The Church is finding social media to be a key tool in its mission to help all to come unto Christ. Members and missionaries alike are finding innovative ways to do missionary work online, and many are using social media to help them carry out their callings and inspire their families. The Church has an official presence on Facebook, Google+, YouTube and Twitter and recently announced accounts for social-media platforms Instagram and Pinterest.
“Each of these social networks fills a slightly different niche, and while all of them allow users and organizations to share images, Instagram is unique in the way that it lets people connect with photographs,” said Jared Covington, social media adviser for the Church. “Powerful things can be communicated with nothing more than a simple image, and Instagram excels in that space.”
Instagram is an online photo-sharing website that allows users to film short videos or take photos and share them on a variety of social networking websites such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.
Pinterest, on the other hand, is like a digital bulletin board that visually represents a collection of ideas. While gathering visual bookmarks (pins) from all around the web, people can share their collections with one another. People use these pins to plan trips, gather art, work on projects, organize events, collect recipes or save important articles.
The Church launched its first official Instagram account in the summer of 2013 when the Mormon Tabernacle Choir began sharing photos from recent performances as well as historic images at instagram.com/mormontabchoir. Mormon Newsroom followed soon after with instagram.com/mormonnewsroom, as did the Mormon Channel at instagram.com/mormonchannel. Mormon.org recently launched an official Instagram account as well at instagram.com/mormonorg.
“A great example of how the Church has used Instagram in the past was last February,” said Brother Covington. “The Mormon Newsroom Instagram account posted a photo at instagram.com/p/kfAD3qGfoQ/ of Noelle Pikus-Pace attending Church meetings in Russia a few days after receiving her Olympic medal during the 2014 Winter Olympic Games. It was a simple image, but it resonated with members from various countries who shared, ‘favorited’ and commented on the photo of a fellow Latter-day Saint who was faithfully attending her Sunday meetings.”
On Pinterest, the Church publishes inspirational content focused on helping all to follow the Savior and His teachings. The official Church account that was launched in March can be found at pinterest.com/ldschurch. There are also official Pinterest accounts from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir (pinterest.com/mormontabchoir) and the Mormon Channel (pinterest.com/mormonchannel), where each of those organizations shares a variety of videos, music and other uplifting content.
Brother Covington said, “The pins that the Church creates and shares can be found on the official Pinterest accounts. However, one of the most exciting things about Pinterest as a platform is how so many people are using it to actively share their testimonies of Christ and examples of positive living.”
There is an abundance of inspiring content that members of the Church and of other faith-based organizations are creating and sharing on their personal Pinterest accounts in addition to the many pins that the Church publishes.
According to the Church social media team, the most popular topics frequented by online visitors to the Church’s official social media accounts center on Mormon Messages and general conference. However, images that provide a unique perspective of temples, the Tabernacle and the ministry of the Brethren are also very well received.