Blessed are the tweeters

Even the Vatican is embracing social media and content marketing

Forget life imitating art, here we have a classic case of life imitating The Message. In January 2012, in a post called iBelieve, we wrote: �If organised religion wants to live past this generation, it has to make like every other big business and stay visible.�

Then a couple of months later, in a post imaginatively titled iBelieve (part 2), we reported that �the spread of social media-savvy religion-related content has reached, well, biblical proportions�.

And now, with a well-known religious festival almost upon us, it seems entirely appropriate that the head of the Roman Catholic Church, Pope Benedict XVI, has taken to Twitter (as @pontifex). According to the Vatican, the Pope will be using the social media microblog to tweet �pearls of wisdom� in eight languages, answering questions sent to him regarding matters of faith.

�The Pope�s presence on Twitter is a concrete expression of his conviction that the Church must be present in the digital arena,� the Vatican says. Which shows that even the 2000-year-old Catholic movement understands how social media and content marketing can be a massive benefit in the digital age.

At time of writing, the papal twitter account has 501,936 followers. Although that figure is a mere fraction of the planet�s 1.2 billion Catholics, it is a remarkable number considering Pope Benedict has yet to send a single tweet. Now, cynics may call that blind faith, but in fairness the Vatican has said the account won�t be used until just before Christmas.

Still, it will be interesting to see whether the Church fully embraces social media to the extent some have done. Speaking personally, we can�t wait to see the Instagram images of the pontiff�s Christmas dinner�


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