Church Social Media: Volunteers

What could church social media volunteers do?

Churches can be run on volunteers, and at Life.Church, we couldn’t do what we do as a ministry without volunteers. But, how do you use volunteers as part of your social media team?

Volunteers can play a variety of roles on your social media team, depending on the size of your church. For smaller churches, social media strategy and execution may be solely volunteer run. For larger churches, volunteers may play crucial roles in writing content and capturing photos, but may have limited access to platforms where they’d directly respond to questions or comments.

To help you decide how you’d like to engage volunteers in church social media, we’ve highlighted several ways churches like River Valley, NewSpring, Life.Church, use social media volunteers.

How Volunteers Can Serve in Social Media

  • Invite volunteers to be a part of the creative brainstorm process. For NewSpring Church, this is often the first step for social media volunteers. Being part of this meeting allows volunteers to make suggestions, share ideas, and shape social media without being given access to accounts.

  • Write posts or find photos. After the brainstorming is complete, volunteers can then execute the ideas. With a clear vision of the post, you can task a volunteer to write copy or find photos to go with the post. Church of the Highlands uses this matrix to plan out this content—download it free to use as you ideate and create your posts.

  • Take photos on the weekend or at events. A great way to engage volunteers in the social media process is to empower them to take photos during events or weekend services. If you have multiple locations, this allows you to have access to photos from multiple locations. Professional photographers are great, but with an eye for storytelling and a smartphone, you can get quality photos from volunteers. Be sure to let your volunteers know how you plan to use the photos—Instagram Stories, Facebook, etc—so they can frame and orient the shot in the best way. Download the Smartphone Photography Tips resource from Life.Church to share with your team. We also have great resources for shooting photos during worship, baptism, or in the lobby. Also, to keep photos consistent with your brand, create photo presets for volunteers to use. You can create presets for locations where shots are taken—outside, inside, on stage, etc.—and you can give volunteers access to photo overlay files via file sharing sites like Google Drive or Dropbox.

  • Give access to a smaller account or limit access to a single event. Once a volunteer has shown consistency and excellence, you may want to consider giving him or her access to an account to post content directly. This can be a little nerve-wracking because you’re trusting a volunteer to steward your church’s voice and tone, and any potential misstep will be public. But, by starting with one event, you can give a volunteer access to the account for one night and then change the password afterwards. And, by starting with a sub account, like River Valley Church does when onboarding social media volunteers, you allow volunteers to get comfortable posting on an account with fewer followers.

  • Build a volunteer team to engage. At Life.Church, we use volunteers to engage with people on our social media platforms. They answer questions, reply to comments, pray for people, and connect with our community online. If they receive a question they can’t answer or if conversation isn’t something they feel comfortable responding to, they have clear next steps of how to escalate that question to you.

  • Continue to share the “why.” As you incorporate volunteers more and more in your social media process, continue to share the “why” behind the decisions you make. Church social media is an outreach and a ministry, and your volunteers need to understand the vision behind your posting or comment strategy. Help them connect the dots between what they are doing and the lives you see changing in your church each weekend.

These tips were gathered from the Church Social Media Roundtable, an event featuring twelve of the most creative and innovative churches. Special thanks to the churches who attended for sharing key learnings with the Church. View more resources from this event here.

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