There is always a way to expand your community. No matter how large your organisation is, chances are, there are people missing what it is you are trying to say. Many now spend a large portion of their lives online; therefore if you aren’t there with them, you could be missing out.
Being ‘digitally fluent’ is something that people in the social sector need to consider so that they can reach a wide range of audiences. It is no secret that a large number of the population have at least one social media platform with which they frequent on a regular basis; many using a multiple of these platforms daily. The internet and social media now appears to be where people go for their down time, meaning this is a new area where you can engage people’s attention and highlight the messages you are trying to raise the awareness of.
Whilst many organisations are starting to become more aware of how social media can benefit them and are becoming increasingly active online, what many are struggling to do is ensure that their messages are being reached by those who may have a disability that prevents them from accessing the content an organisation is putting out. This means that when setting up social media accounts, an organisation needs to consider their audience and if they are easily accessible for a wide range of audiences. For example if your organisation is targeted toward the visually impaired then you need to consider which platforms would be best for engaging in a way that ensures that they can make the most out of your content.
As well as having platforms aimed at a wide range of audiences to raise awareness of your organisation, it may also be useful to set up accounts tailored specifically for the people who suffer with the disability you are raising awareness of. To go back to the example of someone who is visually impaired, it is worth looking into platforms that are tailored specifically toward these people. For example there is audioboo, which Oxfam are already using to reach a wider audience. This is a social media platform that allows people to share audio notes with one another.
Social media is great for expanding an online community, but it is also easy to alienate those who have a disability; even if your organisation is set up to help them. Taking time to plan out the numerous platforms you wish to cover and ensure everyone is included is a great way to guarantee your message is being reached by all.
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