Photo: United Nations Committee on the Status of Women Forum on the topic:”Using Media as a Tool to Empower Women”. (Denton Taylor)
Social media has played one of the most influential roles in how we’ve viewed the world over the past 10+ years. It has changed the face of retail, advertisement, and the dynamics of relationships. It has also changed the way we CONNECT and INTERACT with each other on and offline. Social Media is used as a tool to bridge brands with consumers, employers with prospective employees, and friends with family. Not only does social media connect people together, but it is also a platform that can be used for the empowerment of women.
The three keys to using social media as a tool to empower women are: transparency, authenticity, and community. If your goal is to use social media as a platform to inspire and empower women to chase after their dreams, heal from past hurt, and build; here are the tools:
Transparency is the ability to allow people into the very secretive parts of you! Transparency allows women to peek into one’s deepest thoughts, biggest fears, and hardest struggles. This is the connection factor. Transparency creates a safe and comfortable space to share ideas, goals, and even our struggles. Women connect to those they can honestly and openly relate to; transparency creates an environment for this.
Your brand voice is a term used to define the personality of your brand. It’s how your brand looks in the eyes of the general public. How you communicate through media: your logo, your marketing materials, your website, and your social content all contribute to your brand voice. An authentic and honest brand voice is key to empowering women; this is how you gain trust.
There are many ways in which we can create more opportunities to showcase our brand voice: one is through creating authentic spaces. Authentic spaces is a term I coined to define spaces and platforms created that empower women to be their true self. These safe spaces can be in the form of digital communities.
As a brand, your comment section is the best place and most accessible place for you to showcase your authentic brand voice. It is a space where you can connect with your audience. It’s an opportunity for you to organically engage with your readers. Spark conversations on social media – find out what your audience needs and then find strategic ways to meet those needs.
Remember: BE HONEST, BE HUMAN, BE ORGANIC, AND BE CLEAR.
Here are 4 more ways you can create authentic interactions through media:
- Utilize LIVE features on social networking platforms – Instagram Live videos allow for a unadulterated, unfiltered, and raw interaction with your audience.
- Create more face time with your audience (i.e. curated events).
- Collaborate with brands that align with your core values- this increases your social reach.
- Create Newsletters.
Community, by definition, is a feeling of fellowship with others; as a result of sharing common attitudes; interests; and goals. Social Media is a space where micro-communities are built in a macro digital space. Examples of micro communities are: Facebook groups, Twitter chats, and Instagram hashtags. I believe that community empowers women because it gives them a sense of belonging. It provides a sense of “you are not in this alone”; which alone is empowering.
A S E N S E O F B E L O N G I N G
Having access to resources and opportunities is an essential facet of women’s empowerment. Media alone has created opportunities for collaborations and sisterhood that can transcend beyond an online connection. When women create communities together, they have greater access to resources and support.
Lastly, let’s look at a few social media best practices for brands looking to empower women:
- Be responsive
- Be communicative
- Actively connect
- Look for opportunities to collaborate
- Leverage resources and capabilities
- Create opportunities to connect
With the birth of social media; it is now possible to connect with people all over the world in various ways. Social Media has created platforms where women can engage with each other, share, and collaborate; all in an instant. There are many ways to empower women through media and the keys to doing so are: being transparent – open, clear, and human; being authentic – being truthful, real; and creating community – safe spaces to come together, share, build, and collaborate.
If you learned anything from this post, please share it with a friend! Together we can do so much!