Fostering DEI with an Inclusive Social Media Manager

21 Jun 2024

Social media goes beyond brand identity; it’s the platform where businesses connect, build trust, and cultivate a welcoming community. It’s also a powerful stage to showcase your commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusivity (DEI). To truly reflect these values, you need a social media manager who champions inclusivity and embraces diverse voices.  

Join us as we explore why an inclusive social media manager is the key to fostering a welcoming online space that resonates with a wider audience.  

Social Media and DEI Marketing  

Social media is a powerful marketing tool to bridge the gap between a brand’s message and daily customer interactions. While the marketing and business world has made strides towards inclusivity, there’s often a disconnect between what brands say and what they do. Consumers, as people who look at brands from a viewing distance, may question this authenticity. After all, they want to connect with brands with similar values – which is why brands need to walk the talk in everyday interactions.  

Research by Adobe shows that diversity in advertising matters: 61% of consumers value it, and 34% have even boycotted brands lacking representation.  

The American Marketing Association highlights a key challenge: companies often shy away from diversity for fear of missteps. However, today’s consumers expect brands to go beyond just selling products and services. They want to see themselves reflected – their identities, experiences, and values.  

According to AMA, 47% of companies think they lack experience in portraying diverse communities.  

The key takeaway: authenticity. Embrace diversity in your marketing efforts, and your business can connect with a wider audience and build essential trust.  

Social media is a window into your brand and the basis of first impressions for your customers. What’s more, it’s a powerful space to build connections, and social media marketing with DEI messaging is key to underlining your inclusive brand vision.  

The Role of an Inclusive Social Media Manager in Fostering DEI  

A social media manager acts as the brand’s voice on social media platforms. Therefore, they ensure consistent and accurate brand representation by collaborating with graphic designers and copywriters. This involves guiding the creative direction, ensuring messaging aligns with the brand voice, and overseeing content that reflects your brand’s desired image and values.  

Moreover, an inclusive social media manager weaves DEI into the core of their social media strategy, ensuring your social feeds are engaging and foster a welcoming community.  

There are several ways that a social media manager can foster an inclusive social media community:  

1. Using an Inclusive Voice  

An inclusive social media voice assumes a neutral but people-first language to avoid assumptions about the reader. How does a social media manager use an inclusive voice:  

Considering Unconscious Bias. This may involve a reassessment of the language being employed, as we might unknowingly use outdated or offensive terms. Inclusive social media managers take a step back to re-evaluate language which helps avoid these unintentional missteps.  

Gender-Neutral Language. Inclusive social media managers ensure that pronouns are always in the they/them usage unless it involves a specific person. They use “they/them” pronouns for general audiences and opt for gender-neutral terms like “folks” instead of specific ones like “ladies” or guys”.  

People-First Language. Always spotlight the people first, especially when mentioning people with disabilities. Instead of spotlighting a disability or condition such as “wheelchair user”, focus on the person and re-organize the structure as “a person who uses a wheelchair.” By doing this, we recognize and value them by getting to know them past their circumstances.  

While some adjustments to your social media voice may seem minor, they hold significant weight. Inclusive social media managers weave these principles into the very fabric of their content. These seemingly small details collectively create a more welcoming and respectful online space for everyone.  

2. Creating Inclusive Content  

Crafting inclusive social media content reaches a wider audience! By making your posts accessible, you take on a customer-centric approach where everyone can engage with your message, regardless of disability. This means more people can connect with your brand and participate in the conversation. An inclusive social media manager ensures that your social media content is optimized for accessibility:  

Image Alt Text. Screen readers are fantastic tools that assist audiences with visual impairment by reading aloud words on their device – however, they can’t decipher text within images. Alternative texts (alt texts) add a short description of the image’s content to ensure everyone can understand your post.  

Hashtags in Pascal Case. Hashtags are difficult to decipher for screen readers as well. Writing in Pascal Case means capitalizing the first letter of every word in your hashtag, for screen reader accessibility.   

Video Captions. Captions are essential for ensuring that everyone can enjoy your video content, especially folks with hearing impairments. Often considered as an afterthought, captions should be a fundamental part of the content creation process. Some platforms offer auto-generated captions, but they may be unreliable. A great social media manager takes the time to write accurate captions to create an inclusive experience for all.  

3. Embrace Ongoing Diversity Learning  

Diversity and inclusion are more than trends; they’re a continuous journey of learning and growth. Our society is constantly evolving, and as your platform reaches more people, your social media manager should understand diverse perspectives and stay attuned to the social landscape. After all, social media thrives on connection and not division.  

There are different avenues that help social media managers learn to create inclusive content:  

Diverse Content Inspiration. Great social media managers follow a diverse range of online creators who showcase different perspectives!   

Promoting Respectful Conversation. Committed to creating a safe and inclusive space, they are quick to address discriminatory remarks and open to constructive feedback from the community. The manager gives gentle reminders on inclusive language, while being open to reminders themselves.  

Open to DEI Learning. There are various inclusivity training courses for your social media marketing manager, from reading up on LGBTQIA+ resources to cultural awareness training. This keeps them not only updated on social issues but also continuously immersed in DEI training. 

Cultural awareness training addresses unconscious biases and educates people on different cultures.  

Partner with your offshore provider to access resources and further empower your social media manager to build a welcoming and inclusive online community. Remember, diversity is an ongoing journey. By fostering a culture of continuous learning, you’ll create a space where everyone feels safe and valued.  

Partner with an Offshore Provider for a Social Media Manager with your Values.  

Remember, fostering DEI isn’t just socially important, but a way to invite more people to engage with your brand. Your social media manager is an integral part of this strategy. Therefore, we highly recommend working with offshore providers like HGS OSS. You’ll have hands-on management from the recruitment process and beyond. This way, you can cultivate a true connection with your social media manager and ensure that they resonate with your DEI efforts.   

Contact HGS OSS today, and let’s pave the way to an inclusive tomorrow.