Have you considered if you’re creating inclusive social media content? As marketers, we focus on many moving parts of a marketing campaign.
There’s the overarching strategy and its interception with the larger goal, the actionable steps to bringing the campaign to life, the messaging, creative visuals, audience sentiment, and the data that represents if the campaign was successful or not.
But what about inclusion?
Many marketers go through a mental checklist while gut-checking the content to ensure it’s conscious of all and not one or two segmented groups. Creating inclusive content for social media takes a village of accountability and a transparent position of a willingness to learn.
As part of our series on Black History Month, we are looking at ways marketers and business owners can ensure an inclusive experience for everyone through their words, website design, visuals, and more.
If you missed part one, learn about 12 amazing Black creators who are changing the world through their work.
5 ways to create inclusive social media content
1. Be mindful of diversity in your creative design
The vast majority of brands openly commit themselves to inclusive marketing and diverse perspectives. We’re all aware that if one was asked about the importance of diversity in business, there would be an overwhelming agreement around the significance of seeing diversity and inclusive content online.
However, how can a brand do this with inclusive social media content without appearing to be a bandwagon brand or executed in poor taste?
For example, stock imagery with diverse groups can possibly appear slightly off or inauthentic to your audience. A few moments of internal team reflection can catch the blandness of the image or “fake” feeling that some stock imagery exudes.
Honesty and transparency are crucial
Now, after brands have been outed on social media for standing for diversity yet having no POC or gender equality on their executive board, it’s crucial that you approach your creative designs with intentionality without forcing a reality that doesn’t belong to your brand. Honesty and transparency are essential.
Also, if this reality doesn’t exist within your brand, now is the time to ask yourself why. Consider if it’s your recruitment practices or a gap within your industry. However, to say that there are no diversity opportunities would be an ill-informed excuse. Dig deeper into your brand values and infuse that into how your brand shows up on social media.
Remember that your visuals matter beyond racial representation from a more tactical perspective. The visually impaired community is affected when marketers do not consider color contrast in creative imagery. So, when creating your designs, create a color contrast that makes it easier for people to see and consume.
2. Turn on auto-captions for video with sound
Inclusive social media content goes beyond race or ethnicity. When considering inclusive content online, marketers should be mindful and intentional for disabled communities like the visually impaired or D/deaf. Platforms like Meta, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and others provide many features to their users that offer accessibility to those with disabilities.
One of these features includes auto-captions for your content with sounds. The feature can be turned on by post or within your settings for all of your content for many platforms. You can decide on an open or closed caption: open captions become a part of your video content and cannot be removed by your audience, while closed captions allow users to decide on the caption settings.
Additionally, you can also include alt-text to your post images. By adding descriptions to your creative designs, this small yet impactful adjustment in your social media process could help everyone enjoy your content and have a pleasant experience on social media.
3. Consider your online sentiment to maintain content diversity
As marketers, we know the complexities of social media management and the two sides that spearhead the most significant impact: execution and strategy.
On the strategic side, marketers incorporate socially relevant holidays into their content or infuse the brand into culturally relevant conversations.
Through implementation, you focus on nurturing a community of authentic engagement within your online communities with thought-provoking, thoughtful discussions, conversing with the people that leave comments, and inviting your audience into a space that can guide your content approach.
Ensure your social media followers feel seen and heard
Most social media content speaks at the audience while neglecting conversation starters. Although a bit unorthodox, inviting your audience into your content planning process opens the door for in-depth relationships with your advocates on social media.
This approach creates an environment where they feel heard and seen by actively listening to what matters most.
A great way to begin creating inclusive social media content is to use your hashtags proactively. Once you post your content, click them to see what other conversations exist within that hashtag and engage with people off of your profile. This is also a great way to naturally increase your visibility organically while seeking worthwhile dialogue to positively impact your brand.
4. Use polls, surveys, and comments to talk to your audience.
To further enhance your engagement, create polls and surveys that spark answers to help guide your brand conversations online. As you receive answers that may surprise you, don’t be afraid to engage back and encourage your audience to dig deeper.
Brands and social media managers undervalue the actual management of online communities, but it can be the most powerful part because it is direct feedback from your audience, completely unfiltered or tainted with marketing jargon.
Those who take the time to respond to your content represent a percentage of your audience that may have had similar sentiments, yet they didn’t take the time to reply. Don’t take this lightly.
Furthermore, if your brand connects with multi-generations, consider this a way to determine how to best engage with each generation and how they desire to experience your brand on the different platforms.
Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter all allow for polls and surveys, so use these features to cultivate a community and learn how you can acknowledge the differences in your audience’s consumption preferences to help create more inclusive social media content.
5. Keep your core values at the forefront of everything you do.
Many brands and social media users want to see a positive move toward diversity, inclusion, and equity in marketing. Creating accessible content is becoming a more common practice, although that not all brands get it right the first time.
This means that there must be a deeper level of intentionality to ensure that marketers are constantly giving themselves a gut check to leave unconscious biases at the brainstorming process (and not on the posts that go out for the entire world to provide you with that reminder).
It is extremely rare that social media users review old posts beyond your nine grid (for Instagram) or older than a feasible scroll or two of the thumb.
Because of this, make reintroduction posts a common occurrence for your brand. Welcome your new followers to your space. Remind them of your core values and the online community that you’re cultivating, and let them know there is an open space for dialogue should they feel that there are ways you can improve on representing those values.
This approach to inclusive social media content can do wonders for you in cultivating engagement and encouraging open communication on your platforms.
Need a little help creating inclusive social media content? Get ready-to-publish social media content and video scripts that are free from biases and inclusive to all so you can focus on other areas of your business. Talk to a content specialist to learn more.