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Church + House of Worship, Church Social Media, Sermon Sharing

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How to Use Church Social Media to Reach Young Adult Members

Unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic had a big impact on church attendance. Every Christian denomination has been affected. Per a Gallup study, about three in 10 United States adults attend religious services every Sunday — dramatically down from 42% two decades ago. It’s expected these numbers could continue to decrease, much in part to younger adults attending less and less.

Per Barna, 54% of 18–35-year-old Christians attend church at least once a month, with 33% attending once a week or more. Consider for a moment that 67% of Christians attended weekly growing up. As they’re reaching young adulthood, less are finding community within the church.

But there is hope. There’s still a strong desire among this age group for community and connection. Churches just need to put in the effort to bring them into their communities. In today’s digital age, there are many options available.

One key tool at churches’ disposal is social media. Social media has become a key part of how we connect, communicate, and engage with our world. Developing a social media strategy for churches and maximizing social media to connect with younger audiences is now a necessity.

Get a demo from a friendly BoxCast expert to learn how our integrated, video-centered platform can help you better reach and engage your community — on social media and beyond.

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Table of Contents

 

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Define Your Audience

First and foremost, you need to define and understand your audience. Who are these young adults you’re trying to appeal to? What are their interests, motivations, concerns, and values?

It’s worth noting that even before the pandemic, many young people suffered from loneliness, isolation, and anxiety. In 2019:

  • Just 33% of young Americans felt deeply cared for by someone around them.
  • Only 32% felt that someone believed in them.
  • At the same time, 23% felt feelings of loneliness and isolation.
  • This generation also reported feelings of anxiety, with 40% feeling anxious about important decisions.

They’re also looking for strong leadership. Eighty-two percent of Americans aged 18–35 feel “society is facing a crisis of leadership because there are not enough good leaders right now.” Clearly there’s potential for your church to fill that void. Social media is an excellent method to share your thought leadership within the community.

Additionally, young people are seeking connection in their churches. When asked what’s currently missing, 18% said their friends are missing from their church experience. Take the opportunity to create social events directed toward young adults — and promote them on social media.

 

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Choose Platforms That Work For You

Choosing which social media platform(s) to focus on can be intimidating. Each platform offers its own strengths and weaknesses. Let’s take a look.

Per Pew Research, the most popular social platforms among U.S. adults are YouTube and Facebook. YouTube is used by 83% and Facebook is used by 68%. About half use Instagram, with apps like TikTok, X (formerly Twitter), and LinkedIn following.

The numbers shift slightly when it comes to younger adults though. For adults aged 18–29:

  • YouTube is still the top platform for this group, at 92%.
  • Instagram comes in second, at 78%.
  • In third, 67% are using Facebook.
  • TikTok is fourth at 62%.

Pro Tip: Be sure to take into consideration what you’re sharing on social media.

If you’re sharing longer-form video, such as an entire Sunday church service, live streaming it to Facebook might make the most sense. But if you’re planning to post short-form videos, Instagram or TikTok would be better.

 

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Create + Share Compelling Content

A big part of success when it comes to social media is creating content that’s engaging, relevant, and shareable. Here are four things to consider:

  1. Tell a compelling story. According to the popular book Building a Storybrand, you want to tell a story where your customer is the hero at the center of the narrative, facing challenges and seeking solutions. Your church is the guide that leads them to those solutions.
  2. Focus on the benefits. Think of your church as a product. Now imagine the last time you researched a new product to make a purchase. What stood out about the product? It was likely the value or benefits the product offered … How would it improve your life? Instead of simply mentioning a Wednesday prayer group, talk about how that group can lead to interpersonal connection and feeling closer to both God and the community. Young adults do their research — make sure you’re putting your best foot forward.
  3. Be authentic. This is crucial. Young people are marketed to in countless ways every day. They can tell when someone isn’t being genuine. When you’re posting on social media, be your true self. Don’t misrepresent your church in any way. You have a lot to offer — be authentic.
  4. Keep it short and catchy. Young adults live busy lives, and are overwhelmed with marketing throughout a typical day. Be sure your posts are brief, and preferably consumable within a few seconds. Make them catchy and memorable — use a phrase, image, or video that sticks in the mind of the viewer.

So, how do you do all that without spending countless hours crafting effective social media posts? If your church is like most, things like time, staff, and expertise in content creation are luxuries you have in short supply. Don’t worry, we get it — and we’re here to help!

Pro Tip: Videos on social media platforms receive 12 times more shares than static text and graphics combined.

People gravitate toward video content because it’s easy to watch, engaging, human, and relatable. That’s why we designed BoxCast with video at the center: To make it as simple as possible for you to regularly connect and engage with your community throughout the week while saving you valuable time, effort, and money.

With our integrated video platform, you can live stream your church services and use BoxCast Sharing to trim, caption, and repurpose your broadcasts in minutes. Create posts from scratch or use AI Assist to generate sermon clips or short videos from events, edit them to perfection, and share them on social media — it’s that easy!

 

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Engage + Interact with Your Followers

Social media is more than just broadcasting content — you should also make the most of the opportunity to build a relationship with your audience. There are a handful of ways you can make your posts more interactive.

  1. Respond promptly. Make it a point to respond to comments and messages as soon as you can — ideally within 24 hours. Anything longer runs the risk of frustrating this demographic.
  2. Ask questions. Give your audience a chance to chime in by asking open-ended questions. Ask how their Christmas or Easter went. Ask what programs or retreats they’re looking to attend. If you ask the right questions, you’ll get a great response — and even see other community members responding to each other! This allows young adults to enjoy connecting with one another and your church.
  3. Run polls and surveys. Find the right polls that’ll help your community. Not only does this foster engagement, but can also provide valuable insight into your community’s needs and challenges.
  4. Share personal stories and testimonials. Remember when we advised you to be authentic? This is a great chance to do so. Share your own stories from the church, or testimonials of young adult members in your community. And encourage your audience to tell their story, too.

 

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Promote Church Events + Activities

As we mentioned earlier, young adults are looking for a sense of community from their church. They want to socialize with their friends. Holding events — and promoting them on social media — is a great way to bring younger people into your church. Some possible events could include:

  • Sunday church services
  • Concerts or special activities
  • Weekly Bible study or prayer groups
  • Community outreach programs
  • Mission trips or retreats
  • Seasonal events

 

Final Thoughts + Further Reading

Even as numbers decline, there are still plenty of young adults who are interested in getting involved with the church. They’re out there. With the right tools, your church can reach these people and attract them to your community.

Remember: Nothing happens overnight, but by mastering how to use social media for church outreach and implementing a sound strategy, you can get the right messaging in front of the right people.

Get a demo from a friendly expert to see how BoxCast can help you effectively promote your church on social media and use Sharing to reach and regularly connect with younger members of your community between Sundays.

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