Ramadan Social Media “Bonne Etiquette”
Fingers glued to the keyboard to meet the latest deadline. Earphones on for the latest web-cast seminar on YouTube, whatsapp and BBM notification messages are piling up while twitter is boiling with breaking news you do not want to miss. It is all happening while that Facebook page, always hidden in the background, is tempting you again “check me, update me”. Yes, you recognize the pressures of a modern individual. It is amazing how many social media platforms we have managed to integrate in our daily lives increasing significantly the power to influence our audience. Check out how you can make use of your online reputation to reach your followers and add value this Holy Month of Ramadan.
With over 45 million Facebook users and 2 million Twitter accounts in the Arab world in addition to 4 million Arab nationals interacting on leading professional networking platform LinkedIn (end of 2012 figures), this increasingly social media savvy community is realizing the impact that such a powerful medium is having in divulging information, sharing content & opinions or identifying changing trends.
Social media is also posing a tremendous opportunity for Muslims and Non-Muslim during the Holy month of Ramadan to spread the true values of the spiritual celebration to a wider audience. Raising awareness of good practices, educating and urging followers to participate in charity causes are just some of the activities just a click away.
Giant Google also went last Ramadan a step forward in digitalizing religion with the launch of: a dedicated Islamic YouTube Channel broadcasting live daily prayers from Mecca, 50 Ramadan shows available on Google´s official blog, and 30 Google+ hangouts featuring celebrity Chefs creating Iftar dishes.
Whether you are a Muslim or not, keep in minds a few tips on how to use Social media to make a difference this holy month:
It is always a nice gesture wish your friends/followers a blessed month during Ramadan. Acceptable greetings during the holy month are “Ramadan Mubarak” or “Ramadan Kareem” or simply “Happy Ramadan”. And at the conclusion of the month as “Eid ul Fitr” begins, so you can greet “Eid Mubarak”
Time your communications:
Respect Iftar times (when Muslims break their fast) and Suhoor (meal before sunrise). This is a family time so schedule important posts and updates accordingly to ensure maximum interaction and help your geographical audiences stay focused.
Become a Ramadan ambassador:
Think twice about posting updates: avoid touching certain issues or posting pictures that could hurt the sensibility of Muslims.
Use your online network to:
- contribute with funds to charity causes and encourage your contacts to follow your example.
- volunteer for a worthy cause and raise awareness about less fortunate people
- publish material on better balance of mind, body and soul
- post real stories about exceptional Ramadan behaviour
- promote healthy eating
- Use the #tag in Twitter to promote events linked to Ramadan celebrations
- Spread news about prayer & Iftar timings/venues
- Refrain from spreading rumours online or gossiping
Blogs are a rich source of information. If you manage one, know that audiences look for guidance so set an example for your followers.
Try your best to avoid social media interaction during Iftar and Suhoor gatherings. Most probably you have been honoured to attend a family or friend gatherings in presence of older generations so do not spoil the occasion.
Top 5 Ramadan Smartphone Apps:
- Sunrise & Subset: iPhone: Sunrise Sunset Lite, Free
Android: Sunrise/Sunset Finder, Free
- Azan/Adhan Alarm Clock: iPhone: Azan Alarm Clock, .99¢
Android: Islam Adhan Alarm, Free
- Ramadan Guide iPhone: Ramadan Guide, $1.99
Android: A Complete Ramadan Guide, $1.99
- Holy Qu’ran- Free iPhone: Quran Majeed Lite, Free
Android: Complete Quran, Free
- iPray: Prayer Times & Qibla Compass