Building a successful personal brand can be a major contributor to overall organization or company brand success. We’ve seen big personalities like Richard Branson, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg add value to brands like Virgin, Apple, and Facebook over years of their leadership. But it isn’t only companies that can add value to brands and reputations of the people that support them. It was a very dark time for the Catholic faith with much of the worlds’ population watching in the past few years as the Catholic faith was shaken by scandal after scandal. Then a leader of the faith (and thereby Catholic brand) emerged that began to help with the restoration of much of the trust that had previously been lost: Pope Francis.
Reaching the Masses
Pope Francis did something for Catholic followers (and the world, in general) and made himself more accessible. He stepped down from the ivory pedestal and started reaching out to interested audiences via social media. Not only does he and his staff tweet and re-tweet regularly, he ventures into the crowds that gather around him to take selfies with them!
The shift to social media for the Pope comes just in time too! According to a study conducted by Verizon, almost 50% of the Catholic Church’s audience used social media to connect with members of their faith and 68% of Catholic millennials use social media to share their faith. For the Pope’s tour across America, Emoji’s were even created specially marking the event and allowing social media users to share the Pope’s personal brand quickly. Knowing how to reach your target audience in ways that they like to be reached will strengthen your share of heart with audience – this is true of any business and organization, including religion!
Be Relevant and Like-able
While not everything that Pope Francis has done has been favoured by all that follow the Catholic faith, he has spoken on numerous hot button issues, addressing topics such as divorce, global warming, and even moderated and supported international diplomacy talks between the U.S. and Cuba (helping to restore peace after years of hostile relationship between the two countries). The public seems to enjoy and be more attentive to the messages that Pope Francis brings to them – they can appreciate that the leader of a major centuries-old religion can bring a good mix of tradition and current news to them.
To read more about Pope Francis and his social media team, check out this article by CNBC: A Pope for the social media age.