Everyday we constantly have to remind ourselves of our purpose on social media. It’s easy to get caught up in all the propaganda and negative news we read, the video snippets we see and sound bites that we hear which are meant to deter us and send us into an never-ending spiral of chaos and uncertainty. However, we’re smarter than that. We have to not only be wise online, but very strategic in an Trump era.
After thinking about the inner turmoil and defeat many of my friends and colleagues have felt since the inauguration, I’ve compiled a list of 7 strategies to help you thrive on social media during the Trump era:
We all have things that get under our skin. There are some soft spots that once their penetrated it’s hard for us to forget the pain. You can’t unhear sexist remarks towards women, demeaning references to our body parts, or the psychological violation that occurs when you think of the gestures of a man who presumes every woman he desires is his willing mark and voluntary sexual object. The disgust sometimes is incomprehensible that so many women voted this man into office and you now feel isolated from an American staple that just recently was home to a man and woman who deeply valued civil rights and inclusion of alienated groups. There are many ways to communicate and address these feelings and emotions online, but our focus is to identify ways of being your authentic self without killing your brand and isolating your audience of potential clients. Some people who voted for Trump might really like you and support you, (although that’s really hard to believe right now), but the goal is to keep doors open during this turbulent time so that you can do the opposite of what you and so many more Americans have experienced, exclusion. Don’t divide your followers. Create opportunities for meaningful dialogue, but always promote peace. Promote the things in others that highlight where our nation should be online. When you see respect demonstrated towards people of different ethnic backgrounds, religions, sexual orientation or racial makeup, highlight them. Our nation needs unity, so create it, by being authentic and inclusive online.
2. Give them the bait, don’t fall for it!
I get angry about things, then go on and work. – Toni Morrison
When you’re a leader, you can create the tone and the direction of the flow of conversation in your group. Of course, when tensions are high and we’re all on edge about the fate of education, health care and our economy at the hands of politicians, there are certain beliefs we want to emphasize. We adamantly stand by certain truths and make our stance known. However, this is a great time to get friends to talk and fight those social media algorithms to create more visibility and engagement. Certainly, there’s more we can do on social media than argue about a pseudo-president we didn’t vote for. Throw hot topics out there in an unbiased manner daily and watch the flow of engagement on your timeline.
3. Make sure that your timeline celebrates diversity
Is solace anywhere more comforting than that in the arms of a sister. -Alice Walker
Create a forum for inclusiveness. Share images, quotes and videos that highlight diversity. Shift the negative tone of the news and offer an environment of support for your friends. Everyone wants to feel important, needed and included in some sort of way. Although we live in a society that consistently demonstrates an angst in regard to those of us with a darker hue, we must continue to shine, thrive and fight injustice. Create a powerful safe haven for diversity, support and inclusiveness online. Many will come to you because they feel welcomed and valued. Be the safety zone for someone who has been alienated and excluded.
4. Reinforce the great things about those around you
Each person must live their life as a model for others. -Rosa Parks
Use your timeline to empower others. There has been so much division and divisiveness created by our current administration that we each need to be committed to do a little damage control. In this case, our damage control would be to repair the brokenness of others through encouragement and positive words online. Take a moment to compliment your friends, write comments on things you like, share good news and help uplift your friends and colleagues online. Be a great friend online who understands how important it is to have a little encouragement. You will instantly become a magnet to those around you. Friends will flock to your page because you are pouring into them.
5. Keep an open mind
We have to talk about liberating minds as well as liberating society. -Angela Davis
We know that there’s a far more greater power that we serve. We have to remember what it is that we seek and remember that it is seeking us. Therefore, keep your mind and thoughts open so that you can learn and grow from others who you share online space with. Just like if you entered into a room, you wouldn’t expect to be the smartest person there, keep the same thought process open when you engage with friends online. There is always something to learn and something to share. The more people feel respected, the more they will share and invite others to your page and to interact with you. You may not always agree with everything that’s being said, but always try to show respect in regards to the opinions of others.
6. Don’t be a cyberbully
Your willingness to look at your darkness is what empowers you to change -Iyanla Vanzant
It’s easy to become an internet thug. When you’re behind a computer screen or typing away on your phone, you can easily forget the power of a word online. But don’t. There is too much to lose by forcing your ideals on another person and robbing them of the ability to voice their opinion. Now, we aren’t saints and don’t expect you to be, but atleast nicely usher your ‘cyber opponent’ to another topic or gently end the conversation. We don’t have to annihilate their entire existence in 140 characters. Let’s encourage them with ‘thanks for stopping by’ and keep it moving. Your friends who’ve grabbed the soda and popcorn to silently watch your cyber thuggin’ might be upset, but oh well. Nothing is gained by lashing out on a person who isn’t bold enough to say how they really feel to your face, so let them stir in silence or be ignored in public.
We must accept finite disappointment but never lose infinite hope. – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Our nation is looking for direction. We want to feel safe. We want confirmation that our leaders believe that our lives matter. While on social media, you can stand out as that beacon of hope while many choose to constantly lay the blame. We are all aware where the division originated, but we need change agents to shift the mindset of America. Of course social media can’t solve all of our problems, but effective use can help identify us as the solution of hope. How many of your friends are simply sharing negative post after negative post with no regard to how that effects the psyche of those who read them? During a very dark time in our nation, be a beacon and watch how the power of your influence shifts.
Which social media strategies will you try?
Let us know in the comments below!