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By Rev. Marty Levesque

It is the end of 2018 and the beginning of 2019. Which means the end of year list are making the rounds and the pundits are prophesying lists of things to watch for in 2019.

Not to be outdone, I thought I would get in on the game with 5 social media trends for 2019.

  1. Live Video Feed. 80% of users prefer to watch a live feed than read a long blog post. For the church, this means posting a video feed of your service or sermon will gain you more attention than posting the text on your website. The most popular platforms for live video feed is Facebook Live by far, but also include Instagram and Periscope on Twitter.
  2. Paid advertising on social. Currently, Facebook has over 6 million advertisers and Instagram surpassed 2 million in 2017. Paid advertising on social allows you to micro-target to your desired audience through identifying location, age, gender, languages spoken and keywords, such as church, Jesus Christ, Easter Service, etc
  3. Ephemeral Content, otherwise known as stories. This content is short video clips or posts that disappear after a period of time, usually 24 hours. The reason why short-lived content is so popular is that people feel as though it is more authentic compared to traditional sponsored advertisement. It’s an opportunity for you to post several times throughout a day or a week without spamming your followers’ news feeds.
  4. Referral traffic and organic reach are declining for businesses as social platforms change their algorithms to priorities family and friends. While this may be bad for businesses as social shifts back to personal, it is great news for organizations like the church. Now more then ever, every congregant can take up the great commission through their social channels and share content that spreads the gospel and have a greater reach.
  5. The growing importance of personal branding to organizational branding. We are the face of the church and each of us has a brand that is tied to the church. Putting a human face to the brand of the church organization humanizes the institution and garners more trust and trust is instrumental in building relationships and relationships are key for church growth.

These five tips for social in 2019 should help yourself and your congregation make that next leap to engaging seekers and driving that traffic to your front doors on Sunday morning.

Rev. Marty Levesque is the diocesan social media officer and rector of All Saints’, Waterloo.