You may only have a few seconds to grab the attention of a viewer as they scroll through the noise of their various social media accounts. First impressions really do matter, so every post—whether a graphic, quote, photo, or video—is worth evaluating beforehand. And remember, as part of the global Pentecostal Church of God family, your posts reflect the culture and brand of our Movement, so we must work at becoming excellent in all that we do.
When preparing social media posts, it is important to strategize and approach the process with intentionality. As a resource to you and your teams, consider the following guidelines:
Identify the intended response and your target audience. Posts don’t happen by accident. Plan ahead, deliver quality content, engage with your audience, evaluate success or failure, and then grow from it for next time.
Keep the emphasis on storytelling. Promotions and marketing campaigns should not occur more than every fifth post. Doing so more frequently suggests that your church only cares about events rather than people.
Be consistent. Ideally, you should post at least 5-6 times per week (not including comments). But if you can’t meet that target consistently, try dropping the frequency down to 3 times per week. Too many posts and your message becomes noise; too few posts and your message gets lost.
Do not post several times back to back. Instead, leave an intentional gap in time between each post (whether it’s a few hours or a couple days). Learning your target audience will help you discover what content they like and the time of day that they tend to respond.
Nurture your online community by creating dialogue. Show that you care by responding to comments in a timely manner and engaging in digital conversation. When encountering negative comments, avoid provoking argument. Sometimes, you will need to use discernment to know whether you should politely acknowledge their perspective, respond in a private message, ignore them completely, or even delete the comment altogether.
When producing your own graphics, use a screen image resolution of 72 dpi. Anything less will cause the image to appear fuzzy or pixelated, and anything more may affect the loading speed of the image online.
Hashtags are beneficial because they unify your target audience across several different social media accounts, adding another layer of meaning to the message. When using hashtags for a special campaign, repeat the same ones in every relevant post. Do not use capital letters, and do not include spaces between words.
Include a call to action. Usually, the best way to do this is to include a link to a web page, preferably a page on your own website. When doing so, avoid providing several different options, and refrain from using www or http:// before the website address.
What to Post
Sometimes identifying content for a post can be the most challenging part of the process. But the beauty of social media is that a post’s success actually depends more upon how people respond than how it looks to the eye. Of course, you can create your own visual content through video, photography, graphic designs, Scripture, quotes, etc. But in our case, we have found that the most effective tool is often as simple as asking a question. For example, “What worship song has most impacted your spiritual journey?” This one, in particular, seems to spark special memories, producing treasured stories in the process. And finally, you are always welcome to share and repost anything we publish from our @wearepcg accounts. This is a great way to cross-pollinate content and reach an even broader audience.
The Pentecostal Church of God possesses its own unique social media accounts and handle (@wearepcg). Since we are a global church with a global mission, we attempt to share stories and images of the things that are taking place around the world. These posts highlight people in other nations, missionaries and leaders at home and abroad, and the churches and ministries that are impacting eternity. These accounts are managed by the communications team at the International Mission Center in Bedford, Texas. In addition, each PCG missions and ministry department also possesses its own social media account, managed by their own creative teams.
PCG churches and districts, both in the United States and around the world, manage their own social media accounts, and the content produced reflects the events occurring in their specific local contexts. For those who bear “Pentecostal Church of God” in their name and are seeking guidance on creating new accounts, an example of a recommended social media handle would be as follows: @pcgjoplin (for a local church) or @pcgflorida (for a district). In addition, consider using the flame (without additional text) as your profile picture.
These tools may be helpful as you develop new social media content:
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