How to plan out social posts using content buckets

by | Aug 3, 2020 | Social Media

Know you need a social media content plan, but not sure how to go about generating the content? With purpose and intentionality? Content buckets can help! If you’ve been trying to make your content more about ministry and connection and less about upcoming events, here’s a great way to get started.

Big Idea: The Content Bucket.

Content buckets represent the big ideas and concepts you want to get across through your social media pages about your church. Around for years, the content bucket idea helps creators stay focused. Your social media has a ministry purpose – let’s not forget that! Your accounts serve as the digital windows that allow potential visitors to see what’s going on at your church. They also help remind attendees of what’s important and keep everyone focused.

Knowing what themes and values you want to portray help you generate ideas on how to do that.  If you’ve ever read over or downloaded our lists on social media prompts for Thanksgiving, or early in the pandemic and wondered where those came from – this is how! Once you identify your content buckets, you can develop the ideas that fit within the theme.

Creating The Buckets For Your Church

Start with your church’s plans. Mission and vision statements. Strategic plans for the year. What themes do you see represented? Where does the church need to grow wide? To grow deep?

Write all of those themes down. Now you have several content buckets to consider! But how many do you need? While there’s no “right” number of the number of buckets, you’ll want to aim for both consistency and frequency. Ideally, you should be able to post for each bucket once a week (so no more than 7) and have enough posts during the week to keep your page looking vibrant (at least three). When researching the general marketing world, most recommended anywhere from 3 to 6 content buckets as well, so these ranges tick all of the boxes.

Once you have your finalized “bucket list” (Ha! Couldn’t resist!), develop a quick monthly calendar of what this could look like for your church. Note both the bucket and a brief description of what the content will say. When you develop your calendar in advance – be it weeks or months – this will help you to jog your member of what to include. You can even note the visual element!

ProTip: Share your plan with leadership


Know what happens when you make changes to social? People tend to notice! That’s why, before you start writing copy and developing images, you’ll want to have a conversation with church leadership. When you can show how your plan supports the church’s mission and overall ministry, it’s an easy conversation! Plus, should anyone come with concerns about the change, leadership will know the why behind the shift and be on better footing for those conversations. Something any leader appreciates!

Seven Content Bucket Examples

Sometimes, a church doesn’t have a written mission, a clear vision, or a strategic plan. (That’s a conversation for another time.)

If that’s your church, you can still move forward with identifying the key themes you want your social pages to communicate. Here are SEVEN you can use that we’ve seen churches use to minister to people through their social media accounts successfully.

Sermon Quotes/Clips/Points

A quick recap serves as a reminder of what people can carry with them into the week. Post an impactful video snippet that can go in the social feed. You can also post the whole video on IGTV.

Main Activity for the Week

Okay, yes, your account shouldn’t be an event calendar. That doesn’t mean you don’t promote events AT ALL. By choosing ONE, you’ll be able to put a spotlight on visitor-friendly events and those that serve the majority of your church. Filtering this way, you’ll help the majority of your social media audience – the whole point of this content bucket shift, right?

For other events, you can have a right-sized promotion that meets your goals through other means.

Missions Focus

Take photos or videos of what your church is doing in the community. Missions can also tie back to giving as you tell the story of fruitful stewardship. Testimonials or Behind The Scenes (BTS) content work great when talking about missions.

Community Focus

What stories in your community can your church highlight? These can be new businesses that opened down the street, the school you partner with, local sports teams, etc. Plus, you can tag other accounts and people to help spread the reach of your post.

Worship Service Invitation

You have at least one worship service coming up – let people know why they should attend! Go beyond, “you won’t want to miss it” and explain how they will benefit from the experience.

You can also use this as an opportunity to share the setlist for that service. And if you want to get fancy, create a Spotify account with those songs on a playlist.

Next Steps Invitation

Scripture teaches us to both disciple others and to be discipled. Your social posts can support this! Know the key points along your church’s discipleship path and share when those opportunities exist for someone to take the next step. For many churches, this progress looks something like believer/member – study – serve – volunteer – lead. With each opportunity, have clear direction on how to take that step. Also, provide a clear way for your audience to share with others, either publicly or privately.

Testimonials from church members can be a powerful way to encourage others to take their next step. Be thinking and asking around to know who could share their experience.

Prayer Focus

The gift of prayer is also one of the most powerful spiritual disciplines. Your church’s social media page can help your community grow here too! Whether it’s a devotional, a prayer focus, or time for prayer and fasting, your posts can support, lead, and nurture.

With the right direction and tools, social media can also be a place for people to submit their requests. You can direct people to a link or collect requests through digital tools like ManyChat.

Ministry Mindset > Medium

Take a moment. Think of the people of your church. The leaders. The members. Think of your mission. What is it that your church hopes to accomplish? What impact is your church working to achieve? Think of your community. How can your church reach new people and make it shine a little brighter?

Now, look at how your social media accounts can support all of that. You’re ready to get planning!

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