Recently I noticed Instagram had quietly rolled out a new feature that stood out to me. No it wasn’t the live video, stories or any of that, instead it was the simple addition of a “first post in a while” notification.
I want to look at it today and what you and your church could learn from it.
How First Post In a While Works
The basic premise of “first post in a while” is very simple. When you post for the first time in a while (which is determined by Instagram), your followers are notified that you have posted. This notification takes you to that persons account and it contains a preview of the image they shared.
Instagram doesn’t show previews in other notifications nor does it promote other posts. Only the “first in a while.”
The Benefit for the Poster
Obviously, this has power for someone who posts rarely. If all your followers are notified, they are more likely to check out your post. This can lead to you getting more likes than before which provides positive reinforcement to post again and stay on the network.
The Benefit for the Other Users
For everyone else, you get the benefit of keeping up with the people and accounts you follow. I don’t know about you, but sometimes I notice people have “disappeared” from social networks and then I am really excited when I see them again. I’m more curious as to what they have been up to.
By showing when people are back, it generates excitement and a feeling of community.
Applying It to Your Situation
For you or your church, I’d suggest you really consider how you can welcome people back. There are all sorts of good and bad reasons why people can’t come along to a service, ministry or event. But whatever the case, it’s good to welcome people back. It helps to make everyone feel like they belong more.
This could be a simple task of front door greaters to look out for people who haven’t attended for a while. Or it could be getting people on your sound team to welcome back the person who’s been off when their baby was born.
Alternatively, If you use a church management tool, then you could keep track of people who haven’t been around for a while and send them a personalized message when they are back.