Why these images work best for Social Media Engagement

I’m no photography expert, that is for sure. I have a ministry degree from a Christian College, I don’t do great on Instagram (most of my pictures are food pics) and I have never owned a real camera in my life (although my iPhone has always worked well).

Despite my lack of experience and knowledge of how photography works, I can tell you one thing I have learned over the past 3 years doing social media that has everything to do with photography. While images that include nice quotes and Bible passages are wonderful photographs of real people doing real things ALWAYS gets a lot more engagement when I post on social media.

Here is a little bit why these types of images do great. Look at Seth’s and Stephanie’s comments below from the Digital Bootcamp week that Seth led.


Seth said that these photos, “highlights your people and shows them in action”. Stephanie followed up by saying that these photos “almost makes me feel like I’m home”. For the record, Stephanie grew up at the Church I am at now and returns every so often with her family.

Again, not being officially trained in communication or marketing, the one thing I have picked up is that whenever I post pictures of actual people in our church in action, it always gets a great response. Why is that? Here are a few reasons why:

  • They tell a story. They don’t just tell a story of what is happening in the life of your Church, but they tell a story about what is happening in the life of people (see more on this one below). Churches have a great story to communicate to others and pictures are great ways to communicate others part of that story.
  • They cause an action in people. By this I mean that when people see other people having fun or doing interesting things, they get excited and they wish they would have been apart of it if they weren’t (great promotional tool, as well). Images and videos are great ways for people to “check out” your Church for the first so as many pictures as you can show of great stuff happening, the more likely someone will be inspired to take action and possibly come to your Church.
  • They show life change. Whenever I post a picture of someone being baptized the engagement is really strong because people like to see other people’s lives being changed. They get inspired and encouraged and hopefully, God willing, they will really think


People like to see real people doing real things. As great as stock photos and Bible verse images are, the reality is that these images work the best because they connect with people.  So the challenge is this week to post photos of real people in your Church doing real things and see what kind of engagement you will get from that.

What do you think? How have you seen photos impact your engagement on your social media channels? Share your thoughts below or social media using #ymsidekick when you post. 

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Tom Pounder

A father of 4, Tom is the Online Campus Pastor as well as Social Media Director at New Life Christian Church in Chantilly, VA. He blogs, vlogs, periscopes and podcasts regularly about student and online ministry stuff. Check out his work at YMSidekick.com and on iTunes (search YMSidekick).

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