Popular with bloggers, influencers, and riddled with hashtags from #God and #Faith to #Wanderlust and #CampLife, today Instagram is not just for scrolling through designer pictures. Known Catholic Church figures such as Fr. Mike Schmitz and Bishop Robert Barron are easily found on people’s personal streams and, with a little bit of intentionality, your church’s content can be just as sought-after.
Here are some easy and engaging ways to make Instagram work for your parish.
First, Some Stats
- Created in 2010, Instagram is a popular photo-sharing app that lets you connect with brands, celebrities, thought leaders, friends, family, and more.
- Like a simplified version of Facebook, Instagram is an entirely visual platform, meaning its sole purpose is to enable users to share images or videos with their audience.
- Users can upload images and video clips ranging from 3 seconds to 60, depending on which way you post your video. You can also embellish your images and video using filters, gifs, and other fun tools.
- You cannot add links to your posts or video clips. Only one link on your biography page can be used, and depending on what you have going on, you’re advised to switch out the link each time you have a new topic or follower request.
- You can’t post to Instagram using a desktop computer. Rather, you have to post via mobile phone, or you can use a social media manager such as Hootsuite or Later to schedule out.
PRO-TIP: While you can’t put links directly in your posts, you can sign up for a “mini-menu” of important links that you can put in your bio. And there are several platforms to choose from! Check out Lnk.Bio, Linkr.bio, and Linktree to compare features and sign up for the best one for your church.
Sample Instagram Schedule
There are lots of ways you can utilize Instagram for your own parish that are engaging and inspiring. Instead of looking at a weekly schedule, check out a list of ideas your parish can choose from!
Events — Past and Upcoming!
Did you have a recent festival or parish-sponsored event? What about a compelling flyer with all the information on where and when? Upload some images of the day to Instagram (bonus if they are interesting to look at and high-resolution.) and watch the likes come in!
Images of Catholic saints, inspiring words from well-known Catholic figures, pretty landscapes with a few hashtags, all of these inspire people to click and follow for more. Some accounts to check out are Dynamic Catholic, Word on Fire and Pope Francis.
It’s all about helping people to know your parish. Include parishioner highlights with personal testimonies, a “volunteer of the week,” or ministry snapshots to highlight all that your parish does, both within and outside the walls!
PRO-TIP: Running a parish is hard, and when you throw in curating social media content for your parish, it’s just another hurdle. With WeCreate, you’ll find the latest in stock photography, church clip art, Catholic prayers, weekly Gospel reflections, and more. And if you’re a bulletin customer, you already have access!
Looking for more ways to utilize social media platforms? Check out “Twitter & Your Parish” and “Facebook and Your Parish” for additional ways to engage your followers no matter what platform they follow you on.