Readers Are Engaged on the Internet and with Social Media

by Sr. Susan Wolf, SND on November 4, 2014

in New Evangelization, Online Presence, social media, Uncategorized, website

Kavita Dollarphotoclub_14670617Last week’s readers’ survey on desired next steps to improve Internet presence and use of social media for ministry reveal a readership that is aware of the importance of an effective online presence. Thank you to everyone who took the time to respond. The survey has not been closed if you still want to respond.

Here is the profile of the respondents:

  • 68% manage or contribute to a ministry website
  • 58% manage or contribute to social media for a parish
  • 47% blog on religious themes
  • 30% manage or contribute to social media for an individual ministry
  • 24% manage or contribute to social media for a religious community
  • 21% manage or contribute to social media for an organization
  • 8% work for companies that provide web services to religious groups
  • 5% manage or contribute to social media for a diocese

The above percentages are of respondents not responses. Most of the respondents perform more than one online service for their ministry, hence the total percentage is larger than 100%.

In terms of social media, the respondents have posted on many different platforms in the past six months. The platforms with the highest percentages of engagement are (from highest to lowest): Facebook (92%), Twitter (60%), blogs (53%), LinkedIn (42%), YouTube (34%), Pinterest (26%) and Google+ (24%).

Admittedly, our sample size is small and we cannot generalize from it, but this amount of engagement is encouraging. I also know that some readers are in positions where their role is to sponsor and encourage others to engage online i.e. pastors, department directors, religious superiors. Some of them are very active online themselves, others not as much, but the support of these leaders is critical to growing our online ministries.

Each person who is contributing in any way to promoting the gospel online whether it is for a parish, diocese, religious community, individual ministry, or business, needs to appreciate that you are a pioneer on the digital continent and that you are paving the way for others. Through your efforts to use new methods of communicating the Good News, you are reaching some people who will not hear or see it anywhere else.

We are all learning this new method of evangelization as we go. This can sometimes be very tedious and we wonder if it is worth it. Consider this. The digital continent is vast. People from all walks of life and generations, but especially the young, spend many hours there every week. They will only find the Good News there if believers post it. If we are nurturing the spiritual lives of our readers, inspiring and equipping them to live holy lives wherever they are, we are planting seeds that will bear fruit abundantly in ways that we will never know. We can take heart in Isaiah 55:10-11

As the rain and the snow
come down from heaven,
and do not return to it
without watering the earth
and making it bud and flourish,
so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater,
so is my word that goes out from my mouth:
It will not return to me empty,
but will accomplish what I desire
and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

 Next week I will report on how the respondents want to improve their online presence.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Fran Rossi Szpylczyn November 4, 2014 at 1:18 pm

Susan, thanks for this – and for all that you do. I am heartened to read this.

I am curious, maybe you know or others could comment… In my diocese, Albany, NY – a great diocese – we have parishes that are active in social media, but not so much at the diocesan level. Is this common elsewhere?

Sr. Susan Wolf, SND November 4, 2014 at 1:54 pm

It is an interesting question, Fran. I think that there are a number of dioceses on social media, but I don’t know if they are the majority. Here is my Twitter list of dioceses: https://twitter.com/srsusan/lists/diocese. I am sure that I don’t have them all, but there are a good number.

Marvin Max November 5, 2014 at 2:12 am

Hello friend, thank you for your efforts on Evangelization 2.0.
Please allow me to introduce to you a new way for catholics to present themselves online: an open-mic podcast.
The Source and Summit Podcast is an open podium for catholics to share their love for the Church.
Through the technology on our website you can submit a spoken item to the show.
Just click ‘start recording’ and talk into the microphone on your computer.
When you are done, listen back and if you are happy with the result, click ‘send’.
Your contribution will come to me as an audio file that I can use for the podcast.
Create a presentation of your special project and introduce yourself to a whole new audience
The Source and Summit Podcast is available for free in the popular iTunes Store.
You are welcome at sourceandsummit.cc for more information.
Do not hesitate to e-mail me with any further questions.
Peace be with you, Marvin Max.

Sr. Susan Wolf, SND November 6, 2014 at 5:31 am

Marvin, thank you for sharing your ministry with us. It is an interesting concept. I pray that it bears fruit for the kingdom of God.

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