The interface for change is getting a little more digital each year. It is increasingly crucial for an organization that relies on the activism of its followers to have a social media presence. Users need a convenient and readily made location to get information, share stories, create meetings , and, generally, keep up to date and in the loop. Of course, if they can share it on their social media profiles – that’s bonus points. There are a few ways to do this, and each medium has specific goals and targets. For Shatil, an ever evolving entity that relies on up-to-date scenarios and information, proper social media is crucial.
- Website: First is a creative and organized website, which Shatil has. From the website, you can learn about how and why Shatil works towards a more more socially just, egalitarian and democratic Israel. A user can navigate through the links in order to learn about the organization, including founders, history, current projects and plans. One can then read the recent news and personal stories and blog posts, as well as gather information concerning the various issues Shatil engages in. Finally, a user can find links to donate, volunteer, or join a mailing list. A website is a one sided interface the content creator posts articles, and the user reads the information to understand the organization, but the two don’t typically come into contact.
- E-mail list: Unless of course, that user is to sign up for an e-mail update. In an e-mail update, users who display interest receive timely and relevant information from the organization. E-mail marketing is a great way to showcase recent developments, but doesn’t always bring the user back to the site for more. Through signing up for e-mails on the NIF website, Shatil followers can also receive Shatil news and updates.
- Facebook: Shatil operates two Facebook pages, one in English, and one in Hebrew. They serve as excellent portals of information for Shatil followers. On a Facebook page, a user can read concise information about the organization, and view images and pictures that relate to events, updates and the organization’s message. Through Facebook, Shatil creates and shares events for their followers to attend. Additionally, Shatil can “share” information about other organizations, effectively spreading the word marketing the partnerships that exist between social justice non-profits. Facebook though, is not only a platform for the organization to post images and messages, but should also be where followers interact. Moving forward, social media will need to become more social to survive – dialogue created on Shatil’s page could prove to be important and effective in sharing Shatil’s mission.
What’s missing from this crucial list?
I’ve been told a few times now that “Israel just doesn’t *do* twitter.” My answer? Well, then don’t *do* twitter to connect with Israel! Twitter is an excellent tool for organizations to communicate with organizations around the world. Just from some simple searching, I found that UJA, ACRI, Jewish National Fund, New Israel Fund, and Hillel all have twitter accounts. These are organizations that work directly with Shatil, provide funding to Shatil programs, or can benefit from dialogue with Shatil.
Twitter is known as a microblogging platform. Therefore, in 140 characters or less, a user can post a picture, update, or link, and can do so while connecting to another user. Shatil will be able to “tweet at” other social justice NGOs and Jewish organizations in order to create a friendly line of communication that will include sharing Shatil events in certain locations, advocacy in a way that a certain organization will find useful, and more.
Shatil will also have twitter followers that are not organizations, but advocates of social justice and Israeli democracy. Twitter is a great way to connect with them too. Twitter users can be encouraged to share stories after a significant event with an appropriate, Shatil-designed hashtag. Besides connecting with activists and organizations, Shatil’s twitter would be another great platform for sharing events, news stories, and updates. A twitter page can even be connected to a Facebook page, so the same updates will exist on both.
As a Marketing and English major with previous blogging and social media internship experience, as well as from my knowledge as a “Generation i” teenager, I have noticed the importance in adjusting technology to cater to the upcoming generation. “Generation Millennial/Me” wants to be engaged with – and with all of the engagement that Shatil can provide, a clear cut social media path is the way to get there. Shatil is ready to plant the next seeds – seeds that will grow to become lines of connection and communication from activists around the globe.