Estimated reading time: 10 minutes
As a pastor or minister, you don’t need us to remind you about how many hours you work in a week. Although the average data suggests, most of you are hard at it for more than 50 hours in any given seven-day period. Then, add in those special events, small group meetings, and a few holidays, and your schedule feels booked for the year.
Of all the tasks on your pastoral to-do lists, one of them is likely social media. When you first started your church’s social media channels, it was exciting to connect with potential new members and have that direct line to the community. But the shininess does wear off to some degree.
So, here you are, a few years later, and you’re knee-deep in church activities, struggling to find the time for fresh social media content. The inspirational posts that used to come to you naturally just don’t seem to flow as freely as they once did. The thought of sitting down to schedule weekly Facebook posts now feels tedious.
If this sounds familiar, you might be feeling church social media burnout.
Social media burnout is a real phenomenon, including among church leaders and communications staff. And there are ways to help combat it.
Today, we’ll share insights about how you can be proactive about managing your social media. There are some great nuggets of advice that might just be music to your ears right now if you need fresh ideas and a new social media perspective.
Don’t Let Burnout Turn You Away from Social Media
It’s mission-critical to avoid social media burnout in your church engagement for another reason. Feeling stuck or experiencing a lull in engagement might falsely signal that social media isn’t working.
Not only does social media engagement work well for churches seeking to attract new members. It also serves as a mass-connection platform for the word of God. It’s your way of putting a megaphone to the message of faith. So don’t let an uninspired dip in progress fool you into abandoning social media engagement altogether.
Remember Matthew 28: 18-20? The message is to “go into all the world.” This means churches should look to be where the people are. Right now, most everyone is on social media.
And while Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and Instagram can bring out the absolute worst in some, they also provide a unique opportunity to encourage others to walk in their faith.
Recognizing Social Media Burnout Before It Happens
The first step to combatting social media burnout is identifying it before it gets out of hand. If you’re handling the social media posting, content creation, and responses yourself, you’ll know when it becomes a burden.
But if you’re relying on member volunteers to help, you’ll want to check in with them regularly to gauge their enthusiasm for the social platforms. If they are falling behind on the frequency of posting or coming up with less inspirational content all of a sudden, they may be in need of a break.
Investing in the Best Social Media Tools
You can’t always stay on top of everyone within the church sometimes, to know if they’re experience church social media burnout. So, consider checking the data and making clever use of your social media analytics to help you keep an eye on performance, which may be an indicator that burnout is happening at the helm.
There are great tools available to churches for help with collecting and reviewing key social media data. Wherever your ministry posts, look to the posting platform for analytics tools, including Twitter Analytics, LinkedIn Analytics, Pinterest Analytics, Facebook Insights, and Instagram Insights. Monitoring these routinely will help you identify ebbs and flow in social media performance.
Additionally, to lighten the load of responsibility associated with creating engaging posts, you can be tapping into some of the creative social media tools, like InShot or Sunday Social. These easy-to-use tools will make light work of creating post-able graphics out of photos and finding premade social graphics just for churches.
If you need to free up some of your creative time, consider adding creative social tools to your arsenal. Church resources like Tithe.ly Media, for example, can save valuable time throughout the week. The time you would normally spend racking your brain for creative ways to post can then be dedicated elsewhere, helping you avoid feeling that creative burnout in the process.
Remember Your Who Your Audience Is
Just as you would prepare for addressing your congregation for Sunday service, you may want to approach your church’s social media with the same level of preparedness. Some of the social media burnout you might be feeling is a direct result of becoming lax about preparing for delivering your message to your intended social media audience.
Remember who your online audience is that you’re trying to reach with each platform. For example, are you engaging fellow Christians or trying to inspire those who have fallen away from the church? Do you need to reach the community as a whole or identify key targets to attract them to visit for Sunday service?
Your social media posts will again begin to resonate with your intended recipients once you realign your preparedness accordingly. And you can plan ahead for each month’s worth of targeting without the guesswork that was potentially burning you out on social media management before.
Get Creative About What You Can Share
Avoid church social media burnout by avoiding the creative writer’s block that comes with posting regular content. If you’re getting overwhelmed with managing your platforms, step away and take some time cultivating fresh ideas.
You don’t have to be precise about the details of your posts to get those creative juices flowing again. Instead, start with brainstorming for broad-stroked topics worth exploring. Consider creating categories, like:
- Past sermon discussions
- Quotes from fellow pastors or theologians
- Relevant scripture for the season
- Church member testimonials that resonate
- Articles with community meaning
- Prayer requests
- Calendar of upcoming church events or celebrations
- Faith-centered book recommendations
- Good news
- Inspirational thought leadership
With some of these categories outlined, you can get creative about crafting social media posts and sharing across all of these pivotal topics.
Get Comfortable with Social Media Scheduling
Suppose you’re not short of creative ideas worth posting but instead struggle to find the time and energy to sit down and physically post across your various social media channels. In that case, you need a better scheduling strategy. Avoid church social media burnout by getting comfortable with scheduling tools.
You know you have to post consistently and often to generate results. Instead of sitting down to the admin page two to five times every week, just for Facebook, familiarize yourself with the scheduling function. With a few minutes at the screen, you can effectively plan for three Facebook posts and one Instagram post for the whole week.
You can explore other mass-posting software solutions like Buffer or Hootsuite, both of which offer free options, ideal for non-profits and churches. And there are plenty of other social media sharing services available that are definitely worth considering.
Seek Social Media Engagement Feedback from Church Members
Sometimes, the church social media burnout you experience is rooted in a lack of authentic feedback from those you intend to reach. You’re trying to engage with your audience, but you’re not seeing the results you’d hoped to see. Before you burn out on the process, turn to your colleagues and church members.
Talk to someone about how you’re feeling about the church social media efforts. Even just getting feedback from fellow members within the ministry can relieve an incredible amount of burdening stress. And look to get answers from those who can be honest with you.
Don’t be afraid to ask church members about their social media habits. For example, what do they share most or prefer to read when scrolling through their personal pages? These answers can provide you with the insights and clarity you need to regain confidence in your posting efforts. Just be sure you’re listening when they respond.
Moving forward, schedule meetings with these members or church leaders regularly. You can review social media strategies with them and get inspired by their ideas and suggestions. Hearing the vision and engagement preferences of others will renew your faith in your church’s social media campaigns, as well.
Delegate Posting or Management Responsibilities
Church social media burnout, more often than not, is a direct result of operational challenges. Let’s be honest. You just don’t have the available time needed to dedicate to the creative and logistics of managing multiple platforms all the time.
Start by cutting the cord on those projects or social media efforts that aren’t performing as well as others. Focusing on the channels that work best, essentially leading with your church’s best foot forward, will be just as engaging, if not more. There’s no official rule book that says you have to be on all platforms all the time to see results.
Instead, focus on those that work best in terms of engagement and performance results. Then dominate those fewer channels with the time and energy you do have.
It may be a hard truth to hear, but you can’t do it all yourself. There, we said it.
Consider delegating social media posting, scheduling, and responding to others within your ministry. If you’re not ready to give up the content creation and messaging, that’s ok. You’ll still have more time to devote to carving out your messaging with other members handling the time-consuming logistics of social media posting and responding.
Step Away from the Electronics Periodically
It could be that you just need a break from social media or screen time, in general. If you’re feeling the church social media burnout, it’s time to take a breather and re-establish screen boundaries.
You’re human, and so are your teams managing social media for the church. The constant barrage of negative news or polarizing content can take a toll on mental health. Recognize it and look away from time to time.
Consider calculating how much time you’re actually spending on social media management in a week and again over the course of a month. You can then create rules for stepping away. Having this data will also help you figure out how much you can realistically handle on your pastoral plate.
Pray for the Guidance You Need to Avoid Church Social Media Burnout
As a pastor or leader within your church’s ministry, don’t forget to pray for the guidance you need. You will always be the best version of yourself when you’re most connected to Christ.
Keep yourself grounded in your faith through every decision you make, even with social media.
Here are three critical mindset points to remember to help you avoid church social media burnout:
God made you for community.
Align your social media efforts and messaging with your faith. Remember that sharing and connecting means engaging where the flock spends most of its time.
God made you for eternity.
Don’t give up on your mission to share the word of Christ in the long term, not just in the social media moment. Even social media “misses” can’t undermine the overarching message of God.
God made you for an intimate connection with Him.
Keep your schedule with Him first, and the social media efforts will come naturally. Don’t allow yourself or your members to get swept up in the social aspect of social media so much so that you lose sight of the one relationship that matters most.
To really connect with anyone these days, your church has to have a social media strategy. But, if you’re beginning to feel the church social media burnout, there are ways to regain that enthusiasm you once had when you first hopped online and made your first church post.
Tap into some of these suggestions and best practices for pastors and church leaders feeling the strain of managing the multi-platform social media effort. And if you discover you need more help with your online presence, including a more engaging website, let ReachRight help!