The other day, I saw this tweet from the Catholic TV channel EWTN and was surprised:
“For Lent, I’m giving up…” (finish with predictive text) pic.twitter.com/BzAFz9tVt3
— EWTN (@EWTN) February 11, 2020
I was a little shocked that this got into my timeline from people who are probably closer to pagan than Catholic. But it caught my eye just like that Variety tweet did during the Oscars.
I had to double check to see if this was the same EWTN (Eternal Word Television Network) I knew back from when I grew up in Birmingham, Alabama. And it was! On the way to church with my family, through long winding roads up in the hills, we would pass by the TV station.
I never would have thought that this most likely not well known religious channel would have a viral tweet. But they used a pretty common type of meme to do it: the predictive text meme.
You can call it a sort of divination, or a just a way to have fun, but according to Know Your Meme, predictive text as a meme has been around on Twitter for a few years. So if you’re been on Twitter for any amount of time, then you’ve probably seen these memes before.
But this was the first time I had seen a brand use a predictive text meme. And just like with Variety, I would not expect EWTN to use a meme or popular culture for their social media feeds. (They used this meme on their Facebook page, too.)
From what I remember growing up, EWTN’s audience is probably a much older, definitely more conservative crowd. On their FB post, they had to describe what predictive text was and how to participate in the meme. And, I am pretty sure most of my friends and colleagues had never even heard of EWTN. I myself would have never heard of it unless our church wasn’t located close by.
So I’m impressed that EWTN’s social media manager took a popular meme with a popular holiday and created more visibility for the network. Looking on their Twitter feed, you can see that this tweet was far more successful in reach that their typical tweets.
But I wonder if the people who retweeted it into my timeline even looked to see who or what EWTN is about. And knowing how fast Twitter can be, I sincerely wonder if they even looked at their profile page. Only the folks who can look at the tweet’s metrics can truly know.
With that said, it’s quite impressive to me that this tweet made it as far as it did, crossing political and possibly religious lines. Yet Mardi Gras, Fat Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, and Lent have all become a part of American popular culture. “What are you giving up for Lent?” is a common question, even if you’re not religious or Christian. There are over 70 million registered Catholics in America and as I type, many have gone to their Ash Wednesday service to receive ashes before they head off to work or school.
Again, just like with Variety on Oscars Night, sometimes it’s OK to use a different voice or method to reach your ideal audience as well as intrigue and entertain people outside of it. It may involve a little experimentation, but don’t be afraid to try!
Even these two blog posts about social media isn’t typically what I write about here on my blog. But because these tweets were so out of the ordinary from more conservative social media accounts, I took notice. And, I thought maybe you would be intrigued, too.
After all, social media still involves writing and how you can connect with your ideal audience. If a conservative Catholic network can have some meme fun on social media, maybe you can, too.
And try not to create your posts in a vacuum. Get some feedback from a variety of people — younger people, older people, people of different ethnic and racial backgrounds, people of different religious backgrounds, and people of different sexualities and genders. You’ll most likely save yourself and your brand from needless embarrassment and reputation management and your audience from cringing and unfollowing.
Need some help with connecting with your ideal audience? Contact me to see if we would be a good fit to work together.
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