Skip to comments.Forbes calls pope a “social media phenomenon”
Posted on 09/17/2013 5:58:49 AM PDT by NYer
From columnist Tom Watson:
Pope Francis or @pontifex to his Twitter followers has quickly become a social media phenomenon, adding five million followers since his installation six months ago. He is gaining more than 4,000 followers a day and knocking at the door of three million followers for his English language feed alone. Hes got more than eight million total on Twitter, tweeting in Latin, German, Polish, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Italian and Arabic.
Small change, you say, for the 1.2 billion Roman Catholics worldwide? Perhaps in those terms but Id have to point out that what matters in social media isnt just raw numbers, but influence and engagement including among non-Catholics and the new Pope has them both.
And social media experts are noticing.
Though Pope Benedict initiated the Vaticans use of social media, it is the new Papa that is taking on the mantle of Papal influencer, says Hart Hooton, president of the New York digital media consultancy Marketechnique [note: an occasional partner of the author's own consulting firm].
Pope Francis has been doing things his own way, especially on social media: weve seen the first Papal selfie go viral, the papal Twitter account @Pontifex has risen by over five million followers in the past six months, the Popes tweets are retweeted some 22,000 times on average, hes put news.va on Facebook and, even more incredibly, the first Papal promotion has seen the light of day this Summer the Vatican offered indulgences for followers of Papal social media and events online, this translates into time off in purgatory!
That 22,000 retweets (across all the languages) for every short message the Pope sends out tends to get the social marketers and cause campaigners attention. Thats the kind of engagement with a wide audience of influencers that can help change opinion. Of course, the Popes widely reported remarks on gay people and atheists and even the possibility of priests marrying have shaken up the public perception of the modern Papacy, no small feat for a 78-year-old Jesuit. Unquestionably, Francis is a rising star on social media especially among the politically active, social cause crowd.
I have added @Pontifex to our weekly bulletin, posting one of his tweets each week. Short, sweet and succinct. It has definitely caught the attention of parishioners, especially those who do not follow social media.
I s’pose if your catholic this would be true. I pretty much ignore all threads here with the word “pope” in the title. Key phrase, “pretty much”.
In a completely related subject, a person I know lives in a house on a road in the Louisville area named “Pope Lick Road”.
I dunno. Kind of a creepy word picture. ;-)
Oh my goodness. Some of the replies to the Holy Father’s tweets are absolutely disgusting. Is there any way to report that to Twitter?
Just embedded the Pope’s twitter feed into my Parish’s web site. Spread Pope Francis far and wide.
I think this pope is a phenomenon in many ways, not just via social media. It is one of the things which deeply concerns me. I have seen all manner of people on the TV shouting their love or support for this pope, and most of them are either very, very cafeteria-style Catholics or non-Catholic altogether. Jon Stewart, for instance, was recently carrying on about how much he loves this pope, and I think he is somewhat indicative. Jews, Protestants, Atheists and agnostics all love this guy, and generally it seems to be because they perceive him as being open to reconsidering numerous dogmas and doctrines of the faith which they have long disliked. Maybe their perception is entirely wrong, I won’t deny that, but it still gives me pause. If this many people who hate or oppose everything your religious faith values voice their support or love of the leader of that faith there may be a problem with the message being delivered.