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5 Ideas to Drive Inclusive Engagement [+ IWD '21 Brand Examples]

  • by: Cassidy Armbruster
  • On: 10, Mar 2021
11 min read

From challenge comes change. BrandBastion team members from all across the world joined the #ChooseToChallenge campaign to celebrate #IWD2021.

 

Every day, we remove sexist and discriminatory comments towards women across social media posts and ads.

We're choosing to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality because it is important to us as a company and as individuals. Today, more than ever, we're calling out inequality! We’re certainly discussing gender inequality this women’s day, but we are expanding the conversation to incorporate tips to drive racial and LGBTQ-inclusive engagement as well.

Real comments hidden from brand social media accounts by BrandBastion

Warning: The following material is uncensored and contains profane, explicit, and offensive content.

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5 Ways to Drive Inclusive Engagement 

Inclusive engagement online is imperative to help create a social media world where people feel free and safe being their authentic selves.

1. Create a community free from discrimination 

Tackling hate speech online can be difficult at the onset, so let’s start by finding common ground. Your brand has seen sexist, homophobic, or transphobic comments on its social accounts. These interactions are something your brand neither stands for nor wants to be associated with. It’s best to take action by managing discriminatory content to protect and create a safe space for your audience.

77. 6% of people think that harmful comments should be removed from social media by the brand, the platform, or the users themselves. Source: Respondents in a BrandBastion Survey.

BrandBastion’s Moderation and Alerts Solution keeps your social community free from discrimination by moderating your comments section and alerting your teams based on situations activated. BrandBastion’s solution provides your brand 24/7 reassurance. When a problem arises, you will be notified, and when dangerous comments find their way onto your comment feed, they will be removed.

Brand Spotlight: Rens Original

Sustainable Finnish sneaker company, Rens Originals, is pushing for a community free from discrimination by calling out sexism in a one-minute video posted to Instagram titled ‘I’m Done.’ In the video, women state the reasons why they are fed up with common sexist remarks, saying:

  • “I’m done competing for respect."
  • “I’m done being judged for my makeup.”
  • “I’m done being called hysterical."
  • “I’m done being asked why I didn’t just say no.”

Through this campaign, Rens Originals is challenging gender inequality to encourage a more inclusive community. As can be seen below, their followers sent emojis commending the video.

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2. Fight for inclusivity

Whether it’s achieved by responding to comments that highlight equality or by creating inclusive content, it’s important that your brand fights for inclusivity. Bring women and underrepresented groups in on different conversations by engaging with them, and even creating campaigns specifically for them. Additionally, If your brand is determined to fight for inclusivity, consider removing discriminatory, sexist or derogatory comments that isolate, single out or attack groups of people.

Brand Spotlight: Adidas

Women are often excluded from sports conversations, either because people assume women don’t play sports, that women don’t play at an elite level, or that women simply don’t understand them. However, Adidas is creating a more inclusive environment for women in sports, asking them to show how they move. Adidas released a #WatchUsMove campaign, giving all women the freedom of movement to hit the top of their game: every body, every race, every creed. This inclusivity campaign sheds a light on all types of women, because no woman is the same! Followers in the comments section were thrilled with the campaign, even claiming why they want to be a part of the Adidas community.

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Brand Spotlight: LEGO

The LEGO group is fighting for inclusive engagement by creating an online space for the future generation of women creatives and leaders. This year, The LEGO Group recreated its acclaimed 1981 campaign, featuring young girls holding their LEGO creations to showcase their power and creativity. The Lego Group has also signed up to the UN Women’s Empowerment Principles to help guide how it can promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the workplace, marketplace, and community.

Users in the comments section cheered on the Lego group, applauding the campaign. Some followers even stated why they want to share the campaign with their children and shared who they were celebrating this Women’s Day.

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3. Use gender-inclusive language

Use gender-inclusive language when your brand delivers content or responds to comments on social media. “Hey guys'' might seem like an innocent and friendly response to your followers, but it is not gender-neutral, and it is a symbol of exclusion to many. If your brand wants to address people on social media in a conversational and personal way, consider using “folks” or “y’all.” Personal connections are key, which is why we also recommend you personalize responses by addressing users by their names rather than assuming a gender. This is key to driving inclusive engagement while establishing a direct and personal connection with your followers.

Brand Spotlight: Levis

Levi’s went beyond just using gender-inclusive language to creating an entirely gender-fluid collection called the ‘Unlabeled Collection.’ The brand’s market research revealed that the future is fluid, indicating that 30% of Gen Z Levi’s shoppers buy across genders. Levi’s LGBT+ employees curated a beautiful and genderless collection. Users in the comments section applauded the brand for creating the Unlabeled collection, and even commented why this collection was so special to them. Levi’s went on to say:

“It’s been validating that Levi’s fans have embraced not only a genderless collection but also one that’s such an authentic expression of our values and who we are.”

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4. Don't just talk, take action

Brands that choose to ignore hateful comments online are not only risking losing customers, investors, and revenue, but they are also putting their audience at risk. As the world adapts to a 'new normal,' social media has become our living room. It's where we engage with family, catch up with friends, wave to acquaintances, and interact with brands. Conversations should be encouraged here, but not when they are discriminatory, sexist or hateful. It's vital that your brand does more than just talking about how hate speech is wrong or unacceptable. Take action to drive inclusive engagement.

Brand Spotlight: Netflix

Netflix pledges to take action by diversifying the entertainment industry in its ‘Make Room’ campaign. Netflix is shining a light on its diverse programming, emphasizing that more diverse voices, stories, and experiences deserve a chance on screen. Diverse stories don’t make it to Hollywood as often as they should, and Netflix wants to be a part of the change.

Users were very engaged with the video, some saying that they identified with actress Uzo Aduba featured in the advertisement. Another user even tagged Netflix, asking the brand to bring back Orange is the New Black, which Uza Aduba starred in.

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5. Understand the importance of representation

In 2021, a tone-deaf campaign will define your business. Representation and education in the workplace are crucial to ensuring your brand has the knowledge, expertise, and know-how to speak on and create content regarding social issues such as gender and racial inequality. Evaluate your brand’s audience and confirm that your workforce represents and/or is educated on the audience you are speaking to. Hiring people from diverse backgrounds will increase creativity and collaboration while driving better insights and decision-making.

Additionally, you can drive inclusive engagement by creating versatile content that brings people from all backgrounds together. The more representation your brand has, the greater likelihood its content will resonate with diverse audiences. If you’re interested in diving into your brand sentiment on social media or want to know how your content is resonating, consider getting BrandBastion's Free Engagement Analysis.

Brand Spotlight: Gen G Esports

Global esports organization Gen.G announced that they will celebrate Women’s day all month by running charity live stream events. Pro gaming is a male-dominated sport, yet Gen.G is making a significant effort to bring representation to the esports industry. Gen.G wants to empower women in gaming and has chosen to partner with Bumble, the dating and networking app in which women make the first move. The virtual events will be centered around Team Bumble, Gen.G’s first all-women esports team. Gen.G has also partnered with Urban Outfitters and U.S. Bank to lead virtual workshops and highlight professional career opportunities in gaming.

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Gen.G is an example of a company that not only values representation on Women’s Day but one that continually strives to create diverse and representative classes. In fact, in 2020, the global esports organization introduced their class of 2020 on Instagram, stating,

“The 2020 Class of Gen.G continues to advocate for the diversity and representation that gaming needs to reach its full potential.”

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Talk with a sales representative at BrandBastion if you are interested in learning more about how our Moderation + Alerts solution can protect your community from derogatory or sexist speech.

 

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