The question of whether or not businesses should get involved with social justice is not a new one. But with the formation of social media and budding brand communities, the answer to the question has changed. Political topics can indeed lead to heated discussions that distract from the purpose of the community. It’s also true that people vote with their dollar and will support the company that aligns with their values.
People want communities that are influencing the world for the better. If you aren’t addressing social justice issues and your core values, there’s no way to tell if your company is worth supporting. Define your core values, letting them shine through your posts and encouraging your community to engage and change the world alongside you.
What is Social Justice
The term social justice refers to a society’s fair and equitable division of resources, opportunities and privileges. In popular culture, the term is used a little more broadly to encompass any social, political and economic problems that need change.
The concept was first formed in the 19th century as people began to fight against the disparity of wealth in social structures. As social justice became better defined, five main principles formed. These included access to resources, equity, participation, diversity and human rights. Policy changes to ensure all citizens have equal treatment under these principles happen on the political level. The beauty of America is that we have a say in what laws and regulations are made. We make our voices heard and change can happen.
How Communities Should Handle Social Justice Topics
Brands should always be careful about how they handle social justice topics. In today’s culture, it is very easy to appear tone-deaf or insensitive to issues. There are three things to remember when addressing a social justice topic: Respect, Diversity and Empowerment.
Use respectful wording and tone toward a topic. It isn’t about bashing one side or stirring people up into a frenzy. Have enough respect to truly understand a topic before addressing it. Express your love and support to the community. Be uplifting and respectful to your members.
Celebrate all the members of your community. They come from a wide range of backgrounds and have varying levels of knowledge. Get to know your members and their passions. Take care to represent all of them, not just one or two subsets. Encourage user-generated content to help celebrate the difference in everyone.
Help everyone understand how to participate in the community. Make the tools available and ensure that members are respecting everybody’s right to expression. Open the door to conversations that will help spark change.
How to Contribute to Social Justice Movements
Companies have voices and power in communities that should not be taken lightly. It is important to use them to make a difference in this world. Here are a few things a brand can do to contribute to social justice movements.
Do your research and mean what you say. Particularly, don’t make empty promises.
Use social media to speak directly to your audience
Firstly, this helps you crowdsource ideas on how to improve. But part of making a difference is changing within your organization as well. People eventually see that you practice what you preach.
Bring in external help to assist with diversity
Once in a while, you need someone from the outside to help see where you can change and do better.
Support Your Community with StayTouch
StayTouch is an app that combines modern networking and easy relationship management. Build a community with ease, instantly exchange information and explore scheduling and time management functions. Make notes and create reminders to reach out regularly to your network of contacts, helping you above all build a stronger community. Attend virtual events and stay up-to-date on important social topics with StayTouch. Contact us to learn more about our upcoming Diversity and Representation seminar.