Recap: The FIRST Social Media Day Baltimore + Tips for Diverse, Equitable & Inclusive Content
In 2010, Mashable brought the world Social Media Day -- an annual event to recognize the impact of social media on global communication… and a chance for us to celebrate it! Since then, it’s branched off into global, regional, and local celebration -- and cut to 2021 and the first Social Media Day - Baltimore.
The event brought together Baltimore’s own thought leaders and influencers to celebrate the state of social in the city. A special thanks to Paulette Wilson for organizing the panel and offering me the opportunity to be involved, and to my co-contributors, Aliza Rosen, Jamila Walker, and Kait McCaffrey, who really made me think!
Here are some of my favorite insights from our Higher Education Social Media Panel:
From: Kait McCaffrey:
Let your students tell the story. we see huge upticks in followers after a student takes over social during a visit day, or when one of our study abroad students takes us on an adventure through Ireland or Japan. While your voice is the institutional voice of your university or college, their voices are the ones that mean the most to prospective and current students, alumni, and your community.
From Aliza Rosen:
We get so many requests to “throw this up on social.” Rather than simply say “No,” try to build relationships by asking people to think through What is your goal, Who are you hoping to reach? That way you can provide them suggestions for better outlets than your social channels or help them adapt the content or presentation so that it makes sense for your channels.
What are some strategic ways universities can generate content about diversity, equity and inclusion?
First, ask yourself if your organization has the diversity you want to feature. If it doesn’t, talking about it is misleading. Instead, talk about structures in place to address the oversight.
Second, here’s how organizations can avoid tokenizing their underrepresented community members:
Let people tell their own stories, i.e. not a story you already planned and then found someone who would fit your narrative.
Identify people to feature from work they are doing or through organizations they are involved with (i.e. Black Student Union, etc.), not just because they are of the appropriate underrepresented group.
Third, ask early and be respectful. If you’re asking for volunteers, be conscious that people may have competing priorities. What’s more, academic time is slower than the media's time, and it takes time for people to feel like you don’t have an agenda, as well as feel comfortable sharing something sensitive with you and your audience.
Finally, especially for those of us who are nonwhite working on diversity, equity and inclusive content, we can get really worked up about things that impact us (for me, like anti black racism) and forget about things that do not directly impact us (for me, like disability accessible content).