Making the Most of Instagram Activism
Instagram is the home of so much information and activism for Millenials and Gen Z. The Black Lives Matter movement used this platform to its advantage, with dozens of activists sharing important information through short bits of text, artwork, and graphics. Helping people share resources, places to donate, and news is crucial to social justice movements and social change.
Most of these graphics are filled with useful tips, perspectives, testimonies, and so much more. But some of the more recent activism posts cross the line into blatant misinformation. There was one example which many people have seen which listed various injustices and conflicts throughout the world. It included such points as the Black Lives Matter movement, the war in Yemen, anti-Muslim camps in China, and the refugee crisis in Syria. However, right at the top of the list was a glaring line: "There is still an apartheid in Palestine."
While the list of the post is to bring attention to the pressing injustices going on around the world, the phrasing of this line is filled with misinformation and misleading juxtaposition.
Social Media can be used for good. One post can be the difference that pushes someone to take action for positive change. But one post can also be the difference that pushes someone toward misinformation, toward hatred, or toward ignorance.
So how can we use social media platforms to share information about Israel?
The easiest way to spread information is by hitting "share". But someone has to make the first post!
Step 1. Pick a Topic
Select an issue to cover that's a bit narrow. "Israel" is a bit too wide, but maybe "innovation in Israel" or "what does Zionism mean?" would work more effectively and grab people's attention. Pick something that is meaningful to you and that is relevant to current events if you can. Relevance sells!
Step 2. Choose Your Message
Are you sharing a story? An opinion? A study? Resources for donations or information? Choose your focus and go deep into it. Everyone has seen the graphic of the places to donate to support black rights in America: that's because it knows its purpose. Focus in on yours, and you'll be able to make a stronger impact on your audience and push them to learn more.
Step 3. Create Your Image
Choose a color scheme, an image type, a font, and a format. Unified messages that are aesthetically pleasing get more likes, views, and shares. It's the way of social media: you have to catch eyes before you can teach them anything!
Step 4: Do Your Research
Whenever you're writing about Israeli, it's important to remember to stay up-to-date on your information. Read articles and books, with videos, and make sure to check for biases when you're researching. And cite your sources so that readers know where to go to find more! Hold yourself accountable!
Step 5: Write Succinctly
Using fewer words will make viewers more likely to read your whole point. It's easier to understand a simple phrase than a full page of small text. Utilize images and careful word choice to get your point across fluidly. Also, try to write using positive language so that readers will know what kind of action to take, rather than just what not to do.
Step 6: Promote, Promote, Promote!
Share your work. Post it on Instagram, share it to your story, text your friends, post on Facebook, Tweet it... anywhere you can share, share! Spread the word!
You can make an immeasurable impact on your community with just one social media post, so it's important to make sure that what you're sharing is your best work, backed by pants, and as respectful as possible. Go do your thing!