Content creation is easy. You just have to know where to look for inspiration.
And everybody said “boooooooooo!” because it’s the one question among social media managers I hear daily.
How do you come up with stuff? What do I post? How can I get my people to engage better? Did we ever figure out the true meaning of covfefe? Will Golden State Warriors fans always be this smug?
So I created a resource for you called 88 Ideas for Church Social Media Posts, which you can get for free. But let’s be real, that’s just a way to get you started and more like giving you a fish. In this short rant, I’m going to give you my secrets to coming up with great content and let you know how I created that resource in under two weeks time.
Think of someone you know
My first go-to tactic for content creation is to think of someone I know that’s like the persona I’m trying to reach. Would so and so like this post? Have I heard him say something like this? Is this a question she has asked before?
I’ve actually created 7 different “avatars” for the type of communication director that I write to here each week and speak to on my podcast every other week. A few of them are probably reading this right now!
As I get to know them, it helps me create questions and content that they would engage with. If they will engage with it, others will too. (Waves to Shane, Ryan, Meghan, Janet, Kevin, Sarah, and Brandon!)
Mine a Facebook Group for Content
Join a Facebook group full of people like the ones you are trying to reach and listen. If your church doesn’t have a group, then start one based on some kind of interest and listen to the discussion.
Listen to the questions or struggles that they constantly bring up. What are the common themes? Write these down in your dream journal, then create content that either answers those questions or create a graphic from the question and post it to your pages to get the discussion started.
Don’t act like you don’t know about the dream journal under your bed with the unicorns on it.
Mining a Facebook group will yield you a lot of great content if you’ll pay attention.
Do a Survey for Content
Flat out ask your people via email or on social. Use a service like Survey Monkey or Google Forms to collect data and just flat out ask your audience what they like and don’t like. You could even bypass the survey and just ask the questions on social, too.
Would you like to see articles about X on our wall? Would you rather we tried to entertain you more?
I mean, don’t ask that last question. It’s super needy. But you get it. Ask them what they are into, what struggles they have, where they’d like to see the church go in the next 5 years, etc.
That’s a loaded gun though, so don’t ask anything you don’t think you want to know the answer to.
(Rate our pastor’s sermons on a scale from 1-5….)
Borrow from Someone Else’s Content
It helps to follow other churches on your social feeds. You might see a great idea that would totally work for your context that you would have never thought of. Send the church (or business) a quick message (depending on just exactly how much stealing you plan to do) and ask them if you can use their idea.
They’ll probably say yes. List the ones who say “no” in the comments…we’ll take care of them.
Just make sure you contextualize the idea for your church. It may not work perfectly as they did it, so make sure you keep YOUR audience in mind when planning the post/idea.
Of course, you could just ask yourself what you would want to see on social if you were following the church Instagram or Facebook and just do that. Chances are, you’ve got great ideas inside of your head that you just haven’t gotten out yet, so don’t sell yourself short.
Here’s the beauty of social today: It has to be engaging more than it has to be pretty. If you can do pretty, great, but if it’s not engaging, so what? But an ugly engaging post will go miles, and that’s honestly why anyone would follow a church on social media. They want to have a conversation, not drop offerings at your altar of awesome.
What are some of the ways you come up with content? Chime in in the comments. I might even help you flesh out an idea or two for those who are brave enough to throw their ideas out there.
On that note, I leave you with my favorite quote that hangs in my office from my favorite writer, Jon Acuff:
Next time you’re afraid to share ideas, remember someone once said in a meeting “Let’s make a film with a tornado full of sharks.“