A Detailed Plan for Promoting Young Life Events on Social Media

November 15, 2017

Written by Ryan Ahlwardt (Area Director, Hamilton Southeastern Young Life)


Club Theme Twitter Poll

  • One week during All-School Campaigners, call out for 10 rapid-fire ideas for Club themes from kids; repeat them to the crowd with an upbeat comment (“Stranger Things Club! Awesome, Katie! Who’s got another?”)
  • Have a leader type them into their phone real-time and text them to whoever handles social media
  • Invite everyone to get out their phones and follow your club’s Twitter account (“You guys, we want you to vote right after Campaigners tonight!”)
  • Leaders & staff person pick top-3 most fun, creative, and feasible ideas from kids and create a Twitter poll that lasts for 4 days (“HIGH-SCHOOLERS! Vote for this month’s Club theme and bring a friend!”)
  • Post a screenshot of the Twitter poll (without any responses yet) to Instagram (“Follow @hseyounglife on Twitter and vote right now for this month’s Club theme!”)
  • Post the same screenshot to Facebook (“PARENTS! Make sure your kids vote for this month’s Club theme over at our Twitter page!”) along with the Twitter link
  • Set a reminder on your phone to check the Twitter poll in 4 days for the winning theme idea


Live Updates 

  • Leader or staff person creates a 1-min Facebook Live update that gives 3 pieces of info:
    1. What kids are discussing tonight
    2. Important dates for the week ahead
    3. Some kind of call-to-action (sign up for the banquet, donate a meal for leaders at the website, follow us on Instagram, pray for us about ____, etc.)
  • Leader or staff person gives the exact same update on a live Twitter update (“PARENTS! Here’s everything you need to know about the week ahead in @younglife! #youweremadeforthis)
  • Leader or staff person gives the exact same update on a live Instagram update (“We’re going to have pics from tonight up soon, you guys. Make sure you tag yourselves and a friend who needs to come next week.”)
  • NOTE: make sure your WiFi connection is solid during these live updates, otherwise it can come across really amateur
  • This won’t take you more than 5 minutes to do across the 3 platforms. Have a plan of what you’re going to say. Don’t say more than necessary. Get in and get out. Make it about KIDS and LEADERS, not you.
    • Example: “Hey, everyone, it’s Ryan! Behind these doors, we’ve got about 75 kids and their leaders who are diving into the Bible together tonight to see what God has to say about forgiveness. Here at Young Life, you don’t have to agree with us to be with us and you don’t have to believe to belong. If you’re wanting to learn more about how you can be a part of this awesome, life-changing community, sign up right now for our parent newsletter on our website. Also, keep an eye out for camp info coming soon in the next couple of weeks! Thanks for watching. Have a great night!”

Capturing Stories 

  • Assign a leader or two (or a committee member) to take pictures of kids & leaders throughout the night and text them to you after (groups, candids, simple moments, etc)
  • Staff person should be ALL EARS for inspiring quotes from kids & leaders in their small groups; hop from group to group for 5-10 mins if possible and LISTEN
  • Set a goal to capture at least 5 quotes that night; never use a kid’s last name or share something that is personal or would make a parent/student uncomfortable or embarrassed
  • Copy kids or leaders’ quotes into the Evernote app to store them for future use on social media, in newsletters, etc. (Folder name: “Quotes from Events for Social Media”)
    • Examples:
      • “I just want you guys to know that following Jesus in high school is never boring.” – Sam, HSE junior & WyldLife leader
      • “I guess I never really imagined how much God wants a relationship with me until now.” – Kendra, sophomore
      • “This is home for me.” – Will, senior


Sharing Stories 

  • Edit/crop/beautify and post a rapid burst of 5-10 photos on Instagram and tag as many kids as you know in the photo
  • Make your captions consistent in their tone (ex: dry & clever, silly & upbeat, etc); having a consistent “tone of voice” across your different platforms is necessary for your audience to stay engaged.
    • Examples:
      • “So much going on here.”
      • “When your leader still wants to be in high school.”
      • “Please just look at Jacob’s face.”
      • “Note the number of knee pops.”
      • “Squad.”
      • “Standard Monday vibes.”
  • Think as a kid would for Instagram captions and like parents do for Facebook updates. Whatever you do, don’t overuse exclamation points or all-caps. Brevity and clean messaging always win.


Facebook Recap the Following Day

  • The day after an event, post 1-3 of the edited pictures from last night’s event with a simple quote from a kid/leader as the caption (“I just love coming here every week.” – Jade, sophomore)
  • Have the copy for your update be compelling and brief (“God continues to move on Mondays! Parents, learn more about how you can get involved at HSE.younglife.org.”)

Update Your Website

  • Pull last night’s event off your area’s calendar (this takes 2 minutes and makes a parent’s life easier when they’re looking for info)



Quote something from @younglife and add a simple statement of agreement (“Same.” “This right here, you guys!” etc) OR post inspirational Bible verses or encouraging content for kids

    • Examples:
      • “No matter what you’re going through right now, you’re seen, known, and loved by the God who made you.”
      • “At @younglife, you don’t have to agree with us to be with us and you don’t have to believe to belong.”
      • “How can we pray for you right now?”


Post a picture to promote an upcoming event (include kids in the pic!) OR post a powerful picture of kids and leaders and make the caption a quote or statement that’s in line with Young Life’s message.


Post any general updates for parents to be aware of (“PARENTS! Do you want to show your child’s leader how much they mean to them? Click here to donate a leader meal for an upcoming event!”)



Announce the winner of the Club theme using drum roll/gold trophy/party emojis.

    • Example: “Three weeks away! Stranger Things @younglife Club! Dress up like your favorite character! Someone be a demogorgon pleaaasee. Shout-out to Katie for the idea!”


Find a compelling, simple picture related to the Club theme online and share it with a caption like the one below

    • Example: “413 of you voted! This is going to be EPIC. SEE YOU AT #StrangerThingsYL CLUB LATER THIS MONTH! No real nosebleeds if you’re coming as Eleven.”

Post the same picture from Instagram with a parent-centered update like the one below.

    • Example: “PARENTS! You know that Netflix show that your kids have been watching lately that’s kind of like The Goonies except Winona Rider’s in it? Help us remind them about #StrangerThingsYL Club happening three Mondays from now at the barn! All are welcome. HSE.younglife.org”


  • Get 15-20 second video clips of kids and leaders saying why they’re a part of Young Life or what they’d say to someone who’s never been to an event before; use these videos for content as needed
  • Put the cell number of a leader (or leaders) who wasn’t able to come up on a big piece of paper and have everyone text them something like “See you next week!” or “We miss you! #leaderlovebomb
  • Have everyone do a live Instagram or Snapchat of a kid/leader leading worship at All-School Campaigners
  • Do an Instagram Scavenger Hunt around your town where kids have to upload pictures as a group with certain hashtags about Young Life so everyone who follows them sees your area/club Instagram handle
  • Upload 30-second “#WisdomWednesday” videos from kids & leaders (capture these before/after an event; make sure your phone is horizontal so it films in HD, tag them, and have part of their quote be the caption)
    • Example: “My name is Chad and I’m a senior at HSE. If I could go back in time and tell my sophomore year self something about life, it would be…”
  • Challenge yourself to have a daily hashtag for content (but know that will require more of your time and focus!)
  • Examples:

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