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Seven Tips for Using Social Media From the Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec

by Verónica Jarski  |  
May 29, 2012

In this article, you'll learn...

  • Social media marketing tips for reaching your audience
  • How one group parlayed social media into gaining media attention and raising awareness

Sister Elaine Lachance, vocation director for the Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec, wanted to reach young women who were hearing God's call to the religious life. She wanted to help them answer that call―just as she had responded in 1959.

Back then, the order had more than a dozen convents and 260 sisters. Now, however, the religious order has only 56 sisters in five convents in Maine and Massachusetts. And Lachance found that traditional methods for promoting vocations weren't working.

"I tried every other avenue," said Lachance. "Visiting schools and putting ads in magazines and church newspapers weren't getting us anywhere." So, when a colleague said, "Let's go big! Let's go with marketing and advertising!" Lachance realized that to reach the desired audience, she'd have to take her order online.

A Leap of Faith in Social Media

The Good Shepherd Sisters of Quebec hired a public relations company friendly to its cause―but realistic about the outcome. "They told us that people aren't going to just flock to our site," said Lachance. "They said we had to put information out there in a way that will attract people to come find out about us. We need to make them aware that we're here and have something to offer."

But despite the order's fresh new website, not many would-be sisters were visiting it. "The company then told us, 'We think you need to go with social media,'" Lachance explained.

The Good Shepherd Sisters heeded the PR company's advice and created a Facebook page and a blog.

Were the sisters' online efforts noticed? Yes! The Associated Press recently wrote about the Wii-playing, Internet-savvy sisters' online efforts. The story has been covered by more than 300 newspapers. The BBC interviewed Lachance. So did MarketingProfs. All that coverage helped the sisters meet their goal to increase awareness of their order.

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Veronica Jarski is the Opinions editor and a senior writer at MarketingProfs. She can be reached at

Twitter: @Veronica_Jarski

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  • by Amber King Wed May 30, 2012 via web

    Know where your audience are. This is very important. No matter how good your social marketing campaign is, but if you are not reaching you target market, your efforts are pointless.

  • by Cathy Burrell Thu Jun 7, 2012 via web

    Great article using an unconventional 'business'. I liked 3 points:
    1) Get started and experiment with your best guess i.e.: a website
    2) Keep searching until you find an audience
    3)The social world is always in motion: Trying something 6 months ago and never revisiting it? Social media builds with consistent effort.
    Cathy Burrell-

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