In the wake of a pandemic, protests, and work towards justice, our community has found itself rethinking its approach to social media marketing. For marketers and content creators, diversity and inclusion is no longer a best practice; it’s a responsibility.
Not only does your audience want to see you in your content, but they also want to feel like a part of your community. Diversity and inclusion (DNI) is no longer a topic reserved for your human resources department; it’s a consideration meant for everything your company or brand creates, prioritizes, and shares. It’s not a box you check off a few times a year; it’s an ongoing practice. And while diversity is more natural to identify in your work, inclusion takes time and thoughtfulness.
Diversity considerations marketing include gender, race, religion, socioeconomic status, sexuality, age, geography, and the current state of affairs. Inclusion in marketing means acknowledging everyone’s perspectives, creating a space for people to be heard, and building a community founded on respect.
Social media has made everything connected and global – businesses and brands can no longer operate from a single perspective or persona. Your brand voice and your target audience should evolve alongside the DNI landscape. You’ll need to update and continue to refine your voice and target audiences as your business grows.
We encourage our readership and community of users to join us in actively and consistently making diversity and inclusion a priority on social media. Here are the top five ways you can begin a new practice of prioritizing diversity and inclusion throughout your marketing.
5 Ways to Prioritise Diversity and Inclusion Throughout Your Marketing
1. Your Words
Consider your voice, language, idioms, and pop-cultural references in use.
Write with a broad audience in mind. When do you use gender-neutral pronouns? Does your content make sense to someone outside of your country? While every Tweet or caption may not resonate with everyone, over time, your content should maintain the right balance between all diversity and inclusion considerations.
2. Your Visuals
Your audience should see themselves in your content.
While diversity shouldn’t be forced or inauthentic, be honest and intentional with who and what you present. Beyond race and gender, your visuals should make your audience feel welcome and represented. Who are in your ads? Is the lifestyle you portray attainable? Do your videos have closed captions for those with hearing impairments? Is your text readable?
3. Listen With Intention
Monitor your audience’s feedback.
While it may feel uncomfortable at first, take the time to empathize, learn, and adapt with your audience. Your followers might be the first to point out bias or misstep in your content. Mistakes on social media are inevitable, don’t take it personally and use the moment to do better next time. Engage with comments, replies, and direct messages with an open mind to the diversity of experiences and perspectives.
4. Keep Learning
Do the long-term work.
Like the social media platforms themselves, the diversity and inclusion landscape requires learning, unlearning, and learning some more. Follow journalists, authors, creators, and BIPOC leaders to keep a pulse on the news and conversations happening in the inclusion space. Oftentimes, it won’t be your place to tell the story. Resign your platform or hire the right people to share their experiences and stories.
5. Amplify Responsibly
Do your research.
Take a few moments to understand the origin of a story, cause, or hashtag before sharing and participating. Conduct image searches to locate original sources and creators to give credit where it’s due. Social media is often where the news happens or is first discovered, making it more important than ever to check sources to avoid sharing misinformation.
Author: Tareen Alam. Instagram: @TAREENALAM
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