The Cardinals Ruling in Social Media: Which of the 115 Cardinals Use Twitter?

The Cardinals gather for the Papal Conclave

The Cardinals gather for the Papal Conclave

The Washington Times reports Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Archbishop of Washington, as saying “whoever is chosen as the next pope must be conversant in social media as well as the gospel in order to lead today’s global Catholic Church.”  Interestingly, of the 115 Cardinal electors, only 19 are using Twitter to spread the “good news.”

If Cardinal Wuerl is right, then a brief examination of their current social media practices might be a window into the papal conclave and the election of the next pope.  The Cardinal who himself suggested the need for social media sauve is on Twitter @Cardinal_Wuerl with 1,260 folllowers and 48 tweets.

So what is the social media presence of the presumed contenders?  Some will say the leading contender is Cardinal Angelo Scola, (Italy) @angeloscola, who has actually closed his account for conclave.

Contenders Cardinal Marc Ouellet, (Canadian) and Cardinal Leonardo Sandri (Argentina) are not on Twitter.

Two Cardinals have just opened accounts.  Cardinal Francis Arinze (Nigeria) @CardArinze has 21 followers and one tweet. Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone (Italy) @CardinalBertone has 417 followers with one tweet.

Cardinal Peter Turkson, (Ghana) @TurksonCardinal has 5,748 followers and has sent eight tweets.

Two Cardinals stand out from the others.

Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi

Gianfranco Cardinal Ravasi

The Cardinal with the biggest footprint is Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi  (Italy) who has three Twitter accounts, in Italian, Spanish and English.  His accounts are: @CardRavasi in Italian, @CardRavasi_sp in Spanish and @CardRavasi_en in English.  His followers number 43,319 (Italian) 1,969 (Spanish) and 3,868 (English). He’s been busy with the following tweet numbers:  910 (Italian); 198 (Spanish) 169 (English).


Timothy Cardinal Dolan

The Cardinal holding the social media mitre for Twitter is American, Cardinal Timothy Dolan, @CardinalDolan who has a verified count with 91,636 followers and 231 tweets.  Draw your own conclusion.

If you’re interested in quickly finding the current Cardinals on Twitter, follow this list: @TFMcGrath/cardinals.


10. March 2013 by Tom McGrath
Categories: News, Social Media, Technology, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

7 Social Media Hints to Promote Your Product

Do we really understand how cost effective the use of social media can be in the promotion of a product or service?  The marketing mix has traditionally consisted ofthe 4Ps: Product, Place, Price and Promotion.

So can social media help in promotion and might it be the great equalizer when it comes to high impact low costs marketing solutions?

We clearly have a bias and would answer yes it can be an inexpensive and highly success means to assist you in product or service promotion if used properly.  He are some suggestions to assist you in using social media for your next big venture:

  1. Establish yourself on multiple platforms.  Select from these popular platforms: Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+, Flickr, Instagram and You Tube.
  2. If you’re new to the game Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin are were you want to start.
  3. Twitter is by far the place were consumers want to engage with your brand or product.  Use it and use it often.  Monitor it on a daily basis and respond promptly to tweets.
  4. Facebook is where everyone seems to be . . . so promote your products and services but be sure to add value for your followers.  Offer deals and giveaways frequently.  Give your followers a reason to come back.
  5. Linkedin will be helpful if you’re a service business. It’s where business people meet.  Linkedin provides businesses with the opportunity to establish a business profile which can be used to market your product or service.
  6. More businesses are seeing the power of video in marketing.  YouTube has become the place to be.  Establish a channel for your product or service.  You’ll need to shoot some video and upload to the channel.  Make sure the quality is reasonable.
  7. Pinterest – A great place for product promotion and engagement.  If your product or service is for women in particular it’s a place you’ll want to be.

These are simple suggestions to get you started.  Good luck.

10. September 2012 by Tom McGrath
Categories: Marketing, Social Media, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Back to School: Using Social Media in Class

Schools and teachers are often reluctant to use social media in the classroom.  Some would rather require students to leave their smartphones in their pockets or lockers during classes, but that attitude is quickly changing.  Educators see the value of utilizing smartphones and social media platforms in classrooms.

We’ve reviewed dozens of articles on this topic and recommend the following for a synopsis of the reasons why social media needs to be embraced by educators now:

For Social Media In The Classroom To Work, Instructors Need Best Practices

Some teachers use social media in classroom to ‘connect’ students 

Using Social Media to Reach Your Community

Social media for schools: a guide to Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest 

Speaking Up in Class, Silently, Using Social Media

Let us know what you think?

05. September 2012 by Tom McGrath
Categories: Education, Smartphones, Social Media, Technology, Youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

London Olympics – Who to follow on Twitter?

Running Sensation Usain Bolt.

The Olympics are fast approaching and many are signing up for the first time to use Twitter as a source of immediate information on the 2012 London Olympics.

It’s going to be a fascinating time for social media, traditional media and observers.  They will have 17 days of action packed tweets to sift through from the 10,000 athletes from 205 countries participating in 300 events.

Here are our Top favorites to follow during the games:

  1. @USOlympic – Official Twitter page of the U.S. Olympic Committee taking you behind-the-scenes of Team USA.
  2. @London2012 – Official Olympics and Paralympics channel – Sport, culture, behind the scenes information and opinion on the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
  3. @Olympics – The official twitter account of the Olympics.
  4. @NBCOlympics – is the exclusive US home to 2012 London Olympics coverage.
  5. @TeamGB – Team GB is the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Olympic Team run by the British Olympic Association
  6. @Telegraph2012 – The home of The Telegraph’s London 2012 Olympics coverage. Follow for the latest breaking news, blogs and essential resources for the Games.
  7. @CDNOlympicTeam – News on the Canadian Olympic Team toward London 2012 and beyond.
  8. @usainbolt – The most naturally gifted athlete the world has ever seen.
  9. @kingjames – LeBron James – US Basketball Team star.
  10. @MichaelPhelps – US Olympic swimming sensation.

Here’s where you can find hundreds of other incredible Olympic athletes:!/verified/olympians/members

24. July 2012 by Tom McGrath
Categories: News, Social Media, Twitter | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Let the tweeting begin: London Olympics will change Twitter forever.

So, the London Olympics are only a few days away and social media types are predicting a transformation for Twitter during the Olympic Games.  Why?

Although Twitter has seen consistent growth to over 500 million users in its six years of life, this global event will see engagement by persons from every corner of the world as they follow results, cheer on athletes and root for their respective countries.  Some predict as many as 13,000 tweets per second (TPS); others believe the Twitter platform will be strained and falter at critical times, such as the 100 meter final in track, the various gold medal finals in swiimming, gymnastics and the like.

The closest comparisons of Twitter traffic for these Olympics would be SuperBowl XLVI on February 5, 2012.  The televised event set two new records on Twitter for the number of tweets per second.  After the New York Giants’ victory, Twitter traffic reached 12,233 tweets per second and 10,245 during Madonna’s half-time performance.

These numbers come second and third in Twitter’s overall history, with Japan’s airing of anime film “Castle in the Sky” holding the number one spot of 25,088 TPS.

Twitter will see record numbers of new tweeters as people from all over the world join in order to follow and engage like never before.  Athletes, teams and national Olympic associations will witness unprecented Twitter follower growth.

Things to watch for:

  1. How will the Olympic Organizers respond to the various crisis during the Games?
  2. Will athletes and coaches cause concern with inappropriate tweets when protested results or referee calls occur?
  3. Will the various Chefs de Mission or staff post training results or data innocently, but expose athletes to embarrassment or ridicule?
  4. Will athletes post pictures of parties and frivolities that are not normally witnessed by the general public?

It’s going to be a fascinating time for social media, traditional media and observers.  They will have 17 days of action packed tweets to sift through from the 10,000 participating athletes representing 205 countries competing in 300 events.

Let the tweets begin.

23. July 2012 by Tom McGrath
Categories: Marketing, News, Social Media | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Parents beware: More teen girls likely to video chat than teen boys

A recent survey of teens conducted by the Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, teens were asked about video-oriented activities.  As a result of application availability and usage such as Skype and Googletalk, 37% of internet users ages 12-17 participate in video chats with girls more likely than boys to have such chats.

Approximately 34% of online 12-13 year olds use video chat, as do 39% of 14-17 year olds.

Twenty-seven percent of internet-using teens 12-17 record and upload video to the internet. One major difference between now and 2006 is that online girls are just as likely these days to upload video as online boys.

Thirteen percent of internet-using teens stream video live to the internet for other people to watch.

Video chatting is more prevalent amongst white teens and those from families where parents have higher levels of education and incomes over $75K per year than are youth from minority segments with less education and lower annual incomes per household.

Some 43% of daily internet users video chat, compared with 31% of weekly users and 1% of those who use the internet less often.

The statistics clearly demonstrate the varying levels of youth engagement and new complexities of social interaction. The challenge for parents of teenagers is understanding and knowing the nature of these chats and the need to more closely monitor what your teen is doing online and to whom they are chatting.  Parents need to educate themselves and their teens about this usage.  Research indicates that this type of interaction will continue to increase significantly as more applications become available and more teens use mobile platforms like tablets and smartphones.


12. June 2012 by Tom McGrath
Categories: Smartphones, Social Media, Technology, Youth | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Positive vibes on Social Media felt by more adults than teens (Study)


Recent research from Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project, has found adults do not experience the same negative “tone” from Facebook and other social networking sites (SNS) as do teens.

A study conducted by Pew Research in the fall of 2011 about teens found that more than two-thirds of them said their peers are mostly kind to one another in the remarks they make on such sites. But 88% said they have seen examples of mean and cruel behavior to others, and 15% say they themselves have been the target of such behavior.  This compares to a study released in February 2012 amongst adults which found 85% of adults say that people are mostly kind while 49% say they have witnessed mean and offensive behavior.

Some of the key findings of the adult study reported by Pew Research include:

  • 85% of SNS-using adults say that their experience on the sites is that people are mostly kind, compared with 5% who say people they observe on the sites are mostly unkind and another 5% who say their answer depends on the situation.
  • 68% of SNS users said they had an experience that made them feel good about themselves.
  • 61% had experiences that made them feel closer to another person. (Many said they had both experiences.)
  • 39% of SNS-using adults say they frequently see acts of generosity by other SNS users and another 36% say they sometimes see others behaving generously and helpfully. By comparison, 18% of SNS-using adults say they see helpful behavior “only once in a while” and 5% say they never see generosity exhibited by others on social networking sites.

What does this tell us about adult experiences on SNS?  Not surprisingly, adults seem to have a clear understanding of their responsibilities to act appropriate in a social situation.  Adults find the SNS experience to be an extension of their behaviour offline.  That said it applies to most adults, but not all.  We have witnessed rude and unusual behaviour on social networking sites just like we do in shopping malls, on subways and in person.

Given the positive experiences, it becomes the challenge for marketers to explore how best to capture this “positive vibe” and use it effectively in SNS campaigns in the future.

Comments are always welcome.

14. February 2012 by Tom McGrath
Categories: Marketing, SNS, Social Media, Technology, Youth | Tags: , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

8 Tips for Great Service Recovery


We’ve all had occasions when the product or service we’ve received from a business leaves a lot to be desired.   Recently I’ve used Twitter on a few occasions to help me rectify service shortcomings.  Here’s what I’ve learned which may help when designing service recover strategies for your business.  Service recovery is about maintaining customer loyalty by converting an angry customer to a happy customer.  This is a huge and critical challenge.

1.            Active listener or reader – Be an active listener when you speak to the aggrieved party or read carefully the customer’s problem.  What is it they are unhappy with and what do they want?  Make notes and record the time and date in a database designed for this purpose.  Respond rapidly.

2.            Be respectful – Make sure all staff are respectful in their dealings with customers at all times, particularly when someone is expressing concern about a product or service.  Your staff are all “brand ambassadors” – make sure they act like one.

3.            Put yourself in the place of the customer – When you are engaging the customer, put yourself in their place and understand and appreciate their frustration.

4.            Seek ways of solving the problem – Ask them what you can do to solve their problem.  Make suggestions to resolve the situation.  Find all the reasons and ways that you can help rather than the reasons why you can’t do anything.

5.            Make an offer – Make an offer to help resolve the situation.

6.            Sincerely Apologize – Apologize for the lack of service or the poor quality of the product.

7.            Let them know they are important – Tell them the company appreciates their patronage and their business is important to the company.

8.            Follow-up – Make sure the customer is contacted for follow-up and the problem is resolved to the customer’s satisfaction.

Any customer recovery strategy must be based on consistency not heroics!  The simple rule to tell staff is treat all customers like you’d want your mom to be treated.

15. November 2011 by Tom McGrath
Categories: Marketing, News, Smartphones, Youth | Tags: , , , | 2 comments

Social Moms are a Powerhouse in Social Media

Social Moms are a Powerhouse in Social Media


A report out from Nielsen, entitled “Women of Tomorrow,” concludes that social moms are gaining in importance and clout in the evolving and technologically sophisticated market place.  Nielsen defines a “social mom” as a female with at least one child who actively engages in social networking.

The power of Social Moms - (Source - Nielsen)

Here are some key findings from the Nielsen work:

(1) 50% of all moms actively participating in social media access platforms via mobile devices, in comparison to 39% of females overall, and 37% of the overall population in general.

(2) Social moms tend to be cost-conscious, being 56% more likely to download coupons than the general population.

(3) Their research shows that 86% are more likely to shop online for cosmetics than the general public, as well as skincare products (85%), hair care goods (74%) and fragrances (68%).

(4) Moms who actively participate in social media are 81% more likely to become a fan of or follow a brand online, 86% more likely to post a status update, and 84% more likely to comment or post content than the general population.

(5) This segment is 85% more likely than the general population to share frequent advice about beauty and cosmetic products, 28% more likely to provide frequent advice about online shopping/e-commerce and 6% more likely to post a product review online.

So what does all of this tell us about this important and growing powerhouse in the marketplace?  Simply put – don’t dismiss their engagement level, their technological savvy and their buying power.  Social moms are discerning buyers who shop for bargains, like to use discount coupons to maximize their buying power and share experiences with friends online.  They are not afraid to confidently express their product satisfaction or dissatisfaction.   CPG  (Consumer Product Goods) marketers have known this demographic for many years and they tailor much of their marketing dollars at them.  This research indicates they need to move these resources and more into social networking campaigns.

More information is available by visiting Nielsen at


07. November 2011 by Tom McGrath
Categories: Social Media | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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