5 Tips for Producing Inclusive Content for your social media.
Every time you produce content on social media, you are representing your brand. Because of this, it’s essential that you are mindful that the content is demonstrating the ethos of your brand effectively. This is especially true when you are representing an inclusive brand persona. Where, audiences increasingly expect brands to be open and inclusive to all, producing inclusive content isn’t up for debate anymore.
Read on to find our top 5 tips for producing inclusive content.
1 – Inclusive Images
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, and with visual platforms like Instagram, this couldn’t be more true. Whether you use stock images or produce your own photography, this is a great (and easy) first step to producing inclusive content. Consider using a diverse range of people of colour, gender and abilities in your brand imagery. This visually displays your commitment to inclusivity.
Additionally, when choosing your images, consider any biases – unconscious or otherwise – that you may be communicating. This isn’t to say that you must never use images that feature people undertaking stereotypical roles, but as the ASA notes: “[Brands] should take care to avoid suggesting that stereotypical roles or characteristics were always uniquely associated with one gender.”
2 – Inclusive Language
Words are powerful, so you have to know how to use them. Your brand’s voice and language lead the way for how you make your customers feel. By making simple tweaks to the way you address individuals and situations, you can instantly make your communication more inclusive. After all, why wouldn’t you want all of your audience to feel this way from your content?
Language is constantly changing, and it can be intimidating to know what you should say. Because of this, the best way to approach inclusive language is to keep it simple. For example, consider using gender-neutral language when discussing activities or roles.
Sprout Social has put together an excellent list of starting points for including inclusive language in your content. When in doubt about the term you are using or you want some further guidance it’s always best to double-check!
3 – Participate Properly
It’s undeniable that Social Media Managers love to include fun holidays in their social media marketing calendars. International Hamburger Day? Brilliant. Star Wars day? Phenomenal.
However, it’s important to commemorate times of importance to diversity and inclusion movements. Pride Month and Black History Month are both incredibly important times to uplift groups and champion inclusivity. If it’s appropriate to your brand, I encourage you to participate in producing content for these occasions. Although, you must be mindful of how you approach these.
We all remember the infamous Burger King International Women’s Day tweet. This is a perfect example of inappropriate participation. By using an intentionally inflammatory first Tweet, Burger King faced huge backlash for its approach to this day for equality.
When participating in these notable days, ask yourself two questions:
- Is my brand positioned in a way where my contribution to this day is appropriate?
- Is the content I’m producing for this day valuable.
If you’re not sure if the day is appropriate to participate in, especially if you will be taking over already marginalised voices it can be great to…
4 – Uplift voices
At the heart of inclusivity, you want to ensure that everybody’s voice is heard, especially those who are marginalised. Because of this, consider utilising your brand to uplift the voices of individuals and groups to share their messages.
This could come in the form of collaboration with external individuals on your account, almost like an influencer partnership. Alternatively, you can look inward into your own business and consider inviting employees to take over your social media platform to demonstrate that your inclusivity comes from the inside out.
5 – Be Willing to go Wrong
Being willing to go wrong is an essential part of developing your inclusive content. It is likely for missteps to occur and to be called out for this at some point. But what is important here, is how you respond to this.
Acknowledging your mistakes publicly demonstrates that you are committed to listening to your audience and valuing their voices. Secondly, it’s important to act upon this; actions speak louder than words after all.
By taking these steps to create inclusive content, you are demonstrating to your audience that as a brand you are committed to representing them. However, to create truly inclusive content, your content should also be accessible. You can find out more about accessibility on the Giraffe Social Media Podcast.