Do you know social media’s 80/20 rule? It’s the same as the 80/20 rule in other areas of Catholic parish life. If you review your parish finances, it’s highly likely that 80 percent of your offertory comes from 20 percent of your families. Likewise, 20 percent of your volunteers are completing 80 percent of your volunteer hours. This concept, known as the 80/20 rule or the Pareto Principle, also applies to social media.

Eighty percent of your online activity – likes, shares and comments – is generated by 20 percent of your followers. Even if you’re posting daily and have hundreds of followers, you’ll start to notice the same key followers are the most likely to interact with your posts. That’s good. Let’s identify those people and then use their skills to help grow the parish.

Here’s how to put these folks to work.

  • Identify the “usual suspects” on your Facebook page: Who are the first people to like, comment and share?
  • Acknowledge them: Send an email, Facebook message or a personal note to each of your online super supporters. Thank them for their support. Recognize the important role they play in the New Evangelization and encourage them to keep it up.
  • Compare your active online and offline volunteers: Is there overlap between your key parishioners and your key online followers? Personally reach out to any key volunteers who aren’t showing up on your parish Facebook page. Simply ask them to follow the page and share anything they really like. Let them know it’s part of the parish’s strategy for the New Evangelization to be more active online. Just ask for their help!
  • Get everyone together: By inviting your most committed parishioners and key online followers to meet and work together on committees, councils, and task forces, you are assembling a dream team for your parish that will have a reach far beyond the usual working group.

Part of the reason you want to invite the 20% to gather together is that they tend to score high in the “Woo” category (not “WHOO!” – rather, “woo” as in they know how to woo others to the cause). They’re highly skilled at enthusiastically recruiting others to their cause. They are the people you need to grow your online audience. Apply social media’s 80/20 rule and make it work for you!