BCV’s Commitment to Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI).
As an organization comprised of both content creators and consumers, we have a responsibility to represent a diverse range of voices and communities—and an obligation to provide our clients the insights, tools, and technology needed to better serve their customers.
Awareness about racism, sexism, and systemic inequalities has never been more important. Knowing how to navigate this landscape will be vital to the health of your brand externally and internally, and fundamental to participating in social media. If you’re hesitant about how to proceed, you’re not alone. Fortunately, the first step to infusing DEI into your long-term social media strategy is quite simple.
As with all important decisions, we recommend to begin by listening. Before you jump into participating and try to rewrite your entire approach, you should take note of what efforts are already underway and what your own audience wants to see—either through direct input or what kind of content they engage with.
This is an important start, but there’s much more to consider. For further insight, continue reading as we share our best practices, as well as actionable recommendations, on promoting DEI in your social media marketing and content production.
A Responsible Approach
In order to promote diversity and foster inclusion in your content development it should come from a place of authenticity. What does the team behind your brand and your marketing look like? Is there a diversity of life experiences and perspectives? If you want to project a certain image to consumers, it’s important to embody those principles.
Take action: Address problematic word choice, examine false assumptions you’ve made, and ask yourself if your imagery features and speaks to a specific kind of person, at the expense of ignoring many others.
Adopt Strategies to Be Present on More Than Just Holidays
Be mindful of how the issues you care about might intersect with your brand. And don’t expect to be fluent in racial, social, and political issues overnight. It takes work. It’s about keeping a steady drumbeat going, and weaving awareness and actions into your overall strategy. Being more mindful of your word choice, brand positioning, and image selection on a daily basis is a great way to ensure you’re staying accountable.
Take action: Share content from other brands and organizations with which you feel aligned or launch a content series that spotlights local brands and community leaders that are doing important work.
Communicate Support for Larger Movements
Many brands are hesitant to express any opinions that could be misconstrued as ‘political,’ even when the sentiment is one of acceptance, awareness, and inclusivity. And while it’s true that expressing such beliefs does open up a brand to criticism, these detractors should be taken with a grain of salt. These are your principles, and they’re worth standing up for.
Take action: Tangible steps like making a charitable donation or partnering with a local organization can speak volumes and demonstrate to your consumer that you’re willing to walk the walk. If sharing these efforts publicly, be mindful of keeping the focus on the movement itself, not on your own charity.
Handling a Negative Response From Your Audience
The operative word in all of this is inclusivity. The goal is to be more aware, more welcoming, and more supportive. Should you encounter negativity, it’s okay to engage directly. If you’ve done the work of building your foundational principles, there’s nothing anyone can say that you won’t have a thoughtful, measured response to.
Take action: What you don’t want to do is delete or hide such messages. Dialogue is a two-way street, and there’s great value in your consumers seeing that you’re an open book. The goal is to articulate not escalate.
Continuing the Conversation
There is no question: representation matters. It tells guests and employees, “You belong here. This is a place where you can be yourself, completely and unapologetically.” It’s imperative that we use our power to bring underrepresented groups into the conversation—to show them that they are loved, appreciated, and always welcome.
Ultimately, promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion takes a dedicated team, and it takes a sustained effort. Let’s keep the dialogue going. We welcome you to connect with us about how BCV can help your brand create more representative and inclusive content.
About the Author
Vice President, Creative
BCV, A RateGain Company