If you are looking to bring positive change through your Instagram account, keep reading to learn more about activism on Instagram and how to use Instagram for social good.
For many, activism isn't the first thing that comes to mind when they think about Instagram.
Unlike Twitter, where you can cram your thoughts into exactly worded tweets, Instagram always has been and always will be a visual platform. The pictures and increasingly the videos on Instagram are about showing rather than telling and makes more of an impact.
And that makes it perfect for social activism, for using your Instagram for social good.
But what if the only thing that you post are pretty pictures?
What if your Instagram feed is full of perfectly curated squares that you have spent years perfecting? What if your instagram is focused on your kids? Your family, food, or your art?
How does social activism fit in?
When influencers take the time to use their platforms for a cause, be it #blacklivesmatter, LGTBQ rights, the #Metoo movement or climate change, it leaks over into our everyday conversations OFF line and translates into real action.
Over the past few weeks, I've seen a lot of accounts go from posting absolutely nothing but the world that they live in, to issues that affect us all.
I've also seen accounts stay silent because :
- They don't know what to post
- They don't think activism fits in their brand
- They are afraid to offend current followers
So what do you do? How do you get started?
How to Use Instagram for Social Good.
1.Share from the Heart.
If it matters to you as a mom, as a member of the LGTBQ community, as a woman, as a human being, then share that. Share why it matters to you. Be thoughtful about what you share.
Get on camera and share your thoughts and feelings.
2.But don't make it about you.
I get it, we are influencers who use Instagram as a platform to talk about ourselves. WE are the brand.
But when using your platform for social good, it’s not about you. It’s about the cause you are promoting. You are there to support and help the movement grow and to get the word out.
Making it about you is NOT the answer.
3.Know when to be quiet
Silence is golden and sometimes you need to sit down and learn. Don’t post on social media just to say you did. Avoid sharing memes just because it’s a popular one going around. Don’t post something without first EDUCATING yourself on the topic or at least admitting that you need education.
4.Be a Resource
A lot of your followers are/were just like you: don’t know where to start learning about any being an activist on Instagram. So share what you know. And when you don’t have the words yourself, share someone else’s.
Share the stories and thoughts of people who don’t have the same privileges as you. Or share that meme, share that account that you found that explains what you are trying to say just right. Share that blog post or newspaper article.
5.Be Willing to Lose Followers
Not everyone will want to hear what you have to say.
If you are going to participate in social activism on Instagram, be prepared for that.
You have been “safe until now”.
You were that safe black mom, or that food blogger that never talked about anything else but food or that fashion influencer who only posted your outfit of the day and your deals.
BE OK WITH SHAKING THINGS UP.
So how do you start posting?
Ways to Break the Ice
Share a Post or meme in your stories and ask your followers how they feel about it.
It's just that simple. Plus, it gets your community engaged. Share their responses good and bad. Create a conversation.
Use your swipe up for good.
If you have access to swipe up, share information. Put in a link to donate to a cause, or to read an article or to sign up for that newsletter that you find so helpful. If you don't have the swipe up option, direct people to the link in your profile. You can make a “social justice” tab in your linktree.
Share what you know.
If you are a homeschooler or a teacher: share books as resources.
If you are an artist or a photographer: share other photos and art that has to do with your cause.
If you are a video person: share video or protests, speeches, news reports on your feed and in your stories.
If you are always sharing funny memes with your followers, share some serious ones too. Ones that make your followers stop the scroll and and think.
Not everyone is meant to be on the front line. Some of us are meant to be the supporters, some the promotors, some the leaders. Figure out which lane you are comfortable in and go for it.
Don't overthink this. The point is to get information across to your community in line with info that they already come to you for. If you have done your community-building right, they will listen and engage with this content.
Social Activists to follow on Instagram
I don't have a definitive list here. The landscape on instagram is changing.
What I will do is to say click on this post sent to me by Quiana from @harlemlovebirds and check out some of the names on this list to start.
View this post on Instagram
When the world listens to women, it listens to white women. For far too long, Black women’s voices have gone unheard, even though they’ve been using their voices loudly for centuries to enact change. Today, more than ever, it is NECESSARY that we create a unifying action to center Black women’s lives, stories, and calls to action. We need to listen to Black women. . This is why we created #ShareTheMicNow. . Tomorrow, Black women will speak from the Instagram accounts of white women and reach a collective 300 million people. . With great joy, I will hand my account over to @alenciajohnson. I cannot wait for you to meet her. She is a powerful force of justice, and a needed and necessary voice. . The intention of this campaign is to magnify Black women and the important work that they’re doing in order to catalyze the change that will only come when we truly hear each other’s voices. Scroll through the graphics, follow the accounts, and set aside time tomorrow to listen and learn. This is going to be so powerful.
I'm not an expert. But I wanted to share these simple ideas and tips that can get us all involved in activism on Instagram.
And as always do your research.
Hopefully this helps. Questions? Sound off inthe comments.