You can't make a difference for animals while screaming at a wall. In today's interconnected world, with billions of social media users at your fingertips from every corner of the globe, you need to have an audience if you want your message to be heard. Beyond just having an audience, you need that audience to engage with you. If not, you're just a person talking to themselves in a very, very crowded room.
The next several parts of my continuing series on effectively harnessing the power of social media to advocate for animals will be focused on just these issues. How to get people to follow you on social and how to get these individuals to engage with what you’re posting.
First, let’s get some definitions out of the way. 'Engagement' is essentially any way that people are interacting with your posts. Likes (or on Facebook, they're called 'reactions'), comments, and shares are the metrics most commonly associated with engagement.
'Reach' refers to the amount of times a...
Do you want to make an impact for animals when you’re on social media? Do you want to leverage the power that’s at your fingertips?
Your ability to disseminate pro-animal, high-impact information and content across the internet comes largely down to your audience. Both the level of interest your audience has in your account - which we'll get to more later in this series - and by the size of your audience itself. For that reason, growth of your following is paramount if you want to maximize your impact. You have a direct incentive to do everything in your power to encourage people to hit that 'follow' button when they land on your profile.
Congrats, some curious people clicked through to your profile! Perhaps you had a post get some shares, or maybe you actively went out and engaged with other accounts and they're now circling back to you. Whatever the reason, you want these individuals to follow you, right? Yes. So how do you ensure they do this? By having a good bio.
You are going to influence someone today. A conversation you have with someone on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook today will be a deciding factor as to whether or not that person alters their behavior in the coming days, months, or years. Even if the person you’re communicating with doesn't go vegan overnight, you’re getting the ball rolling. You're planting seeds that will eventually sprout into a new compassionate way of living.
Understanding your audience is crucial to finding success in your efforts for the animals. Identify what kind of messaging is going to work with them. If your audience is younger, they're prime for the 'go vegan' ask. If it’s older people who may be more set in their ways, then a gentler ask, like Meatless Mondays, may be more successful.
Don't get caught in the vegan bubble. Social media is wonderful in many ways, but in one particular way it can be quite counterproductive. It puts us into silos and bubbles with others who...
When we discuss the realities of factory farming and the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle, the people we need to focus on aren’t those who already think like us. We need to focus on the general public. The 95 percent+ of the population who are eating animals. They're the ones who need to be won over, so we must cater our message to them.
To all those using social media to speak up for animals, think critically about the way you communicate with the outside world. You aren't just exposing people to the cruel realities of factory farming. You're essentially asking them to completely change their lifestyle. A lifestyle that has been reinforced over decades of eating animals, which is 100 percent acceptable according to social norms. We're making a big ask of people to consider this new way of living, so we shouldn’t discount the enormity of that request.
To create positive change, we must meet people where they are, not where we want them to be. It's likely that just a...
The one who gets the last word. The winner of the argument. The person who gets blocked for calling the other person an 'animal murderer' one too many times.
For many vegans in their early days of plant-based living - a.k.a. the 'Angry Vegan' stage - these are achievements to be proud of. It's only after one carefully starts to weigh the pros and cons of their behavior do they realize that maybe they cut that stranger on the internet a little too deep. Or perhaps comparing a Facebook friend's eating habits to mass murder was a comparison best left unsaid.
For new vegans, it's going to take time before you realize that it’s best to bite your tongue at times, and to approach situations with an open heart, not an accusatory pointed finger. I know that it took me months of bickering with my friends (and alienating myself in the process) before I realized that the more effective way to communicate the vegan message is to do it subtly, and to do it peacefully.
A vegan fast food chain is expanding globally. Beyond Meat is going public. Massive demand for vegan food is revolutionizing supermarkets. Who do you have to thank for this massive shift in public sentiment and behavior? Yourself.
Social media has shifted the landscape in this new technological era of constant connection. On Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, in a blink-of-an-eye you're exposed to content from an array of sources posted anywhere around the globe. This incredible connection to the rapidly changing world has never been so streamlined. The results? Ideas about plant-based food, knowledge about factory farming, and encouraging messages from individuals and organizations about how to change the world are being exchanged at a rate like we've never seen before.
Each week, literally hundreds of millions of people around the globe are exposed to content that they never otherwise would see if not for social media. Because people like you are...
Imagine yourself as an egg-laying hen trapped on a modern factory farm. Confined to a cage so compact that you can't even spread your wings. Sharing a small cage with five, six, or even seven other birds, you have no more space than the size of an average sheet of paper to live your life in. Filth surrounds you while you're engulfed in burning ammonia fumes and a neverending stench.
After months of producing eggs, once you're no longer at your peak of contributing economically, your only remaining value to the industry is the bruised meat on your bones. You've never seen daylight until this day that you're plucked from your cage, tossed onto a truck, and transported to the slaughterhouse.
This was your life. A life of absolute neglect, apathy, and anonymity. You don't even have a number, let alone a name. For decades, centuries, millennia, you had no one to speak up for you.
That is, until now. Now, they have you.
You may be wondering: "Well, what can I do?" The...