Context & Timeliness in Social Media

Recently I was reminded of the importance of being contextual and timely in social media in church. I believe when these two concepts are working in tandem, you can connect with people at a different level than a pre-scheduled post.

Scheduling posts are great, and one has to always take into account timeliness and context when scheduling posts, but many times you just need to create real-time posts that are timely at that moment.


Here’s the story:

I was driving into the office on Friday morning and snow as falling to the ground. We had already gotten a couple inches of snow at this point, which usually isn’t out of the ordinary for us in Chicago, but this year we’ve been abnormally lacking in the snow department. So this morning there was a larger amount of traffic than there normally would be. While driving I had to send up a quick prayer to ask for patience and joy, I was reminded of this concept because the most recent sermon was talking about having joy in the midst of trials.

When I arrived in the office the first thing I did was send out a quick post to from our church’s Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram account. The post said, “We finally got some snow! Praying that you stay safe and have joy, even while sitting in traffic this morning.”


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Why was this post contextual and timely?

Context: This post was contextual to Chicago, which is where our church is located. Most of our church is made up of business professionals who most likely had to deal with some type of frustration pertaining to the snow that morning.

Timely: This post was timely because the most recent sermon that most of our church heard the previous weekend was pertaining to ‘joy in the midst of trials.’

The proof is in the pudding. Not that numbers are always indicators of success, but so far 780 people have seen this post, 16 people liked it, and 2 people commented. The only number that is ‘low’ is the “Likes”, but that is okay. I care more about comments than “Likes”.

How could this post have been better?

In hindsight this post would have probably been better if I included a verse from the recent sermon.

What would not have made this post better?

My instinct would be to say that the post would have been better if I included a link to the video of the sermon. I see this often from other churches, but I don’t think this is necessarily true. Why? 1. Sometimes people just want a short word of encouragement and that is it. If they’re clicking on a link they expect some value, but the reality is that most people probably had already heard that sermon, and those who hadn’t probably weren’t going to sit there and watch the entire sermon from clicking on that link. 2. I would have had to explain what the link is in the post, or else I’m just wasting most people’s time by including some mysterious link to a full-length sermon video.


So try and be contextual and timely in your social media posts from your church. You may find that people will connect with you in a completely different way!

How do you try to be contextual and timely in your church’s social media posts? 

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