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Michelle Beckett

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The Pope on Twitter - Does Your Infallibility Extend To Your Social Media Strategy?

Posted: 05/12/2012 22:17

I had a feeling this wouldn't end well. That this is going to go horribly wrong sensation.

Knowing the wit, might and rebellious nature of the Twittersphere. Some ideas are just too dangerous. But go on...try it, Vatican...see what happens. We dare you. Everyone's on Twitter, aren't they?

The Pope has set up an account to send 'spiritual messages' to followers in 8 languages. I've just checked the English Language follower count for @pontifex- half a million. Wow. So far, so good, Vatican.

Well, why not you ask? If it's good enough for @justinbieber, surely it's good enough for The Pope?

Just don't start a hashtag meme...I thought. *sucks breath in through teeth*

Or rather....please do. This will be one harsh lesson in global feedback, and a very interesting one too. I'm pretty sure that for the number of genuine loyal acolytes he has, there will be twice as many critics. Myself for one, as an #excatholicnowoutspokenatheist . And those critics won't let that opportunity pass.

.Don't think that hashtag will ever turn into a meme - unfortunately for The Vatican, this one did...

#askpontifex

This is turning into the biggest hashtag fail ever. And I thought #susanalbumparty (For the launch of Susan Boyle's new album) & #waitrosereasons had taught people a lesson about #whenhashtagsgowrong.

Now...what questions could people possibly ask the Pope about Faith?

Here's one genuinely about 'Faith' from @fjfonseca:

#askpontifex A question about Faith: do you think George Michael could've done a better song if he'd brought Timbaland as the producer?

Or genuinely critical tweets such as this from Kale Langley, ‏@Kal_El___

#askpontifex how many starving children do you think you could feed by stripping and auctioning the Vatican?

My personal favourite thus far from @sebpatrick: #askpontifex Who would win in a fight between Jesus Christ & Wolverine?

Wolverine, I reckon. But what do I know? I'm not infallible.

Unlike The Pope, who claims infallibility given from God. If you are going to make such claims, don't bank on the power of social media not proving you wrong. Or any claim.

This applies to companies with poor customer service as much as any extraordinary supernatural claim: Your sins will find you out on Twitter more than anywhere else. Quicker and harsher than the day of judgment. Twitter hates arrogance. Blessed are the meek.

So, what lesson can we learn here? The word 'pontiff' has it's roots in building bridges. Twitter is the most powerful tool for doing that - reaching out and having conversations with anyone on there. Just be prepared for what you'll get in reply, and have a strategy for managing that.

A tweet from @jdoughtery44 summed it up. Not just for The Pope. But for any organisation using Twitter. Handle carefully.

Does your infallibility extend to your social media strategy? #askpontifex

#askpontifex indeed. I doubt he'll reply. But let's see.

 

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