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Where is the diversity?

April 16, 2019

It’s hard these days not to offend anyone. You publish a Facebook ad and suddenly you are anti-feminist, ageist, maybe even racist. Gaining real diversity on your social media platform is not an easy task. Here’s how your brand can accomplish it.

Social media has too much of an impact to neglect anyone. Today, real diversity doesn’t just mean a good male/female or coloured/not coloured ratio. You have to think of all kinds of diversities: ethnic diversity, gender diversity, body diversity, cultural diversity. Someone disabled, tattooed, redheaded, transgender, polyamorous, childless, bald, deaf etc. One mistake can mean horror, so try not to leave anyone out of the equation. 

Try to connect with everyone. Easier said than done, but the impact of your followers or customers can’t be underrated. Have an open mind when you create or communicate.

How to make your social media more inclusive

Don’t be hypocrite
Your first task is to implement diversity in your company, otherwise your credibility simply doesn’t exist. If your brand is already truly diverse you can use social media as a way to highlight your workforces. 

Use (gender) neutral language
Avoid words like ‘mankind’, ‘ladies’, ‘men’. Why only direct your advertising message for beauty masks to women when today there are enough men who want to enjoy a spa-at-home too?

Choose your emojis wisely
The emoji 12.0 list was just released. There are 230 new emojis including emojis of people in wheelchairs, mixed couples, deaf people and a bionic leg or arm. You can’t blame emoji’s anymore for not being diverse enough. When in doubt, opt for yellow emoji’s instead of white/black ones.

Include ‘everyone’ in your images
If your social media only shows white people in visuals, you’re not quite as diverse as one could hope.

Make a list of all people/diversities
Design a checklist that you can always consult. Write down every kind of person. (Yes, this list is long) Ethnicities, body types, hair types, don’t forget anyone!

You can’t be diverse if you don’t understand the standpoint of the person on the other end. Try to imagine what they like/dislike. What would offend them? What would they love to see? You’ll never be able to understand everyone’s background, but you can try.

Try to analyse your own social media channels every month on the basis of diversity. Did you leave someone out? Did you get negative comments? What content got positive comments or lots of likes/shares? If you have the time, start a focus group and lead them through your social media content. See what they have to say. It goes without saying that you make sure your focus group is diverse too. Also, don’t forget to scan your content for cultural appropriation.

How we promote diversity as an agency?

We take initiative towards the client to show more diversity. When we use an online image bank, we search for images that show more diversity. It takes a little more time searching but it’s definitely worth it. Make sure you discuss the importance of diversity with the whole team too so everyone is on the same page. We show content that is not only diverse, but also empowering.

When your brand values all customers, you’ll begin to see a positive change in your brand appreciation, loyalty and brand awareness. Be the difference, be the diversity!

Charlotte Spens Charlotte Spens

Social media