Recently, Deeper KidMin had a few reels go viral (follow DKM on Instagram and join the fun here) and it’s been wild. I’ve experimented with a few different things and learned a lot about what seems to work best for fostering engagement on social media (at least for now – it’s constantly changing).

You may not be trying to go viral (honestly, I wasn’t either) but you SHOULD be trying to reach more of your families and engage with them online. Find 5 tips for your kidmin social media in general here, and check out the tips below to see what I’ve learned over the last few months and what it means for your ministry to increase engagement online:

  1. Use real-life pictures and videos whenever possible. Making appealing graphics and using the graphics provided in your curriculum are great and can save time, but people really want to see authentic representations of your ministry. So as much as possible, share real-life pictures and videos on your ministry social media accounts. Consider sharing behind-the-scenes photos and videos from events, special activities, or Sunday mornings. This gives followers a glimpse into the vibrant life of your ministry. And since Millennial parents place a high value on authenticity, posting real pictures will go far with them. (Find 4 other ways to effectively partner with Millennial parents here.)
  2. Speak to the felt needs of the parents in your ministry, and let your social media serve their purpose, not yours. The biggest mistake I see kidmin leaders make is treating their social media like a bulletin board (more on that here). It’s OK to post about your upcoming events and reminders every now and then but focus on providing resources, encouragement, and support to parents as they navigate life and at-home discipleship.
  3. Post consistently. You don’t have to post every single day, but aim to post at a rate you can sustain long-term. This requires a plan. DKM Subscribers have free access to a kidmin social media planner that helps you stay consistent here. Develop a content calendar or rhythm for posting, and make it easier by creating certain themes or series, like “Memory Verse Monday” or “Testimony Tuesday.”
  4. Be interactive. It’s called “social” media for a reason. The whole point is to be social – to interact – online. One of the most important elements of a viral post is its “velocity of engagement” – how quickly do people interact with your post as soon as it’s published? Use Instagram Stories or Facebook polls to ask fun, thought-provoking questions related to Bible stories or upcoming events. Make it a priority to reply to comments and messages promptly. Encourage families to share their own photos and stories related to your ministry’s activities, then repost this content on your account, giving credit to the original posters.
  5. Share content from other trusted accounts. Don’t feel like you have to create all the content on your own. Find a few accounts who are working to support and encourage parents and kids in their faith, and share them to your stories or repost them – just be sure to credit and tag the original poster. Some of my favorite accounts to follow include @gominno @parentcue @childdiscipleship @parentingforfaithbrf @familyfaithbuilders @littleshootsdeeproots @crossformedkids @renewanation and so many more. Find the ones that fit best within your context and share! I’ve also had lots of fun with remixing different reels and making them relevant to children’s ministry, so if you stumble upon a post or a reel that makes you laugh, ask why, then remix it and tie it into something relevant for your church. This not only helps you share content people will engage with, but it helps your families connect with new resources too!

So what are you waiting for? Choose one (or more) of these tips and give them a try over the next few weeks. I’m not saying your posts will automatically go viral and that your followers will double, but I can bet your engagement with the families you serve will increase, and deeper relationships – with God and with each other – are what discipleship is all about.

Want to explore a full strategy for utilizing social media in your ministry to its fullest potential? Check out chapter 7 in my book Time to Update: 7 Areas to Integrate Digital Discipleship into Your Children’s Ministry Strategy. Learn more about the book here.

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