What's in this session?

  • Goals (1:22)
  • Template #1: Countdown (2:51)
  • Template #2: Elimination (4:33)
  • Template #3: Slideshow (5:46)
  • Template #4: Bible Reading (7:31)
  • Template #5: Myth/Fact (9:15)

Show notes and resources

Free Bonus: Click here to download The Ultimate Church Connect Card Template – a fully customizable connect card template for really works

The Transcript

Brady Shearer: Social media has completely changed in the last couple of years, and traditional tactics like consistent branding and promotional posts don’t work like they used to. So, you might be wondering, what does work on social media? Well, in this podcast, I’ll be revealing five social media templates that are completely new and innovative, and unlike anything you’ve probably seen churches post on social media before.
Alex Mills: Well, Hey there and welcome to Pro Church Tools. The show where in 10 minutes or less, you’re going to get a dose of tips and tactics to help your church share the message of Jesus. Where we navigate the biggest communication shift in 500 years. I’m your host, Alex Mills joined as always by the boss man, Brady Shearer.
Brady Shearer: Alex, it’s the fall season right now. Which means that all around the continent, car dealerships are telling us that the 2018 models are trash and they’re bringing in the 2019 models.
Alex Mills: Of course. Fall clear out, get rid of these brand new cars get new-
Brady Shearer: Are you driving the 2018? You should be embarrassed because it might not even make it to your commute. So, we’re following suit and going to talk about social media templates that we think are going to push the needle forward in 2019 for churches. We want to share five templates that are completely different from what most churches are doing with social. Because we think that as social has continued to evolve and change, we need our strategies within our ministries to evolve and change as well. There are three goals that these social media templates aim to accomplish. The first goal is stop the scroll.
Alex Mills: Of course.
Brady Shearer: Before anything can be done successfully on social media, you need to get your users and audience to stop scrolling. The second thing is to start meaningful conversation. And the third is to provoke spiritual practice. These are the three aims for each of these social media templates. Also, all three are going to be video based. We know that video is the most dominant medium in digital existence right now. And on social it’s that way as well. So, all of these are going to be video based. Then finally, the whole point of this is recognizing within our churches, every single week, people come to our buildings to gather, and what do we do? We engage in spiritual practice. We hear the Word of God. We worship together. We have some community. Why can’t we do that on social where everybody is also gathering throughout the week? It’s a pretty easy leap to make. What we’re aiming to do with these five templates is do just that.
Alex Mills: We’ve seen it during this past year, 2018, that video posts are getting an extra boost in organic reach, especially on Facebook and Instagram they perform a lot better than a still image post or a text post, and we believe that’s still going to be true going forward into 2019. So, I think it’s great that each five of these posts are video based. I know for a lot of churches, these posts may be a little bit outside of the box, maybe not something you’ve thought of doing before, maybe not the way you’re using video right now. So, I’m excited to talk about these and see how churches are going to start using them.
Brady Shearer: Perfect. Let’s start with template number one. We call this the countdown template. If you’re listening to this episode right now, we highly encourage you to go to prochurchtools.com and watch the video version. Because we’ve got real video examples for each of these templates. We’re not just talking philosophical, we’ve got real examples for you to take a look at. The first is the countdown template. Essentially, the whole purpose of this template is to get people to stop scrolling and to pause while they’re mindlessly working their way through their social feed, and reclaim some of that time.
Brady Shearer: This template that we’re using in this example, just simply says, “Hey, take the next 60 seconds and pray for your spouse.” Again, people are scrolling through social, let’s reclaim that time and use that time, provoke spiritual practice.
Alex Mills: I love this one. Because not only is it encouraging your users, your followers to engage with your posts, but it’s not just meaningless engagement like, what was your favorite movie you saw this week? I’m not saying that kind of post is bad, but this is like really … You use the phrase, spiritual practice. This is really intentional use of encouraging that engagement and putting your faith into action on a Wednesday night when you’re scrolling through Instagram or through Facebook, take the next 60 seconds, stop what you’re scrolling through mindlessly and actually do something that means something. You can do that with a post.
Brady Shearer: You could do 60 seconds of prayer for a spouse, pray for your kids, pray for the parents in our church, pray for our city. But you could also just do something like, hey, take 60 seconds of solitude, take 60 seconds and meditate on all that God is doing and has done in your life. Take 60 seconds to be grateful that all the good things that exist in your life thanks to Jesus. Any of these things, where you would normally do this in person, you can do it through social as well.
Alex Mills: So good.
Brady Shearer: Template number two is the elimination template. We’ve talked about this before, this is the type of template that can engage and provoke meaningful interaction on social. It’s okay, meaningful interaction doesn’t mean that it has to be super serious, it can be fun. In this example, basically what we’ve done and this is what the elimination template is, is you take four different things and then you ask your audience to eliminate one forever.
Brady Shearer: The example that we have here we’ve talked about this example in the past his ribs, fried chicken, steak and shrimp, you have to eliminate one forever. What’s great about this template is it creates meaningful interaction because we cannot help ourselves but respond and say, “I think it’s ribs. We got to get rid of ribs?” Then that’s going to upset somebody else in the comments. They’re going be like, “How dare you? It’s got to be fried chicken.” Which will upset somebody else, and now you’ve got a ton of fun going back and forth. People are getting riled up. But it’s all for controversy.
Alex Mills: With good Christian love of course.
Brady Shearer: It’s good, pseudo controversy, the Christian style. We’re not getting serious about anything that’s meant to be serious about, we’re getting serious about food.
Alex Mills: Eliminating is one book of the Bible for … Won’t go there.
Brady Shearer: Right. The point of the elimination template is to keep things light. Template number three, we call this the slideshow template. This works exceptionally well on Instagram, but does work on Twitter and Facebook as well. The whole point of this template is on the first slide, and again, we’re using the slideshow, carousel feature in Instagram. So, there’s four total slides in this template.
Brady Shearer: On the first slide, you ask a question. Something like, “Hey, are you experiencing spiritual doubt, or are you doubting God? And then-
Alex Mills: Swipe left.
Brady Shearer: There’s a call to action, swipe left. When you do swipe left, you get a scripture verse that is responding to that pain points. Swipe left again and you get another scripture verse responding to that pain point and just swipe as many times for as many scriptures as you have. The reason I’m using doubt as the example in this case is we know that two out of three Christians admit to experiencing a season of spiritual doubt, and 25% of Christ followers are doubting right now. So, that means one in four people in your church right now are dealing with doubt in their faith.
Brady Shearer: So, what can we do about that? We could ignore it or we can confront it head on. You can use a template like this, confront it head on by asking the question, “Hey, are you dealing with spiritual doubt? “Allow people to self-identify and then respond to that and help them walk through that?”
Alex Mills: We’ve talked about writing great captions on this show before we talked it just recently on the podcast talking about writing captions for your photos. A lot of times, you’ll post a photo and then elaborate with Scripture verses or what have you in the captions. That’s great. If you can stop the scroll and get someone to expand that caption, that’s going to work for you. But maybe this is just a different avenue to expand on a thought, provide one, two, three or more scripture verses to help somebody who’s going through doubt without having to get them to expand that caption. But they can just swipe that kind of natural swiping motion and use that native carousel feature within Instagram to accomplish that.
Brady Shearer: Moving on to template number four, the Bible reading template. I don’t know about you, Alex, but this is my personal favorite on this list. We know that more than half of all American adults say that they want to read the Bible more. That’s not Christians, that’s all American adults. 58% say they wish they read the Bible more. What’s amazing is that we can use social media to facilitate that desire.
Brady Shearer: With the Bible reading template, what’s really cool is that you don’t just take a single verse from Scripture, but you take a long form passage. I think, the Beatitudes or the woman at the well, or the Lord’s Prayer, or a complete Psalm, and we use the power of video, and the ability to have multiple frames. You take that video post, and you share a full passage of scripture in an engaging, stop the scroll type video. What happens is someone scrolling through their social feed, they stop the scroll because you’re following the best practices to make that happen. Now, they’re actually reading the Bible on their social feed right now, and it’s only going to be 30 to 60 seconds. But guess what, for most people, that’s the most Bible they’re going to read all day.
Brady Shearer: Now, you’re using social to provoke that. You don’t need them to come to Sunday to read the word. You don’t need them to go to a Bible study to get to a small group. Not that those are bad, but let’s take advantage of all the outlets that we have, and let’s use social not to just say, “Come and read the Bible at our in-person events. How about we do it right now?”
Alex Mills: Yeah, I feel like on Facebook, this kind of post will perform really well when it comes to shareability. I feel like this is the kind of post if it resonates with your follower, whoever is reading it, excuse me, will want to share this kind of post with their followers. There, in action, you see the word of God, literally the scriptures being spread way beyond your reach just by posting a simple post.
Brady Shearer: Final template, we call this myth or fact. Again, this is a Bible based social media template. Where essentially, you take a verse and you say it incorrect.
Alex Mills: This one’s my favorite because I do this when I’m preaching too.
Brady Shearer: See, it’s classic preacher’s move that we’re doing it on social. So, here’s a verse from Exodus, the verse reads, “The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.” But what we do with this template is we incorrectly share that verse. We say something like, “The Lord will fight for you. You need only to be careful.” But then we cross out careful. Then it says, you need only to be deliberate, and you cross out deliberate. You need only to be reliable, you cross out reliable, and then you finally complete it the correct way, and you put still.
Brady Shearer: What I love about this is that because it’s unpredictable, and because you’re expecting one thing, but then a different thing happens. It’s great at grabbing attention, and especially because it’s video, it’s happening quickly enough, within the first three seconds where it happens incorrectly, “Wait, well, that’s wrong.” What’s great about this also is that we’ve all had that moment where we read Scripture, and we’ve read it 1000 times, or 100 times, or even 15 times. But then suddenly, it just seems different.
Brady Shearer: I love contrasting what the scripture actually says with the exact opposite. That can add new meaning to the word because not only are you seeing it for what it is, but you’re seeing it for what it isn’t, and now you had that comparison and that contrast which can be great for just illuminating a new understanding of classic scripture.
Alex Mills: So good.
Brady Shearer: That’ll do it for this episode of Pro Church Tools, but we do have a great featured resource that we wanted to highlight, and that is the new social media checklist for churches. This is a brand new free resource that we’ve just released. When you’re about to post on social, we recommend that you use this checklist to make sure check everything off and know that okay, if I follow this checklist, I’m going to be doing the right thing. You can find it at checklist.church. It’s also linked in the show notes for this episode. We’ll see you next time.

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