Twitter and the Believer

From Amy O’Leary:

No one bit on this: Why do you think Christians are so “in” to social media? At one time many in the more conservative evangelical crowd were totally against blogs, and now they lead the numbers of those who blog. Why do you think this is attractive?

Joyce MeyerMax Lucado and Andy Stanley were not well known inside Twitter’s offices. But they had all built loyal ranks of followers well beyond their social networks — they were evangelical Christian leaders whose inspirational messages of God’s love perform about 30 times as well as Twitter messages from pop culture powerhouses like Lady Gaga.

Fifteen percent of adult Internet users in the United States are on Twitter, and about half of those use the network every day, according to a report published this week by the Pew Research Center. But Twitter is always looking for ways to add new users. And so, with this new insight, the company sent a senior executive, Claire Díaz-Ortiz, on a mission: to bring more religious leaders into the Twitter fold.

“We had looked at different groups, like C.E.O.’s and high-level executives, thinking, oh, do we need to spend more time with them?” she said. “And then this religion thing popped up.”…

Consider this post in April from Bishop T. D. Jakes“Your words will tell others what you think. Your actions will tell them what you believe.”

His message was forwarded 2,490 times — just shy of the 2,491 retweets that the pop singer Katy Perry generated the same month with this message to her fans: “Sometimes jet lag makes me feel like a cross eyed crack head #muststayawake.”

Both messages performed remarkably well. But there was a key difference: Bishop Jakes has 450,000 followers, while Ms. Perry has 20 million.

Voices less famous than Bishop Jakes also benefit from this “engagement” effect, suggesting that it is driven less by fame than by inspirational content.

Ann Voskamp, a mother of six who lives on a farm in Ontario, is one of those voices. Her book “One Thousand Gifts,” about moments of everyday grace, started a Twitter conversation that is still going 18 months after its publication.

 

 

About Scot McKnight

Scot McKnight is a recognized authority on the New Testament, early Christianity, and the historical Jesus. McKnight, author of more than fifty books, is the Professor of New Testament at Northern Seminary in Lombard, IL.

  • Fish

    I would give it a great deal of thought before ‘branding’ a church as a source of plucked-out Bible passages or church sign one-liners. You have to be a celeb to pull it off. Facebook is much better for the average church due to the interaction and the ability to be a little bit more deep.


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