Of all of Instagram's MANY features, my favorite is stories.
Why? They're fun, low-pressure ways to connect with your current audience.
Who Sees Your Stories?
Your stories are generally only seen by your CURRENT followers, and only your most engaged followers at that.
What does that mean? Instagram is giving you a way to talk to your most actively-engaged parishioners on the platform. And they might not even be your most active audience in the pews, so it's a fantastic way to reach these unique followers.
So What Should We Put In Our Church's Stories?
One of my biggest pet peeves is when organization's ONLY share their recent posts in their stories. This is NOT an effective Instagram Stories strategy.
You absolutely should share your posts there...but that shouldn't be the only thing you post. There are tons of Gifs and engagement stickers you can use to amplify the time people spend in your stories.
Okay, Emily, so what should we be posting?
Here are 15 ideas:
Daily prayer prompts (try changing the heart slider to a prayer hands slider to get more engagement)
Catholic trivia questions (using the quiz sticker)
Sharing when people mention you in stories or posts or tag your location
AMA's about the faith (using the question sticker)
Clergy, staff, or ministry takeovers showing a "day in the life"
This or that Catholic prayers, Bible verses, etc. (using the poll feature)
Ask for prayer requests (using the question sticker)
Weekly event roundups
Behind the scenes around the church (ie. prepping for Masses/events)
Common Catholic prayers
Important announcements (weather closings, updated Mass procedures)
Homily or bulletin article clips
Worship song of the day (with music sticker)
Parishioner spotlights (ie. Meet the ___ family!)
Here are a few churches that I've seen do stories really well! Check out their highlights to see some of their regular features. (Full disclosure, St. Michael Cary is one of our clients, so of course I think they're especially great. :) )
Instagram story highlights can be a super effective way to introduce new parishioners (or followers!) to basic information about your church and Catholicism.
Be sure to save your favorite story features to your highlights with a branded cover!
Not sure how to do that? Here's a tutorial!
What Else Don't I Know About Catholic Social Media?
If this post has your thoughts racing, we have a course you'll love! It's all about Catholic social media marketing, and it's chockfull of tips you can use on your church's Instagram account. Find it here and enroll today!