You may be wondering why inclusivity and representation would be important in the online space, and how showing diversity on these platforms would benefit brands. 

Well, social media is a platform for everyone — regardless of race, sexual orientation, gender, religion or disability — making for quite the diverse pool of users. As brands venture into this space, they need to be aware of this to avoid being tone-deaf and rather ensure that they deliver inclusive social content. 

Want to know more about how crafting a more diverse brand image can benefit your audience as well as your business? media update’s Taylor Goodman takes a closer look at the importance of inclusivity on social media here.

Let's learn how to represent:

Inclusivity broadens your consumer base

Many digital marketers / content creators tend to create more generalised social content with the intention of formulating a message that everyone can relate to. But a part of the puzzle that is often missing is ensuring that there is an accurate representation of all groups. 

Producing diverse marketing materials — where all demographics are represented — is important because it can help broaden your consumer base and increase overall awareness. Doing this makes your brand accessible and relatable to your audiences. 

Think about it: Why would you create an advert that is supposed to resonate with everyone but only includes certain groups in its imagery? By doing this, you would be cutting off entire factions from relating to your brand. 

An example of a brand that benefited from being more inclusive online is Heineken® with its 'cheers to all' campaign. 

Here, the brand breaks the stereotype that men drink beer and women drink cocktails. It uses humour to shed light on gender norms and how they are often built on misconceptions. Cheers to that! 

Inclusivity brings your brand to life

Want to build a more authentic brand? Then integrating diversity into your social content is the way to go. 

Inclusive social media content humanises your brand because it, again, allows your consumer base to feel like they can see themselves in your messaging. This further allows them to resonate more with your brand. 

For example, if you are a South African business, it would be beneficial for you to include people of all races, cultures and ethnicities in your campaign — we are the rainbow nation, after all

Nestlé Cremora made waves online with its '#everyonesincluded' campaign, which saw the brand reimagine a classic ad with a more diverse array of participants or 'inclusion heroes'.

If consumers see that your brand cares about representation, it shows that you're ethical and can be trusted — and this trust is the key to success. If your brand is believed to be trustworthy, consumers are likely to be loyal to you. After all, 46% of customers said they would pay more for brands that they trust. 

Inclusivity can win you points with Gen Z

Ah, Gen Zers — the enigma that leaves all social media marketers stumped. Well, if you've caught yourself wondering, 'What do they want from us?’, oftentimes authenticity is the answer. 

According to Campaign, a whopping 76% of Gen Zers believe that it's important for brands to address diversity and inclusion. This is a large margin compared to 46% of Baby Boomers and 72% of millennials. What's more is that 51% of Gen Zers want to see more diverse imagery in branding. 

Additionally, it's important to note that even if Gen Z's aren't necessarily your target audience, they are a growing market you need to take note of.

Now, it is all good and well to know your younger consumer base's preferences regarding inclusion, but why do they prioritise this so high in the brands they choose to support? 

Well, Gen Z believes it is important that brands show that they are striving for representation and diversity in all avenues — not just to portray a certain image online. They are not interested in performative activism, no sir!  

media update top tip: Remember, the goal is to make a difference, not to make a sale. As much as you advocate for more diverse content, your brand needs to ensure that it's genuine and consistent in its approach. 

What are your favourite inclusive branded social media accounts? Be sure to let us know in the comments section below.

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Want to find out more about social media ethics? Then be sure to read up on Navigating the vast ocean of social media ethics.
*Image courtesy of Unsplash