• Michelle Hughes

How to Improve Diversity on Social Media

Diversity and representation have long since become a necessity in social media, social media marketing, and online communities. Whether you're a corporate or newly emerging entrepreneur, to not acknowledge Blacks/POC in your agenda, and to not acknowledge the complexities non-White individuals must face on a daily basis, is to ignore the broader spectrum of your mission as a company that ''serves all people'' or ''serves all those in the community.'' To gloss over race, and to not challenge your content plan with the bigger questions surrounding the depths of race in America, is to also gloss over the countless lives that could actually excel with you and your business--let alone assist in helping your business thrive both culturally and purposefully.

The key word is accountability. And below are some (genuine) ways you can address diversity in your content plan:

1) Hold yourself accountable for what existed before. There is nothing wrong with starting over new and unlearning any forms of bias that may have contributed your selection of brand ambassadors and overall content plan. The key is to be honest with your reflections, connecting X with Y, and targeting the why, how, and when of your next steps.

2) When holding discussions on diversity and representation, seek out Black and non-White voices to be the leaders of that meeting. The problem many Black/POC employees are starting to notice in their company's recent ''Acknowledgments on Race'' (if there was ever one held at all) is that in these meetings the majority of those leading the conversation are White--or that those in charge, who just so happen to be White, seldom ask for their employees of color to provide personal input or advice.

Don't just hold discussions on how to improve diversity in your content plan. Target race head on and amplify the voices of those who are directly impacted by these issues.

3) Seek external resources (or class instructors) who can properly address topics you find unfamiliar. This is self explanatory. If you know what you need to do but don't have the education (or resources) to execute that idea, seek expert help. Nothing is worse than a brand that claims to ''do the work'' without actually knowing what the work is.

4) Stop hiring ''token'' Blacks/POC solely for your marketing plan. Instead, hire Blacks/POC for the longterm and dedicate yourself to offering equal pay. A ''token'' is an individual who is hired specifically for a company's discreet desire of presenting their brand in a certain way and elevating their products in a way that ''speaks'' to Blacks/POC. A token, especially in the marketing and entertainment industry, may also be hired as a way for the company to clear themselves of the assumption of having a ''lack of diversity.''

Sound familiar? If so, and if you long to transform your work environment for the better, it's time to hold yourself accountable.

5) Keep track of the percentage of Blacks/POC that are actively incorporated into your content plan or ambassador list. Numbers don't lie...but people do. If you truly want an accurate insight into your content plan, take note AND incorporate your analytics into your social media plan.


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