I know many business owners are feeling conflicted about what content to post on social media right now, or if they should even say anything.
If not knowing what to say is your biggest problem right now, consider yourself lucky (or privileged).
Fighting for a better world is a marathon, not a sprint; we must think long-term about what we are saying and doing, not just what is happening this week. That has gone on for long enough.
If you're committed to being an ally, here are a few suggestions when it comes to your content now and in the future:
Slow down and speak from the heart. Don't post out of obligation or because it appears trendy. "Everyone is doing it so I need to." No. If you're going to speak up for human rights, you MUST have genuine intentions.
Have real empathy. Do NOT commercialize or otherwise be opportunistic about what is already a tragedy. Don't add your branding to posts about racial justice. The loss of life is not something to insert into your marketing strategy.
Before posting, ask yourself who is really benefitting from this post? Am I influencing change or just making myself feel better? We must not be merely performative.
Don't post because you think it's good for business. Your stand on equality is not a photo op. Again, THAT'S NOT THE POINT.
If you are unsure about creating new content, remember that there are Black activists with powerful messages that you can amplify by sharing.
Be brave, and be transparent. Your voice IS important. Acknowledge that you are not perfect and we will make mistakes. The people in your social circles are different from anyone else's, and they may listen to the way YOU say things with a more open mind than anybody else. That is powerful!
Please diversify who you are listening to and where you are getting your information. These directly influence the content we create, and we must get out of our echo chambers.
If you choose to stay silent on social media, please consider that silence may also be perceived as supporting the status quo.
Businesses are going to play an important role in the coming months and years as a force for widespread change. Social media is one small part; it is going to take much more work both online and offline to achieve the change we seek. But, it's a start.