Is your church finally ready to dive in and start using Instagram? While you’re nowhere near the last church on earth to take the plunge and join the Insta-church party, you will be joining this online community at a time when the platform is at its peak. Churches and users have learned some pretty savvy tricks to keep their accounts visible, viral, and performing their best. So where do you start?

Once pastors and church communicators have discussed their Instagram strategy, set a few goals, and decide who is going to manage the account. If you haven’t already designated a church social media coordinator, then take some time to recruit a paid or volunteer staff member to take on this role. Then, this coordinator can start setting up the church account and begin planning the first post.

Remember, the key to creating effective Instagram posts is great, visually appealing, authentic, and original video or photo content that tells a story about your church. Unique content created by your church and designed to connect and share your message with the world is what Instagram users want.

Here are 6 simple steps to get your church Instagram-ready:

#1 – Download the Instagram App

The Instagram app can be found in the iTunes, Google Play, and Microsoft stores or create an account online here: https://www.instagram.com. Accounts can be set up on the Instagram website, but posting can only happy on devices that have the Instagram app.

#2 – Choose a Handle

Your church’s handle is a professional username that is exclusive to your church, and it should also include the name of your city, town or community if possible. Including your location name will help users easily identify your church.

#3 – Write a Great Bio

Creating a professional bio that expresses the unique character of your church is key. In the bio also include a link your church website. Linking your bio to your church website is supremely important!

#4 – Create a Profile Image

Choose a profile images for your church account that is unique and that can be used for at least one year. This can be your church logo or a quality image of your church building. This image should be professional and should not change.

#5 – Design the First Post

Plan and gather the content of the first post. Create an image, video, announcement, invitation, etc. for the first post that will beautifully illustrate the essence of who your church is and share your most important message. Also, determine the date and time of your first post, and use a peak posting time strategy to capitalize on high-traffic posts that increase user engagement.

#6 – Start posting

As your church begins using Instagram regularly, it is essential to monitor account activity and user engagement metrics that are included in the Instagram Business account features. These insights will help your account manager learn the best times of day for posting and which types of posts are most popular with your followers.

Remember to also post a link to your Instagram account on your church website. Then begin including your Instagram account in all communications where social media is applicable.

This how-to article is just a snippet from our new free Instagram ebook that is loaded with insightful Instagram tips and helpful information. Download your copy here.