Does your church use Instagram yet? If not, I recommend you give it a try. Here are some tips on how to use and perfect your church’s Instagram account.

1. Take great pictures.

Whoever is running your church’s Instagram account should have a good eye for photography. That doesn’t mean that the person in charge has to be a photographer. But he or she will want to avoid posting blurred, out-of-focus, or poorly-cropped pictures.

2. Take only relevant pictures.

Instagram followers tend to grow weary of seeing lattes and lunches over and over. We recommend that you share different kinds of pictures, but always keep it relevant to what’s going on at your church. Assume that most of your followers aren’t that interested in the food choices of the person who runs it. Keep focused on your church and its ministries.

3. Initiate Instagram contests.

Beyond likes and comments, this is how you can really get people interacting with your account. Create a hashtag that followers can use to enter a contest by posting a picture. For example, you could give away a Father’s Day lunch to the person who posts the funniest picture of their dad and use the hashtag #FathersDayatExampleChurch. Get creative; there are no limits with this. Here are some step by step instructions from Instagram on how to do this.

4. Show off your staff.

Sometimes members can go to a church and never know the majority of the staff. Instagram your staff doing funny, awesome, and servant-like stuff. This includes your pastor, student pastor, associate pastor, and janitor. Help your followers get to know your staff.

5. Show off your volunteers.

No one will admit it, but people love being recognized for serving, even if’s through a quick picture on Instagram. So use your account to post pictures of volunteers serving at the church (welcome team, Sunday School teachers) and off campus (community outreach events).

6. Use relevant hashtags.

Are you posting great stuff but want to have more followers? Use hashtags! Here is the trick: Don’t use long hashtags that you’ve randomly made up because no one can search for those. Use your church name, city name, or other generic hashtags like #service, #outreach, or #weloveourchurch. Every now and then it’s okay to use funny hashtags, but those will most likely not grow your following.

Is your church on Instagram yet? Tell us your handle so our team can follow you. Also, if you’d like some additional reading on how to use Instagram for your church, check this blog out as well.