Earlier this year I posted 16 Social Media Insights for Catholics based upon a viral “Social Media Revolution” YouTube video spouting loads of impressive social media statistics. Well they just released a new video with updated statistics (although some of them were repeats). So here is the latest along with 12 more social media insights for Catholics (below):
1) Over 50% of the world is under the age of 30. i.e. What the young people in the Church are doing, how they are communicating, how well we are catechized and how authentic our lives are…matters…a lot.
2) iPod/iPhone applications hit 1 billion downloads in 9 months. How many of them were Catholic apps? How many were made by Catholics? How many were actually good? Also - I’d love to see some creative and entertaining Catholic apps made by Catholics come out. Not just ones with lists of prayers (those are good, too, though).
3) If Facebook were a country, it would now be the 3rd largest. A few months ago it was only the fourth largest. It’s a mission field like no other.
4) 24 of the 25 largest newspapers are experiencing record declines in circulation. What are our Catholic publications learning from them?
5) The fastest growing segment on Facebook is 55-65 yr old females. I thought this was one of the most interesting stats. While Facebook and other social media platforms are currently dominated by younger people, that is quickly changing.
6) Britney Spears has more twitter followers than the entire population of Israel, Ireland, Norway or Sweden. How many spiritual leaders or positive role models get this kind of attention? Sad. But also an opportunity.
7) YouTube is the second largest search engine in the world. How many Catholic videos are on there? How many have been viewed more than 18 times? How many are well-done and a good representation of our Catholic faith?
8) People care more about what social networks say about things than how Google ranks them. First, we are terrible in our Google rankings to begin with (which means we are way behind because it is very important also). Second, is your parish/organization/business/diocese/Catholic faith present on social media? Are you involved in a conversation there? This is where people are forming feelings and perceptions about the Catholic faith, about your diocese and about your parish.
9) People (still) trust peer recommendations far more than advertisements. How many people in your community are saying good things about your parish/organization? How many would recommend it? Or invite others to it? It is no longer enough to simply put your parish in the phone book or list your mass times on a website.
10) We no longer search for the news, the news finds us. We will no longer search for services, they will find us…via social media. Is your parish going out and finding people? Is it making itself available and present in the places people are communicating? Or is it just sitting around waiting for people to show up?
11) Successful companies in social media…listen first, sell second. Is your parish listening to its parishioners? Or just talking (if even that)? Good relationships involve two-way communication.
12) Social Media isn’t a fad, it’s a fundamental shift in the way we communicate. Decades from now (if not already) we will look back on this time as just that, a fundamental shift in the way information is shared and communities are nurtured. Will the Catholic Church be one of the shining examples of success? Or one of the laggers-behind?
Matthew Warner is the founder and CEO of Flocknote.com, an innovative communication tool helping thousands of churches and dioceses better connect with their flocks. He also blogs (MatthewWarner.me), is one of the founders and speakers of the Digital Church Conference, and is author of the book Messy and Foolish: How to Make a Mess, Be a Fool and Evangelize the World (messyandfoolish.com).
Matt has a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Texas A&M and an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurship. He, his wife and his five children hang their hats in Texas.
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