Is it worth knowing and understanding your kids social media habits? Considering our students pretty much live there I thin it is. This teen wrote about social from the teen perspective, back in January, and breaks each medium down into whether it is relevant or not to teens.
I think using social, for youth ministry purposes, is way to figure out what our kids like and who’s paying attention where. Some kids I connect with through text, some on Facebook, but I connect with the vast majority of them on Instagram.
Yesterday, I posted on Instagram that I would be buying free shakes for students from 3:00 to 3:30. I was looking to hang with some of the High School group for a bit. No one showed.
This might tell me
a) kids don’t like McDonald’s shakes.
b) I posted too late, my kids can’t change their schedule that quick.
c) Kids are not out of school yet to get that message.
So I will be doing some A/B testing Next time I post it will be for Jacks between 4 and 4:30 and I will post the night before. I think we can find out a ton about kids if we engage and test a few ideas. Edison said, concerning the light bulb, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” I didn’t fail in my social media attempt to connect I just found a way that did not work. I have plenty more to try.
If your kids are everywhere, pick a platform and use that as your main way to communicate. I challenged my kids that if they did not have an Instagram account to get one because I would be sharing special things like free food, prizes, etc. I had a few kids get the app that night and follow us.
Remember, you don’t have to be an expert on social medial you just have to be active. Experiment with various platforms until you, and your group, find a sweet spot for engaging.
If you’re looking for a resource to engage with students on Instagram I have a new resource out called Insta-Prayer: 21 Days of Prayer and Social Engagement. The resource has 21 Instagram ready photos with scripture about prayer on each of them. In addition, I have written 21 prompts to encourage your kids to leave comments. You can download a sample HERE.