There’s no “right” or “wrong” social media platform for churches to be on. However, if you are limited on time and need to choose one, Facebook is probably the best choice. There are two reasons for that: At 2.98 billion, Facebook dwarfs all other platforms in terms of active users, meaning it will give you the greatest reach, and Facebook has a broader (and older) age range than other platforms, meaning you’ll likely reach more churchgoers and potential churchgoers than you would on other platforms.
That said, if you’re trying to reach youth and/or young families and you have the capacity to be on multiple platforms, Instagram is worth considering too as it’s very popular among younger age groups (1.44 billion active users, close to 70 percent of whom are 34 or under). Instagram is unique in that it’s the most visual platform—photos play a central role, so if you’re using this platform, make sure you have some engaging images that draw people in, and keep copy minimal.
At 2.38 million users, Twitter has a much smaller reach than Facebook or Instagram. For this reason, you typically won’t reach as many people on this platform. And to be perfectly honest, it’s hard to find churches that are effectively reaching people on Twitter. However, Twitter is somewhat unique in that it’s a go-to channel for live updates and minute-to-minute information, so it’s a great platform to use to give brief updates from multi-hour or multi-day gatherings. If you want to use Twitter for your church, you might start just by listening to what others are saying on Twitter—spend some time seeing who is on Twitter (members of your congregation, local businesses, prominent people, other United Methodist groups) and what they’re talking about. Think about how you can add to the conversations already taking place in this space. You need to offer something meaningful in order to build a following.
It’s certainly not a bad idea to try out other channels, like Snapchat, WhatsApp, and especially TikTok (which has skyrocketed in popularity)—particularly if you have the time. But before investing too much effort in any of them, determine the audience you’re trying to reach—and spend some time investigating which platform(s) that audience is using. For example, if you want a way to connect with the youth in your congregation, ask them which platforms they’re using. If TikTok is at the top of their list, you might join, follow them to see what types of content they’re liking and sharing, and then consider how you might create or share content that would appeal to your target demographic.