We recently caught up with Brandon Swain who has been a tremendous resource on SnapChat for churches.  He’s been a great advocate for using SnapChat to engage with youth in the community.  Brandon chimes in on some of the most recent updates to the social media platform that keeps innovating.  Enjoy!


One of the biggest critiques we hear about Snapchat is that you cannot search content. It’s one of the common Snapchat features people want.
In all honesty that is a fair critique. The lack of search severely limits the amount of people who see your content to only the people who follow you.


Not anymore though since Snapchat has recently updated its search feature to include stories outside of your followers.
Snapchat also added a new custom story feature where you can add collaborators to your stories. In the long run I think these updates that are going to benefit you if you use Snapchat in your communication strategy.
Here are some thoughts as to why the new features give SnapChat renewed relevance. . .

It is great for reaching the surrounding community.

One of the things that really stand out to me about the new search feature is that it recommends stories in your area. So when I first started playing with the feature it showed me all the stories from different spots in my area. You as a church would definitely show up on here especially if you have a lot of people using snapchat in your church. Which is great because the local users of Snapchat will see stories from people in your church. Which is awesome because then it is content coming from your people and not just the church account.

It is keyword based

Besides the location based stories you can search stories that contain keywords. I noticed when I did this it showed me stories that used the word in their snap. Now I doubt a lot of people will be searching the word church but I am sure you could add some other keywords. Like your city name, or even just using general words like music in the caption of your snap would help you show up on searches. The possibilities are endless in my mind when it comes to this feature.

You can collaborate with others

The other big update snapchat used out this week was the ability to create custom stories that other people could add to. I think this is awesome for your church. Just imagine everyone going in each Sunday or at a special event and just creating one big story on Snapchat. That would be so cool. You could even create stories for different departments to add to or one for just your congregation to add to. This I think will add a great way to build community on the Snapchat platform. A feature that was not really present before but is so crucial in church communications on social.


Snapchat seemed to be on the way out unless your were of student age. However I think with these crucial updates Snapchat might just be picking its momentum back up.
If you have not tried Snapchat I think now would be a great time to try and build an audience there.

brandon swainBrandon Swain is the head developer at For Ministry Resources and the Youth Pastor at Lakeshore Baptist Church. He is a graduate of Davis College in Johnson City, New York. Brandon felt the call into ministry when he was 17. In college, he developed his passion for preaching, teaching, and connecting with pastors.