While the exact definition of the ‘millennial’ generation is still up for debate (even the Census Bureau isn’t quite sure…), one thing is for certain: the number of millennials will soon outweigh the number of Baby Boomers in our country, and every brand wants in on this potential consumer base.
It might sound surprising, but nuns are on the list of ‘brands’ seeking to fill their pipeline with millennials, too. What’s probably not surprising is that, according to The New York Times, the number of women choosing a religious life has been steeply declining since the mid 1960s.
So how does an ‘old’ brand like the Dominican Nuns of Summit in Summit, New Jersey, attract the ‘new’ millennial population? By social media, of course! Okay – maybe not only social media, but it’s certainly a component.
I read with fascination the New York Times’ feature story about the sisters, ranging in age from 25 to 90, who live in cloister and practice a life of prayer. I was particularly inspired by the story of Sister Mary Catharine who started a blog for the Dominican Nuns community, asking for permission only after it launched – realizing it would be hard to sell in without the actual blog in place.
The Dominican Nuns’ Social Media Networks
Today the Dominican Nuns have a strong social media network, including a Facebook page with over 6,200 fans, in excess of 700 followers on Twitter, more than 300 subscribers on YouTube, and they’ve even got a presence on Yelp!
While joining a cloistered Roman Catholic monastic community isn’t for everyone (nine of 15 aspirants over the last decade are on track to take their final vows), I’d encourage anyone with an interest in how the community is using the Internet and building a strong social media network to further its cause to read the article mentioned above in full. If the sisters can do it, why can’t you?