Being a digital advocate is a great way to create change using the power of social media. Whether you have 100 followers or 1000 followers, you can use your platform to speak out about issues you’re passionate about and reach people who will in turn engage with the content. Here are some ways you can be a digital advocate, as well as some things to remember about the spaces you’re advocating in.
Share verified resources that help others learn more about the issues that are happening and ways they can get involved. Using your platform to provide resources shows people how they can help from home while still being a key part of a larger movement. But, be mindful of the content you post, consider putting a trigger warning if you’re not sure how the content might affect someone. Ask your friends and followers to share these resources as well, this way you can amplify the number of people you reach on social media. As an ally, be open to having conversations with people who may not have heard of these issues in their own communities. We are all still learning.
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Amplify the voices of those who are being impacted. If you’re passionate about issues related to marginalized communities you aren’t part of, you can be an ally by listening to people who are part of those communities. When they share their stories, thoughts or opinions, you can reshare (with their consent) so more people hear what they have to say. Consider sharing art, businesses, and content from members of the community to directly support them.
Use social media as an organizing tool to take your advocacy one step further. The followers you have on your social media platform are a form of community, they follow you because they want to hear what you have to say or want to see what you end up doing. By using social media to mobilize communities, you can create change by showing people how to get involved outside of social media as well. If you are sharing a mobilization effort, ensure the event being put on is by members of the community.
For example, if part of the issue you’re advocating for or against can be dealt with through legislation, provide your followers with scripts they can use to call or email elected officials. You can even create a policy proposal to make a bigger difference in your local community, and ask your followers if they want to be part of the group that prepares the materials that will eventually be presented to local leaders.
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At times, what we see online can be overwhelming. Please take breaks and ensure you’re practicing self-care. Movements are built one person at a time, and we need everyone to be healthy to move forward. Always remember that your voice does matter and being an advocate is one of the many ways you can use your voice to create change.
Finally - and most importantly - while digital advocacy is powerful it’s only one part of the equation. There must be actions behind your posts. If you post a petition, you must sign it. If you ask your followers to call their legislators you need to pick up the phone as well. Actions speak louder than Instagram posts.
Want to learn more about advocacy? Go here.