There are many great resources out there for youth pastors on how to best utilize social media. So many that I’ll just show you a couple instead of writing what’s already written:
Here are some general thoughts I have about social media and teenagers:
• Have no shame in using social media to keep up on teenagers, especially leaders in your ministry. Some people decide to use services similar to socialfollow to get more eyes to their social media so there is nothing wrong with checking out what the teenagers up too.
• Don’t be afraid to address inappropriate social media behavior, especially if it’s someone who’s in a leadership position.
• Remind your youth leaders to be mindful about what they’re posting online. Let them know what you think it appropriate and not appropriate.
• Snapchat is stupid. I’m all about social media, however don’t be blind to the obvious.
• Shout outs are awesome! Shout outs to students are awesome and can make their day!
• Use it as a way to get new people to join your church. Posting on social media can help bring more attention to your church and help find new members. Make it easier for them to find out more about the church by adding a link in bio Instagram that links to your churches website or social profiles.
• Extended conversations between adult leaders and students via social media is a wee shady. If I notice it going on, I have no problem pulling in a leader and asking them to stop.
• It’s better to be too strict with social media than let whatever happen happen.
• We live in a day and age where you can get out information quickly and get a response. Use it to your advantage and don’t be afraid to plan “last-minute” events, especially during the summer (i.e. BBQ’s, ultimate frizbee, beach, etc.). Older teens love making last-minute decisions. It is usually easy to get a hold of people’s social media as well because of how many people are on there! If you want some stats to help you understand how big social media is, check out stats from BroadbandSearch.
Also, read: 100 Fascinating Social Media Stats…from 2012!!
Thoughts on social media and students? Let me know…