One of the fastest growing social networks in the world is the picture sharing service Instagram. If you are not using Instagram for your church, you should take a look at starting an account. Of course like any new social media tool, there are some general do’s and don’ts that you might want to abide by in order to get the most out of Instagram.

9 Do's and Don'ts for Your Church Instagram Account

Remember Everything is Square

One aspect of Instagram that takes getting used to is that everything is displayed in a square format. There are no panoramic, landscape or portrait shots. Keep that in mind as you framing your shot.

Go Behind the Scenes

Instagram is a great way to take your church members behind the everyday scenes of your church. It can be little things such as prepping for Sunday morning parking to being backstage before someone is getting baptized. Taking these type of shots on Instagram allows you to make your church feel smaller and more personable.

Do Not Take Photos of Children Without Permission

Be smart and ask parents for permission before posting any photos of their children on the internet.

Create Criteria for Who You Will Follow

At some point, you need to figure out you are going to follow. Are you going to follow everyone who follows you? For our church, we have determined that we will follow our ministers, ministries and ministry partners (para-church organizations that we partner with).

Cross-Post to Twitter and Facebook

There’s been an ongoing debate about whether or not you should cross-post your Twitter and Facebook posts. With Instagram, I believe you should cross-post to Facebook and Twitter as it will give your account the exposure it needs. Plus, Instagram integrates nicely with Facebook.

Visit the Official Instagram Blog

You might not be aware that there is an official Instagram blog. It’s full of tips, ideas and updates.

Use Statigram to Get Your Analytics

Just like Twitter and Facebook, you can get analytics for your Instagram account. One way to do this is to use the tool Statigram. With Statigram you can see comments, statistics, embed your photos and get an RSS of your Instagram photos.

Back Up Your Photos

Make sure you grab a copy of your photos for safe keeping. Use services like Instaport, InstaBackup, Frostbox or IFTTT to download copies of your photos and store them on a backup drive.

Use the Share Url Feature

While Instagram does make it easy for you to post to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, and Foursquare, it also gives you the option of sharing the URL of your photo as well. This is great for emailing and posting on Google+.

Question: Do you have any tips for Instagram users? Click here to share below.