How We're Using Instagram to Drive Staff Engagement

Jan 10 2018

For the past couple decades, out of 3 John 1:2, where John speaks about the body prospering just as the soul prospers; Pastor Brian has used that analogy to give expression to the relationship between our church (the body) and our staff and volunteers (Heart & Soul, as we affectionately call them). It is a beautiful picture that shows us the importance of having a growing, engaged and prospering community of staff and volunteers for the growth of our Church. It’s a millennium-old biblical principle that is also observed in most modern workplaces: according to a recent study by Harvard Business Review including more than 550 companies from around the world, 71% of respondents rank employee engagement as very important to achieving overall organisational success.

This is probably also true of your  church, ministry or business: staff and volunteer engagement is either a key driver or a key deterrence of organisational success!

Having this in mind, our Hillsong Hills Campus pastor in Sydney, Australia inspired his social media team to develop new strategies using technology and social media to contribute positively to staff engagement and create a deeper sense of community within the few hundred staff we have serving on our campus.

The team set out to create a space where we could:

  • Tell the best stories of all God is doing in our staff lives.
  • Encourage interaction and engagement between staff members.
  • Highlight and recap events like staff meetings.
  • Rally and gather staff for upcoming fun initiatives like staff picnic and other staff hang-outs.

Accomplishing all this while being efficient with our existing team and resources was a great opportunity to be creative and think differently! We rapidly achieved the conclusion that the best way to move forward was using the newly added Instagram feature called ‘Close Friends’* that allows brands and people to share content only with a small portion of their followers, while using all the other Instagram features we love and use daily.

So here’s what we did and feel free to use it as a guide to implement a similar strategy in your Church, ministry or business:

  • Manually and individually added all our staff members to the list of ‘Close Friends’ on our Instagram account.
  • Organised a photoshoot with 30 staff members in one morning.
  • Put together a list of 10 greats, candid, staff-relevant questions and asked a few to each staff member.
  • Post weekly one interview and photo of a staff member.

After creating this space and have some initial momentum, we intend to start posting more content, like quotes from our Senior Pastors, great content from staff meetings and other highly relevant and engaging content.

This way we are proactively providing a platform for meaningful relationships to flourish and believing that as our staff (soul) prospers, the whole Church (body) may prosper!

What about your church, ministry or business? How can you leverage Instagram’s new feature to drive organisational success by engaging staff, volunteers and even customers? As a church, could you add all your staff to the ‘Close Friends’ list and post incredibly engaging content? As a business, could you add your best customers to the ‘Close Friends’ list and provide exclusive content and deals?

Hope you’ve enjoyed this article and are equipped to think about how social media can help you engage with your leadership community. Comment below for ideas, suggestions and questions!

Francisco Cabral
(Digital Analyst)


*Note: Instagram is rolling this feature out to users, so it may not be available to everyone at this moment.