with an individual’s life. You talk about what you ate, where you went for vacation, what you did on the weekend, etc. But when it comes to churches, what do you post? When it comes to ministries, what do you tell people that will keep them engaged on Stories? I’m going to give you 7 things – what works on Stories as content. Are you ready? Let’s go.
#1: Behind-the-scenes of everyday life
No-1: Behind the scenes of your own life. If you’re a senior pastor, or a minister, you have your daily activities. You go to office, you prepare, you do stuff, just showcase that. I mean, it’s just 15 seconds. In maybe 2 or 3 stories a day, even in 1 story a day, just show people what is happening behind the scenes in your life. People will absolutely love it because they start seeing the real you. They start understanding your challenges, your daily affairs and what you go through, etc. So showcase that to people, that is number one.
#2: Take-over by the ‘Youth’
Number 2… this is a radical idea, so listen carefully.
No-2: Giving your story access to your kids – your church kids or your ministry kids, the youngsters, the youth group. Just ask them to take over your Instagram channel, for a day. And keep that rolling maybe twice a week, or thrice a week, or even sometimes during seasons, etc. I will tell you, you are going to be surprised at what these kids can come up with! They can come up with stuff. You just lay some ground rules, tell them this is allowed, this is not allowed, this is how you do it. And just tell them “whatever you can think of, come up with it”. Maybe you can see a couple of samples. What could go wrong? Even if they post something odd, you can always delete it, right? Just give it to them. Trust them.
I mean, I’m telling you, the younger generation, they know what they’re doing. So trust them. Give it to them. See what happens. I have seen churches do that. And some of the TikTok accounts, etc have totally gone viral. And it’s been a big blessing to others. Because the way they think is very different. So try that. Second is, handing over or take over by your kids in your ministry.
#3: Showcasing Event Backstage
No-3: Events backstage. When you’re doing events, when you do church ministry events, even the weekly service preparations, earlier you used to do it on a stage, with lots of people, but now maybe you do it on a stage or maybe you do a recording in-house, show people what’s going on there. That is a great content for Stories because you can showcase the camera, you can showcase the mistakes that you do, the retakes that you had to have, all that kind of stuff. That’s also bringing out the authentic self in you and people love to see that.
#4: Showcasing Testimonies
No-4: Testimonials. Stories of people having been blessed by your ministry and what’s going on in the lives of your congregation, donors. You could get some testimonials from people, saying how they have been blessed. If you can get short testimonials… today, people are happy to record, just ask people to pick up their phone and record a couple of minute testimonials. Or you could interview them on Zoom and then you can take clips of those and put them as Stories.
#5: Sharing Insights and Inspirations
No-5: Insights and inspirations. As a leader, I’m sure you spend a lot of time preparing and there are Holy Spirit moments, God reveals some things to you, share that as an inspiration. Just get on the Stories just for a few seconds and say, “I was reading the scripture, and this what I felt, this is what God told me…” And that would be a big blessing to people. That is an easy thing to do. It’s not very complicated. You are already having that experience with God, and you’re just chatting with somebody else. It might be a big blessing to someone who’s listening to you.
#6: Sharing Announcements
No-6: Announcements. Have you ever thought of stories as an announcing board, an announcement board or bulletin? There is no better tool than that. If you can have a series of announcement images, people love to quickly go through it. People might miss it on the news feed, they might miss it on the regular post, even if it’s a video, people have to wait for you to go one by one by one, but here as a Story, it’s an image, so people can keep clicking… like “next service is at this time…”, “this what we’re doing next Sunday…”, “this is what we’re doing on the prayer points…” boom, boom, boom!
People can come back if they want to, if they missed something. And you can have lots of detail on the image, so they can look at it as long as they want, then they can delete it, or they can just skip it. Then later you can save it as a ‘highlight’ on Instagram. You can save it as ‘highlight’ so people can always go back and it’s not vanishing in 24 hours, you can save it as a ‘highlight’ as well. That is another thing you can try. That way… here is another tip… when you do these announcements and you do it on a regular basis, what happens is your congregation… today, we’re all online, people are in remote locations… your congregation understands that you are going to use this as an announcement board. And guess what? They will constantly look for your Stories because they will want to know your announcements.
They will want to know your church announcements, so they’ll follow you, they look up for you and you’ll start getting more engagement in the Stories, as you mix up these 7 things.
#7: Getting Feedback / Polls
No-7: Feedback. Use Stories to ask questions. Use Stories to get feedback or survey people. For eg: if you’re going to talk about a particular topic and you want to know, “Should I talk about this topic next week? Next month? This is what I’m planning” Get feedback from people. People give quick feedback. Just ask them to give a ‘Thumbs Up’ or do a poll. People can answer questions like, ‘Whether it is this topic or another topic?”, “Whether it is this verse or another verse?” “Do you want us to throw an offline party or online party?”, “Or do you want to have a conversation or a Zoom call?”… all that kind of stuff. Think of questions, think of polls that can get your church congregation involved in.
There you have it. Those are the 7 Stories ideas that churches and ministry accounts can comfortably do. It will also be engaging and give you a lot of engagement with your audience. If you have any questions, do send it to me, on digital and social media for your church or ministry. I’m happy to answer them. I’ll see you next week with another answer to another question. Until then, you stay connected, stay blessed, and stay very safe. God bless you. Bye!
Author of The Connected Church. Social Media and Digital Marketing Consultant for Nonprofits, Faith-based Organisations, Churches and Ministries. You can subscribe to Natchi’s email newsletter by clicking here.