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Inclusivity in Your Visual Social Media Content (Without Appropriation or Tokenism)

Your company’s social media identity is determined by equal parts content and commentary. Prospective clients generally do their research in this manner first before pursuing anything else, so visual impressions are key to conveying your message. Welcoming and including a diverse population of couples regardless of race, size, or orientation will show complete authenticity in value when done correctly.
Inclusivity isn’t only about a variety of Instagram images, and it can’t be forced. The eagerness to work with all couples equally must be a true moral that you possess.
Being equality-minded often goes hand in hand with transparency, and your marketing verbiage and communication with couples will reflect your true intentions. Be consistent in promoting your services, and do your research when it comes to the type of language you use, including how you address potential couples.
Tokenism is marketing to specialty subgroups without being genuine by using a limited number of couples from a subgroup to represent a larger trend.
If you only add images of different types of couples in order to tap into new revenue and not because you truly believe in spotlighting diversity, it will show. Overtly marketing yourself as an ally in order to grow your business will have the opposite effect, and it stunts the growth of progress in the wedding industry.
Avoid Appropriation
Taking ownership of traits from a minority culture as your own is considered appropriation and it will subsequently drive clients away. For example, a straight wedding professional can alienate a LGBTQ couple by saying, “My cousin is gay – I love gay weddings!” Trust me, this doesn’t make you more relatable and it only proves that you are heavily focused on how different they are from your other clientele.
Practice the art of listening. Ask questions that are designed to help you learn as much about the unique needs of every client as you can, a good habit to have with any couple. Serve the person, not the stereotype.
Be Mindful of Trends
While you don’t want to pigeon-hole your clients, you should actively stay informed about trends that might help them make choices or personalize their celebrations, and promote this through visual content via your social media.
Demonstrating in your posts that two women, for example might choose to wear two dresses, a dress and a wedding suit, a dress and a tuxedo, two tuxedos or any combination that fits their unique personalities and identities gives your audience options. Also, providing training to your staff in guiding transgender brides in choosing silhouettes and styles that complement their bodies allows them to provide knowledgeable guidance and superior service that will naturally attract future clients looking for the same level of understanding.
The key to authentically promoting your inclusivity through your visual social media content is to be genuine and knowledgeable. Couples of all types will recognize your effort and reward you with their trust and their most important days.
Brittny Drye is the founder and editor-in-chief of Love Inc., one of the leading equality-minded wedding blog and digital publication. Her inclusive efforts have been celebrated by the New York Times, The Advocate, OUT Magazine, Refinery29, NY Daily News, Cosmopolitan, and more. She serves on the 2018-19 North American Advisory Board for the International Academy of Wedding & Events.
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