“Why every Student Ministry needs a Social Media Strategy” Notes

This session is led by Joshua Griffin (@joshuagriffin) who is a 20 year Student Ministry veteran and co-founder of Download YM. Here are the notes from his session.


We are living in a tech-savvy world

Tech-savvy kids

  • 1 hr 11 min on social media a day
  • 9 hours per day on SOME sort of media
  • Many middle school students. Hey. Social media accounts 100x a day
  • 69% of churches have free WiFi

Effective social media…

  • Gives visitors a positive
  • Effective social media can be an important component of discipleship
  • The verse you post on Instagram may be the only verse kids read all week
  • Deeps the message they heard in youth group
  • Helps continue a series for those attending regularly
  • A spiritual touch point
  • A chance for them to express/respond

Use social media…

  • to reinforce the message
  • to deepen the message
  • gives visitors a positive first impression
  • gives parents confidence in the youth ministry (keeps parents in the loop)
  • shows transparency and safety.
  • Your social media can also tell parents this is not a safe place. Be careful what you post.
  • keeps people in the loop about what series is happening and what topic you are talking about

Social media…

  • Promotes and informs. Stick a fork in announcement time. No one needs it with social media, texting and websites. Adobe Spark app is a great way to create images
  • Invites you to something more and greater
  • Is fun!

6 steps to take for Social Media

  1. Do your research. Social media is ever changing. What are your kids into? It might be different than other communities. Find out where your parents are.
  2. Pick your platforms. Go where kids are at. Ask your students. You don’t have to be on every channel.
  3. Design your plan.
  4. Develop a schedule. Decide frequency. Be unexpected. XP3 includes strategy in it for you. DYM has some too.
  5. Discover the tools. Unsplash, pixabay, negative space, ISO Republic – all good free images. App: Over, flyr, Adobe Spark
  6. Enlist help. This is a possible volunteer role or student leader who could do this. Trust and evaluate it for them.

How to evaluate?

  • “Likes” are currency. If you are getting them you are doing a good job. If not you aren’t
  • Your values are most important
  • Balance is key
  • Know that success feeds success
  • Stay up to date – beg, borrow and steal
  • Keep track of follow numbers
  • Use Download Gram to “steal” good ideas others have done.

Social media tips

  • Be inclusive
  • Don’t feel pressure to use all platforms
  • Think creatively rather than posting info
  • Social media is about inauthenticity – you can be authentic
  • Make your posts stand out
  • Share password for accountability
  • Find youth ministries that are killing it and follow them

More tips:

  • Do tbt
  • Do caption contests
  • Feature a volunteer
  • Post song list from group
  • Give secrets away – behind the scenes
  • Show what you want to grow
  • Use just the right amount of information


What Breakout Session did you attend today? Share below something that you learned from that session below or on social media using #YMSidekick and #OC18 as hashtags. 

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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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