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  • Writer's pictureRiley LaForge

How To Make Your Social Media More Diverse & Inclusive

As the United States experiences one of the largest social movements in history, it’s become clear that inaction and silence are no longer options for brands. As a result, there has been great discussion surrounding diversity and inclusion (D&I) on social media. If you find yourself wondering what exactly diversity and inclusion is and how it may relate to social media, you’re not alone!

To put it simply, diversity is positively representing a variety of demographics, and inclusion is creating an environment where everyone feels welcome. When it comes to social media, D&I is vital as it allows you to connect with your audience and for them to connect with you. Ultimately, it ensures all members of your community (and potential members) feel represented, welcome, and can interact with your brand.

So, how exactly should you go about this on social? D&I on social media is done through both the creative AND the copy.

Check out these actionable tips below that will help you and your brand create a more diverse and inclusive social presence:

Gender Representation
  • Choose diverse and inclusive images. Use both internal photos and stock images that represent your community as a whole.

  • Use gender-neutral pronouns in the copy, including they, them, and we. Shift away from using “guys” or “ladies.”

BIPOC Representation
  • Choose diverse and inclusive images. Use both internal photos and stock images that represent your community as a whole.

  • Highlight BIPOC businesses and peers in your community.

  • Share content created by BIPOC and marginalized communities and tag their work. Share, but don’t speak for other groups.

  • Work with BIPOC and marginalized influencers.

Accessibility & Disability Representation
  • Write in plain language. Use a Grade 7 reading level and avoid heavy use of slang.

  • Don't overuse caps. This can be difficult to read and can be misinterpreted by screen readers.

  • Use camel case for multi-word hashtags. Capitalize the first letter of each word to make the hashtag more legible for viewers and screen readers (#ThisIsCamelCase).

  • Put hashtags and mentions at the end (or in the comments). Be mindful about how @ and # can disrupt copy for screen readers.

  • Avoid saying “click here,” and instead, use descriptive calls to action such as “sign up” or “subscribe.”

  • Limit emoji use! This is hard for us, too, but these can be disruptive when read in assisted text. Also, be sure to look up how the emoji translates to ensure it represents what you are attempting to convey.

  • Avoid special characters. Screen readers read these out, and they do not always translate well. If a word is bolded, screen readers will read out that it is bolded before saying the word.

  • Use inclusive language and avoid ableist language. Ableist language is language that is offensive to people with disabilities. It can also refer to language that is derogatory, abusive, or negative about disability.

  • Use descriptive image captions. These allow people to visualize images when they cannot see them.

  • Include video captions. These are critical for those with hearing impairments and enhance the viewing experience for people watching in their non-native languages or sound-off environments. Facebook and Instagram both have built-in options for this, and there are a variety of apps, such as AutoCap, that can do this.

  • Avoid green and red or yellow and blue combinations in graphics as they can be challenging to read for those with colour blindness.

Finally, follow D&I influencers and thought leaders, observe how they use their social voice, and learn from them! Here are a few of our favourites:

To make things even easier for you, our team has created a simple checklist to help you consider diversity and inclusion with every post:

And, it just so happens that October 2021 is Global Diversity Awareness Month! So be sure to bookmark this blog and refer back to our DEI Audit checklist as you begin to create your upcoming marketing content.

Happy creating!

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