I watched a documentary the other night on the life of Jesus. Not being a particularly religious person, most of the relevance to it being Easter weekend slipped past me. But, being the founder of a social media agency many of the aspects of his methods used to spread his teachings resonated deeply.
According to this documentary Jesus was a common man that tailored his teachings so they had relevance to his audience. He made sure that he incorporated common language and examples that people could relate too. He also was well rehearsed making sure that his messages were consistent over time but changing some key words and examples to fit the particular audience. Additionally, he packaged his teachings so they were easily understood and repeatable. Lastly, he was mobile. According to this documentary, Jesus did something quite uncommon for the time; he traveled. He traveled from town to town repeating his message consistently. This is word of mouth marketing. If you tell one person and they tell two people and they tell two more then eventually you can reach critical mass with your message and it will self propagate.
What are some of the key elements of a good social network campaign:
- Relevance -- keep the message relevant to your audience
- Consistency -- keep the message consistent so as not to dilute it or create confusion
- Sharing -- make sure that your message is packaged so that it is easy for people to share
- Seeding -- put the message out in as many relevant places as possible to ensure it will be seen or heard
As mentioned in the beginning of this post, I am not suggesting I know anything about Jesus beyond this documentary, but I could not miss the parallels to social networking. Word of mouth is a powerful tool and when done well it can be quite extraordinary in its abilities. Jesus may have been one of the first to understand this.