Social Media Facts for 2013

by Sr. Susan Wolf, SND on October 29, 2013

in social media

Let’s face it.  Many people in ministry  do not yet take social media seriously as a communications tool.  For them social media is fun and games that people with not enough to do.  They are not interested in what someone had for breakfast (a remark I have heard more than once).  Suggestions that a ministry should be on social media is dismissed out of hand.

If these ministers would venture into social media, they would see that there is much more content than daily menus. For sure there is some of that, and there are some posts that the world could do without, but there is a lot of interesting and engaging content on social media. There is news, commentary and opinions on just about anything including the Church and the Catholic faith.

The Pope is on Twitter as are a number of Cardinals and Bishops.  The USCCB has a blog, a Facebook page and a Twitter account. Most Catholic publications are tweeting their stories daily.  You can follow the Vatican News service @news_va_en.  Many dioceses and parishes have Facebook pages.  The infographic below will give you an idea of how many people are using social media. One of the stats to pay attention to is how many are accessing it through mobile devices.  Even if we are not using social media–we need to have websites that are “responsive” to the various devices that people are using.  Is yours?  If not, make sure your next update remedies that.

Social Media Facts 2013

(Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.)
This infographic came to my attention from a post by Jeff Bullas.   I follow Jeff on Twitter @JeffBullas and I subscribe to his blog.  He posts amazing data and tips on blogging and social media.  If you are interested that kind of information, I suggest that you follow him as well.


Sr. Angela Ann October 29, 2013 at 6:16 am

I agree with your observation. There are times I wonder if people thought about social media in the context of a new culture, or civilization that would grasp the breadth and depth of meaning and impact of social media within the cosmos of a new way of being human! Just a thought!

Fran Rossi Szpylczyn October 29, 2013 at 3:28 pm

Thanks for your post and for your intrepid support of how we communicate as the People of God.

My least favorite retort, “Oh, social media. (insert eyeroll or headshake) I just simply do NOT have time for that.” It is not necessarily meant to be dismissive, but it is certainly just that when heard. I will often ask people if they watched Downton Abbey – and many say yes. I ask them if they recall the scene where Carson the butler had to practice using the telephone! And that the Dowager was never going to get one! Look at us all now – who would not have a phone? So it goes for social media!

And I love Sr. Angela Ann’s comment.

Sr. Susan Wolf, SND November 2, 2013 at 9:16 am

Thanks for your comments, Sr. Angela and Fran. I think we are on the same page in a book many people have not read yet.

Sr. Dolores Marie November 4, 2013 at 7:54 pm

Sister, how can I determine whether our website is responsive to various forms of social media? Thank you!

Sr. Susan Wolf, SND November 5, 2013 at 6:03 am

Dear Sister Dolores Marie,

Wikipedia defines “responsive web design” this way:
“Responsive web design (RWD) is a web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices (from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors).[1][2][3]” See for more details.
You can tell if your website has RWD by looking at it using different devices, i.e. computer, tablet, smartphone. If you experience easy reading and navigation with a minimum of adjustments you most likely have a responsive web design. Your website designer should also be able to tell you. From the graphic above, we see that many people are accessing social media via mobile devices and this is also true for websites. I hope that helps.

Michelle Szczepanski November 8, 2013 at 3:53 pm

This YouTube video “Social Media 2013” gives these and even more amazing facts.
Worth sharing…we watched it at a lifelong faith formation workshop.

Sr. Susan Wolf, SND November 10, 2013 at 4:55 am

Thanks for reminding me about the video, Michelle. I have shared it and the earlier versions many times. It is a good summary and eye-opener about the impact of social media.