The holy grail of popular culture in the modern age is instant gratification and celebrity obsession. Gone are the days where the media has a monopoly on information as today one can create a viral news post in 140 characters on twitter. We have never had greater access to information and it’s very possible that we have never cared less.
One of the world’s most popular celebrities is Justin Bieber. Justin Bieber has 47,801,209 followers on twitter as opposed to Barack Obama who has 40 589 909 followers. To put this into context-Justin Bieber is famous for his hairstyle while Barack Obama is the leader of the free world -and yet Justin Bieber has 7 211 300 more followers than Obama. That’s more than the population of Serbia!
If this is indeed the case and the world is obsessed with celebrity culture as opposed to politics, we have to look at ways to make Israel relevant to the current generation. We need to find a way in which speaking positively about Israel becomes a trend….almost like Chuck Norris Jokes and skinny Jeans. That would mean using a more personal method to engage with people about Israel on social media, as opposed to just repeating the daily news regarding what is happening in Israel
So how is this achieved you may ask?
BOMAH (an organisation aimed at positively rebranding Israel) believes that by employing a positive and personal approach, by putting some thought into the way you phrase your posts and by tapping into popular culture, you can generate positive media about Israel and contribute to a positive branding trend.
To learn how to do this -follow these three easy steps:
STEP 1-Be personal, don’t just share news
The common mistake that is made by most supporters of Israel is that merely reference news links i.e. http://www.amnesty.org.au/action/action/33569/ -check this out! It’s terrible and we need to do something about it. People don’t want you to post the news; rather they want to hear what you –as an individual-have to say.
When you post something about Israel, make it relevant to your audience by making sure that they know that this topic is something important for you.
You do this by:
- Speaking in the first person and using pronouns such as “I”
- Giving a specific example or substantiating your statement i.e. “I have been here almost 4 months and it’s an incredible experience”
- Using emotive words such as “care” that people can connect to
The post above where the student describes how much Israel means to him is much more effective than a dry news link, which readers have no incentive to read.
Remember that social media is about engaging with people on a personal level as opposed to news that aims to shock and inform-so don’t be afraid to be yourself.
Step 2-Use topics that people want to hear about
We have already established that popular culture is about instant gratification. We need to tap into popular culture in order to rebrand Israel’s image and, by doing so, show people a different side of Israel-one in which they would be interested.
So instead of posting about the latest BDS campaign on campus -or a new take regarding the Israel Apartheid analogy- try posting about a concert or a football game; something that everyone can relate to regardless of their political beliefs or ideological standpoint. It also helps if what you are posting about is one of your personal interests.
According to Exact Target Blog’s 2011 statistics, the third most popular topic on social media was “Soccer: Wayne Rooney” and if that is the case we need to try and capitalize on that interest.
For example: say a football lover were to post about the Israeli football team-Beitar Yerushalayim – he/she would:
- Post a visually attractive image
- Write a short, interesting and personal post to go with the image
- Make sure that the post links to Israel
i.e. “Watching Beitar Yerushalayim play while draped in an Israeli flag was an amazing experience! ”
Most importantly, be genuinely enthusiastic. People respond to that.
Step 3-Be smart with your wording
The statement a rose by any other name would still smell as sweet is utter nonsense.
Our use of language is what defines us as human beings, and simply put-words with positive connotations attract positive attention while negative words lead to negative discussion.
A story is all about how you frame it and the words you use-for example see how these two sentences read:
- What a waste of day
- Perhaps my day could have been more productive
Obviously one of these sentences is framed in negative way and one in a positive way, but that aside, people will zero in on the words you use .So if you use words like “wasted”-whatever you say next is given a negative connotation , and it’s the opposite of the word “productive”
How do you judge this?
- Read your posts to another person.
- Ask them how the words you used made them feel.
- If what they feel is not the perception that you want to create, there is a delete button for a reason
Israel’s image comes down to your being yourself, using examples that you and your friends will find interesting and using words that people can respond positively to.
Creating positive Facebook posts about Israel is a 3 step easy process so let’s get started and in doing so rebrand the image Israel has in social media.