[PODCAST] How Social Media Responded to the Pope in Ireland

social media responded to the pope in ireland

JSB Talks Digital Podcast #115

JSB Talks Digital is a weekly digital marketing and social media podcast hosted by author, strategist, consultant, speaker and trainer Joanne Sweeney-Burke. Each Friday Joanne shares her digital marketing and social media insights from her work as CEO of Digital Training Institute. 

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In this episode #115, I’m sharing how social media responded to the visit of Pope Francis to Ireland during the last weekend in August 2018.

* In social media news:

o Facebook is using a trustworthiness score to tackle fake news

o The UK Government launches an investigation into social media influencers

o Pope Francis addresses the issues of social media during address in Croke Park

* I compiled a montage of media highlights from Pope Francis’ visit

* Shoutouts: Three brands that news-jacked the papal visit

* Ask JSB

* In JSB’s column: My analysis of social media during Pope Francis’ visit to Ireland

* And find out what social media tool saved my working week


Facebook is using a trustworthiness score to tackle fake news

Facebook is rating the trustworthiness of its users on a scale from zero to 1 and has been using this reporting scale for the past year.

It’s in an attempt to combat the ever-increasing problem of fake news. So we are all be monitored.

The “score” is used to alert possible fake to fact-checking organisations.

Facebook Product Manager, Tessa Lyons, in an interview with the Washington Post, said that the score works to classify users that have reported posts on Facebook using the reporting tool.

Some users, she says, report posts not because they are false but because they don’t agree with the content. Users that regularly flag posts that actually contain fake news will have a high score. Users that flag posts that waste fact-checker time have a lower score.


The UK Government launches an investigation into social media influencers

The UK Government’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has launched an investigation into whether social media influencers are declaring when they have been paid, or otherwise rewarded, for posting about a product.

The CMA has said it has seen examples of posts which appear to:

* promote or endorse products without clearly stating if the post has been paid for

* offer the celebrity’s personal opinion on the benefit of a product without clearly disclosing if they are being paid by the brand

George Lusty, the CMA’s Senior Director for Consumer Protection, said:

“Social media stars can have a big influence on what their followers do and buy. If people see clothes, cosmetics, a car, or a holiday being plugged by someone they admire, they might be swayed into buying it.

“So, it’s really important they are clearly told whether a celebrity is promoting a product because they have bought it themselves, or because they have been paid or thanked in some way by the brand.”


Pope Francis addresses the issues of social media during address in Croke Park

The Pope said social media can serve to build a network of friendships and solidarity, “and can be beneficial if used with moderation and caution and it helps connects families.”

He said it was important that social media “never becomes a threat to the real life relationships by imprisoning us in a virtual reality and isolating us from the very real relationships that challenge us to grow”.




In this episode, I share the audio from the media that was shared online and how they approached the Papal visit. It’s an excellent case study of social media news in a world where the news cycle is 24/7.

Audio Sources:

Read my blog post on How Social Media Reacted to The Pope In Ireland



In this part of the show I give shoutouts to brands, organisations or individuals whose work online is remarkable and worth talking about.

In this episode, I’m sharing three brands who news-jacked the papal visit.

See which three brands news-jacked the Irish papal‏ visit! | #JSBTallksDigital115 Click To Tweet

1) Paddy Power

A key advantage of social media is being able to news-jack or hijack a trending topic. This often used tactic was in play by many brands in the lead up to the Papal visit.

Bookmaker Paddy Power commissioned a survey on confession and also erected a life-size confessional box “to help the people of Ireland repent decades of sins in seconds ahead of the Pope’s visit this weekend.”

The survey found that over 25% of Irish people has not attended confession in over ten years or more. Almost 80% said they do not go to confession regularly (being once a month) and a further 29% disclosed that it was so long ago, they can’t remember when they last confessed.

2) Tourism Ireland

Not missing a promotional opportunity either, Tourism Ireland highlighted Ireland’s Christian heritage in a video.

3) Digital Training Institute

I also maximised the opportunity of the Papal visit to showcase the Digital Training Institute brand and my skills as a social media analyst.



In this week’s ASK JSB, Alex wants to know what tools I used to undertake my analysis of the Pope in Ireland social media conversations.

I used a number of tools analyse the available data across the Internet:

* Talkwalker for social listening

* Union Metrics for hashtag analysis

* Buzzsumo for trending content

* Ritetag for hashtag metrics

I used one more but you will have to wait for Social Media Tool of the Week to find out!

If you have a digital marketing or social media question, don’t forget you will have it answered on the show by using the hashtag #AskJSB on Twitter or Instagram. You can also leave me a voicemail with your question at www.digitaltraininginstitute.ie/askjsb.

And you can also post a message on any of my social networks!



In today’s JSB’s column I’m sharing what I discovered when I followed and analysed Pope Francis recent visit to Ireland.

Top takeaways

? Twitter was the dominant social network

? Pope emoji with trending hashtags

? News and media leveraged live video to amplify their primary news platforms

? 12- year old Alison Nevin is the public’s favourite with her Papal selfie

? Mixed emotions and reactions to comments on child sexual abuse

? #Stand4Truth holds strong share of voice over 48 hours

? Taoiseach’s speech second most engaging content online

? Missed opportunity on Instagram

? Big brands news-jack trending topic

? Pope’s own social networks not used to any great extent

? Sentiment pendulum swings slightly more negative than positive

? Public engaged with news on social media

? User-generated content gives real sense of atmosphere from Papal events

Read the full blog post over at digitaltrianing.ie.

If you want to discuss your digital marketing strategy then get in touch. Drop me an email to [email protected].

Did you know Twitter was the dominant social network during Pope Francis' ‏visit to Ireland? | #JSBTalksDigital Click To Tweet


Social Media Tool of the Week

The social media tool that saved my working week this week is Twitter search bar.

social media responded to the pope in ireland

I used it right throughout the weekend of the Pope’s visit to monitor Twitter conversations, media updates and the opinions and views of the public. I also used it to find and curate user-generated content.

If you’re not using this as a core social listening tool then you are missing a social media trick!


I love feedback!

Thank you for tuning into episode #115 of JSB Talks Digital. If you are a regular listener I would love a review!

As always, I have everything discussed on today’s show on my award-winning blog at digitaltraining.ie

Don’t forget we are now on Google Podcasts reaching more Android users. You can subscribe on iTunes, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Libsyn, Stitcher or Soundcloud.

If you are interested in becoming a digital marketing pro and work in the public sector, check out my new Diploma in Digital Communications for Public Sector at: https://publicsectormarketingpros.com/diploma/

The doors are open so you can join anytime.

Thank you for continuing to listen and don’t forget to get in touch you’re your questions. I love hearing from my listeners, don’t be a social media stranger!

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