Being in internet marketing, it’s fairly common to run into businesses that tell me they are doing just fine without putting a lot of effort into the internet or social media. The discussion usually centers around the fact that their business has been around for awhile and their customers don’t really rely on the web or social media to find them.
This certainly sounds like a convincing argument on the surface, but the hard truth is that EVERYONE these days is becoming a consumer of digital media. And there is no better proof than when this year two of the oldest organizations in the world, the British Monarchy and the Vatican, have taken the plunge and moved their organizations full force into social media.
Papal Tweets & Vatican You Tube Channel? Really?
The Vatican has done a great job of creating a well conceived plan to utilize digital marketing technology. Their internet and social media properties now include:
- The Vatican Main Website - While this website has been running for some time, it is very well done with a great deal of information.
- The Vatican News Portal - This news portal is brand new and features a rich media experience including the most recent news, videos, and yes even Tweets!
- The Vatican You Tube Channel - Includes over 1,100 videos on various topics
- The Vatican Twitter Account - The new Twitter account tweets news & events happening within the Church
- Vatican News Facebook - Yes you can now officially “Like” the Vatican.
- Vatican Flickr Page - Includes more than 800 photos of Papal activities
- The Vatican Radio Channel - Publishes podcasts and radio broadcasts around the world.
Weighing the risk / reward of social media
You would be hard pressed to find a more surprising organization that is embracing social media than the Catholic Church. Opening up to the world of social media certainly seems like a big risk for an organization steeped in tradition and always cautious about what they say publicly, especially given the scandals and controversy in recent years surrounding a number of topics.
But in this case clearly the risks are worth the reward.
And what is the reward? Simply put, social media is allowing the Church to communicate with its followers all over the world in ways they’ve never done before. In fact, earlier this year the Church launched its “Catholics Come Home” campaign geared at reaching those who have left the Church and inviting them to come back. So the reward for the Church is helping Catholics re-enforce their faith by providing information in ways they want to consume them and, I dare say, making it a little more fun to be Catholic.