In recent years there has been more talk about diversity and inclusion, especially on social media platforms. In 2020 over half of the world’s population, 3.6 billion people to be exact, were using social media worldwide. That number keeps growing every day. But to really understand the need and the reason behind this we need to go deeper and discuss what diversity actually is.
When we first come in contact with the term diversity, we automatically think about the visible characteristics that separate us from one another. Usually, those are gender and race. But there is a lot more. Diversity, besides gender and race, includes the difference in age, ethnicity, education, sexual orientation, disability, religion, and nationality.
Furthermore, diversity gives us space to explore the differences and genuinely appreciate it. This allows us to embrace the new and unique that is contained in another human being. And, it naturally comes with creating a safe space for any individual to show up and feel accepted.
Nowadays that safe space is transferred over to social media platforms. The benefits of using social media are numerous. But if we scratch the top of the iceberg, we will find benefits like the ability to stay connected with others despite the distance, have an open discussion or exchange ideas, and stay informed about the events across the globe. Because of this social media platforms have become the number one place to form groups, start social movements, and fight for equality. Just in the last few years, we have seen the rise of movements such as Black Lives Matter, MeToo, Umbrella Movement in Hong Kong, and Arab Spring.
More and more brands are following this example and are trying to create a safe and welcoming space within their offices and social media. They want their employees to feel like they belong, to feel supported and included. A change in the company’s culture and inclusion makes the employees feel valued which has natural benefits for the employer.
Let’s Talk About Social Media
The place where we can see all of that happening are naturally social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. So what are some of the things that brands do to make the diversity on their social accounts visible?
They talk about real stories and real people. Each person is unique with a unique set of skills. Employees are happy to share their knowledge with other like-minded individuals (online or offline), talk about diverse encounters and what they have learned from them. Companies nurture their employees by creating an engaging online and offline presence.
Usage of social media has made it easy for different brands to be a part of something bigger. They take the initiative to be a part of the worldwide movements. This puts brands in close contact with their audience and employees which shows support and open-mindedness. Moreover staying informed with the happenings around the world through the use of hashtags is easier than ever.
Building strong relationships with influencers and bloggers is a great way to establish brand identity, awareness and reinforce loyalty. With their help, companies can highlight, unite and inspire communities. With a wide range of voices, brands can spark different discussions and empower people.
Sharing ideas and embracing feedback is one more step to creating inclusive and diverse social media platforms. An open discussion leads to a more progressive and inclusive environment.
Now more than ever we are holding each other accountable for our actions, therefore celebrating and raising awareness about diversity is one of the most important things companies can do on social media. Through these channels we can post and educate individuals about different cultures, habits and attitudes and show how diverse and unique our world is. Educating about diversity is a job for all of us, but especially for those who have a far greater impact.