Spreading devotion to Miraculous Medal via social media
In his recent letter Fr. Gregory Gay, CM Superior General, invited all in the Vincentian Family to reflect on how to spread devotion to Mary. The following is a 10 point summary by a media professional who used Facebook so effectively in this ministry that she literally engaged millions of people on the Facebook page of the Central Association of the Miraculous Medal based in Philadelphia. Lizanne Magarity Pando is currently using her skills working full-time promoting the World Meeting of the Family in Philadelphia 2015.
From her presentation to the historic General Assembly of the Associations of the Miraculous Medal…
Ten Steps to use Social Media in Promoting devotion to Mary
By Lizanne Magarity Pando
Spreading Devotion to Our Lady of Miraculous Medal in 2014
Tell your Story: When People seek you out, they want to hear Your Story. In this case the Story of the Miraculous Medal. Remember, you might know it, but new people join you everyday and will want to see and hear the story again and again.
Brand your Product: There are many different photo or painted versions of Our Lady, even of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. When you pick the one that represents you, keep that version and use it as your branded image. You can use other versions of Mary when sharing information but choose one image to be your identifying Blessed Mother on your website, profile picture and icon for Social Media. This will allow those following you to find you more easily.
Stay on Point: All of your marketing on the Web and Social Media should include the core message of “Mary, the Miraculous Medal, and Prayer”. There are many great messages and missions, but Social Media is for simple and short messages to create clarity.
Create a Clean Clear and Simple Website: All Social Media communications and marketing should bring your followers back to your website to connect with you. Make sure when they get to your website it is very evident what you would like them to do (i.e.: leave your address, pray with them, read your story, etc). Then also make sure you have links there leading them back out to Social Media as well. If you are unsure how to do this, many have found help in young people in their parish or local College willing to help set up a website or social media.
Start with the Basics: Moving to Social Media you should start with Facebook and follow the marketing steps listed above to direct you when creating the content. You need a personal Facebook account to set up a professional one. If you then move on, most move to Twitter, then Pinterest, then Instagram, etc.
Who Should Post or Tweet?: You should have as many as 5 people as administrators on your page if you can (this depends on how many staff members you have). This helps to create a lot of content and this type of activity keeps people interested. All of this leads to your accounts and awareness growing.
How often should you communicate?: You should plan to post about 3 to 10 times a day. You should make a plan that includes a goal of 3 posts in a day. And fill in at times with prayer or praying for current things happening around the world. Always include your web address on each post at the bottom, then when people share your messages, this will lead them back to your website.
Pray, Pray, Pray: I cannot emphasize this enough. Mary told us to pray, and if you pray, the followers will come. Also it is important to ask others to pray with and for you.
Create Content that you want People to share with family and friends: When you are on Social Media, people that follow you want to be a part of the Mission too. Create messages, pictures, actions, and videos that you want your followers to share in order to “let” them help you. And don’t forget to ask them to share your messages.
Ask Questions: Social media can create a great audience who wants to help. Ask them what they think, or how you can improve, or to share your information. 2014 is about sharing and working together, not just informing people. Truly we can work as one Church Family under our Mother.
Blessings to you in Mary Immaculate,
Lizanne Magarity Pando
Director of Marketing and Communications
World Meeting of Families 2015