Black History Month is an annual recognition of the history, achievements, and influence of the Black Community.
But in 2021, it’s important for brands and creators not to post just one quote from Martin Luther King Jr. Instead, it’s the perfect opportunity to educate your audience, uplift black creators and corporations, and advocate for change.
In this blog post, we’re sharing 5 ways brands can celebrate Black History Month on social media:
Why Brands Should Celebrate Black History Month on Social Media
A short history lesson
Every President of the United States since 1976 has designated February as a black history month.
The origin of Black History Month can be tracked even further back to 1915, as an organization called them ASALHwas founded under the direction of Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson.
ASALH devoted its time to researching the achievements of black Americans and other people of African descent.
In 1926, ASALH sponsored a week of negro history and chose the second week of February to recognize the birth dates of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass.
The aim was to inspire schools and communities in the United States to organize local celebrations, activities, and lectures to teach black history as it had never been taught before.
Between 1926 and 1976, mayors across the country issued annual proclamations to celebrate Negro History Week. By the 1960s, the week had turned into a full month of celebration, and in 1976 President Gerald Ford designated it a national observation.
Today Black History Month is also celebrated in other countries around the world, including Canada (who) Celebrate in February) and Great Britain (who celebrate in October).
The importance of celebrating black culture
There was a resurgence in social activism and anti-racism talks in 2020, with many brands participating. And Black History Month can be an extension of that.
However, to make real connections with your audience, support and collaborate with companies, community leaders, and black-owned developers year round.
Diversity in Marketing is important to both Millennials and Gen Z. And with enormous purchasing powerThese generations will drive spending habits in the years to come.
As you plan your Black History Month content, think about how it fits into your brand’s overall marketing strategy and how you can keep the conversation going over the months to come.
Relive our 2020 LaterCon Session with Sonia Thompson about creating an inclusive marketing strategy:
5 ways to celebrate Black History Month on social media
- Creator Spotlights and Questions and Answers
- History lessons and trivia
- Boost black voices
- Quote posts
- Stand up for change
# 1: Creator Spotlights and Questions and Answers
Highlighting black developers, entrepreneurs, and black-owned brands in your industry can be a great way to introduce your audience to the people and companies they can support.
A fun, interactive idea could be to host a virtual Q&A event (Instagram Live, Facebook and Instagram rooms, Zoom, etc) with a black creator or leader in your industry.
For example, Refinery29 is undisturbed hosted a free virtual event with sessions with black creatives like Chrissy Rutherford::
Alternatively, you can use a Carousel Post Series Highlighting the black creators, their work and why you find them inspiring.
Take a look at how Adobe creative in the spotlight Elissa Blount Moorhead for their #WomenCreateWednesday social media series:
You can also invite black creators, business owners, or creatives to join your podcast such as when Avery Francis joined The Papaya Podcast To discuss race, gas light and diversity:
TIP: Remember to have a budget when working with creators. It shows that you value their expertise and time and it can lead to a long-term partnership!
# 2: history class and trivia
History class is a great way to celebrate Black History Month on social media.
While most brands are thinking of putting Martin Luther King Jr. or Rosa Parks in the spotlight, we encourage you to be proactive, do your research, and go beyond the obvious choices!
For example, if you are an ice cream brand, then highlighting should be a concern Alfred Craellewho patented the ice cream scoop in 1897 after noticing the difficulties hotel waiters had in serving ice cream.
Or if you are a small business you can talk about it Mrs. CJ Walker, America’s first self-made millionaire.
Work in the book industry? How about sharing books that Headlights black fashion designer Who has shaped the industry as we know it today:
These highlights can be done via feed posts, Instagram roles, Facebook stories, YouTube videos or even blog posts on your website.
# 3: Boost black voices and pass the mic
Would you like to use your social media platform to amplify black voices in other ways? Pass the microphone on!
Do IGTV or weekly Instagram Stories acquisitions This is where black creators, entrepreneurs and industry leaders use your platform to get their message across and share their personal experiences.
Last June, singer Selena Gomez handed over the microphone and let black activists and educators take over her Instagram account (with over 200 million followers!) To share their perspectives on what was going on in America:
Another way to boost black voices? Work on a campaign with a black digital artist to create beautiful illustrations or videos.
For the start of Netflix Give voice Documentary, which follows students in an annual August Wilson monologue competition, they collaborated with Illustrator Monica Ahanonu to create the stunning work of art of the documentary:
Black History Month is also a great time to sponsor an event created by a black-owned company or creator.
This way you can support their content and community without taking up too much space.
For example, Later is a sponsorship partner for EveryStylishGirl‘s Sip N ‘Slay Conference at the start of this year’s Black History Month:
# 4: quote quotes
Inspirational quote posts are often shared on social media because You can encourage brand and developer engagement.
And for Black History Month, there are so many inspiring black voices and leaders in the spotlight:
You can also use quote posts as an opportunity to share what you’ve done since posting as a brand a black square in June 2020 and how that will continue in 2021.
Another way to use quote posts is to use them as discussion prompts. Posting thought-provoking quotes from black voices can be used to educate your audience and stimulate deeper conversations.
The creative collective NYCThe post by has generated hundreds of comments:
# 5: Support the community and advocate change
Black History Month is the perfect opportunity to raise awareness of local nonprofits and offer ongoing financial support.
For example, during Pride Month in 2020, beverage brand Sunwink donated 100% of the proceeds of their Hibiscus Mint Unwind Tonic to the Marsha P. Johnson Institute in efforts to support the black transgender community:
You can also use Black History Month to highlight an issue in your industry and share how you’re committed to change.
If you work in retail, talk about the lack of black-owned brands on store shelves and what you are doing to address it. Take notes with the Canadian bookseller indigo who kicked the 15 percent promise last year:
Keep these tips in mind as you create content this year to celebrate Black History Month on social media! And hopefully they’ll be a starting point for building a broader social media strategy in 2021 and beyond.
Ready to plan and Schedule your social media posts and videos? Later make it easy – get started (free)!
Dante is a social media strategist and photographer based in New Orleans, LA. He has helped develop and manage social campaigns for dozens of clients. You can connect with him on Instagram @allthingsdante.