By Rev. Marty Levesque
The demographic breakdown of social media platforms is very interesting and telling.
The largest cohort on Facebook is Baby Boomers, on Twitter it is Gen-X, Instagram is for Millennials and TikTok is for Zoomers (Gen-Z). Millennials, the most interesting, seem to gravitate across all platforms but have the second highest uptake on Twitter and TikTok.
This all depends on which part of the micro-generation inside the larger millennial generation we are discussing. For instance, Xennials, those born between 1977-1983, and elder millennials gravitate towards Twitter and Instagram. The trend is to focus more on text and images within this group. Meanwhile, Zennials, those born between 1992-1998 gravitate towards TikTok and Reels on Instagram and short videos as the means of communicating and sharing content.
Why does this matter?
In broad terms, if a church wishes to grow in general then a broad appeal across multiple platforms makes a lot of sense. This does come with a larger time commitment though. Multiple posts across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and TikTok make a lot of sense in trying to reach the widest audience.
But if a church wishes to target Millennials as it seeks to grow with young families then some thought and discussion need to occur. Are the growth area tweens and youth or is it Sunday School children? Because those are two different micro-generations and therefore different platforms are required.
Therefore, we need to be very specific about the groups we wish to reach. Identifying the group first will inform which platform to invest time in. And considering most social media in churches today is often run by the clergy and a few volunteers, it is imperative to not waste time and talent on platforms that will not reap benefits.
Just as each day we make a daily choice to glorify God, we need to bring that same intentionality to our platform choices as we seek to build relationships and seek the lost.
Rev. Marty Levesque is the diocesan social media officer and rector of All Saints’ in Waterloo. firstname.lastname@example.org