Is Instagram right for your synagogue? The answer is a resounding yes!
As one of the fastest growing social media platforms (see Pew Research Center study), Instagram presents a unique opportunity for you to engage with you members outside of the building's four walls.
Images are powerful. And, when used effectively, your synagogue can tell an inviting story of what it means to be a part of your community. You already use Facebook to drive community engagement, so why not Instagram?
Our simple tips are designed to give you a sense of what to do after signing up.
Focus on slowly building out your page over the upcoming weeks and months. It is not about posting an image every day or even every week, but rather it’s about creating an active and consistent presence. Your main goal is to avoid having a visitor stumble across your account and see only one or two pictures from 45 weeks ago. Abandoned Instagram accounts send the wrong message. The same is true for an account showcasing lots of blurry or unappealing images. The whole point is to celebrate your community with engaging images.
2. Compelling Photos
Instagram is a blend of eye-catching images, funny memes, and pictures of food. Lot’s of food. An image that makes you pause, catch your breath, or even smile is right. Get started by selecting one or two of the best images from a recent event and post those to your account.
3. Tell a Story
Over the upcoming weeks and months, as more images are added, Instagram will slowly begin to show what it’s like to be a part of your community. From building the Sukkah to celebrating Hanukkah, all special events and milestones will be there, creating a dynamic and appealing portrait of synagogue life.
4. Promote Upcoming Events
Similar to Facebook, Instagram can be useful in publicizing upcoming events. You can also include information on how they can attend.
5. Create Accounts for Youth Groups
The teens in your community are already using Instagram. Consider creating an account that showcases their events and accomplishments. This approach can also work well for religious and preschool families.
Worried about privacy? Make the account private and approve all followers to ensure an intimate and secure environment.
Given the growing number of people on Instagram, it’s surprising how few synagogues are actively using this platform. Why not give it a whirl? Try out Instagram as a way to better market your congregation to prospects and connect with current members.
About the Author
As the client relationship manager at Jvillage, Jen Lieberman is committed to helping synagogues grow and thrive in our increasingly online world.