How to post about sensitive topics on social media
When you manage social media for a charitable organisation, a lot of your time goes into creating posts about sensitive issues. It’s not always easy to know how to talk about these subjects appropriately, so we’ve put together a few pointers that can help you get on the right track.
Know your goal
Ensure that your message is unambiguous – before posting, consider what you want to get out of it. Are you posting to counter discrimination? Do you want to increase the use of your services or raise awareness for your cause? All of the above?
Make your aim clear before you do anything, and let it guide the tone of your post. You don’t want it to look like you’re just posting for shock value alone.
Consider Including action in these more sensitive posts. if you are trying to encourage donation – leave your fundraising page link in the post. If you are trying to raise awareness of your services, leave your helpline and access hours at the bottom of the post.
Use reliable sources
If you’re making weighty statements or using statistics to back up a point, ensure that they are coming from up-to-date and reliable sources. You don’t want to risk spreading misinformation and potentially harming your credibility as an organisation.
This approach also applies to sharing articles or other similar content. Ensure you thoroughly read everything and anything you share – it’s best to avoid supporting overly-biased content or tabloid articles, stick to more reputable sources.
Most of your audience may very well be acquainted with posts of a sensitive nature – but not everyone will be. Consider using trigger warnings at the beginnings of your posts, you never know who may be reading.
It’s also a good idea to check your tone of voice! Write conversationally, you don’t want to appear cold when discussing upsetting subjects. It’s also crucial that you use people-first language rather than labels e.g. don’t use terms like ‘a disabled person’, you should say ‘a person who has a disability’.
Strike a balance
It’s very important to convey the gravity of certain situations and issues, and a lot of the time there is not always a positive way to speak about them. However, consider trying to balance out your posts with a negative tone with some more positive posts. For example, rather than always homing in on the desperation of addiction, talk about recovery and how far the individual has come in their journey to recovery.
Earlier this month, we had the pleasure of running a webinar in partnership with Alliance magazine, shedding light on the (hot) topic of Philanthropy and AI. I was joined on the panel by Karen Gill, Vice President of Operations, Patrick J. McGovern Foundation and Catherine Miller, Director, European & AI Society Fund.
A few years ago, the Tour de France had a time trial stage in London. I wasn’t a massive cycling fan, but this was a rare opportunity to watch the world’s most famous cycling race in the flesh, and so I joined the thousands of other people lining the pavements to watch. After waiting an age, and before we saw it, we heard the surprisingly deafening rumble of the peloton. And then, in seconds, it was gone.
Instagram is a visual channel that helps you build an engaged community of people who are following your cause.
Instagram is one of the most engaging social media platforms nowadays and more charities are using it to build a community or fundraise for their cause.
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