Having a platform is a privilege. Even if you have 100 followers or 10,000, those are people that are choosing to tune in to what you have to say. I’m not going to lie, this is something that I struggle with. What’s the point of getting thousands of likes if it’s not making a difference?
I’m not a pro at this but I know I also need a reminder to get myself on the right track. I fail a lot in this aspect but I like becoming more self-aware. Here are a few ways to learn to use your influence to good.
Read the Room
This is probably one of the important things. So often I have seen people backtrack after getting called out about their response (or lack of) and then everything after seems disingenuous. I also see people who continue posting as if nothing is happening which is just as bad. Make sure to just take a look at what’s happening, especially when pushing products or specific ideas. I thankfully have had companies push back sponsored campaigns when something big happens so we can acknowledge the moment correctly.
Ask Yourself What You’re Influencing People To
Last year I made a video for Christian influencers and their responsibility and in that video, I got a comment that made me think. They said as Christians who are influencers, what are we influencing people to? It honestly was a great comment to receive because it made me think about it. As a Christian, I need to live out a life for Christ and if I’m not showing that, what am I pointing people to? What is the end goal of your platform? If it’s not going to add something positive to people’s lives, is it worth it?
Actually Speak Up
Here’s the thing, speaking up, especially when you feel like you’re not knowledgeable on the subject, can be uncomfortable. But doing nothing doesn’t help. Ask your followers for help or research the topic. Also, don’t just post about it once as a way to not get backlash for not saying anything. Be genuine. People can see through that. If you don’t know, share resources pointing people in the right direction. I’m also not saying you have to switch your content to just share about the current topic (although you can). The point is to continue support and not just leave it at one mention.
Check Your Privilege
Privilege looks different. I live in the U.S. and see how much I have and can do here compared to my extended family in a different country. It’s hard but we all have some privilege even if we don’t see it. Having a platform in any capacity is a privilege. Not many people will have the opportunity to speak to a number of people. Use your platform wisely and know how special it is to have people following your platforms.