The rise of internet access and social media have enabled more people to become animal rights activists and advocates for veganism, without even needing to leave their own homes. However, sometimes the sheer amount of information available online means that good intentions can get lost in cyberspace. Here, I offer five tips for spreading the digital word efficiently:
- Choose Your Audience. It can be tempting to forward multiple links to "Meet Your Meat" and expose slaughterhouse footage to everyone in your contact list, but while some recipients will take an interest, others may write you off as a crazy extremist despite actually being open to other forms of information. Taking the extra minute to hand-pick recipients rather than select all can be more effective in the long-run.
- Don‘t Spam. However relevant a topic is, getting the same e-mail six times can be very frustrating. One reminder to sign a petition can be helpful, but many more times can seem like an attack and reduce sympathy for the cause in question.
- Use Professional Language. Many of us, myself included, don‘t hold ourselves to high standards online with regards to spelling and grammar. However, if calling out a business via e-mail or by leaving a review on its social media pages, a well-written text may be taken more seriously than a message in text-speak.
- Remember the Positives. It‘s easy to find the motivation to complain about an animal abuser or a company that misleads its consumers about which products are cruelty-free, but don‘t forget to post positive reviews and feedback too. A widely-shared Facebook post praising a shoe shop for introducing a vegan line not only reinforces the demand for such products but helps draw other vegans‘ attention to the firm. Likewise, a 5* review on HappyCow both rewards quality vegan restaurants and encourages them to keep up the good work.
- Assume Short Attention Spans. Twenty years ago there were a limited number of magazines and newspapers to choose from, but today‘s readers have an uncountable number of social media posts, e-mails and website news feeds competing for their attention. When writing a post to highlight an animal rights issue or promote a new vegan restaurant, a short and snappy title and text will maintain attention to a degree that a slower-paced introduction may not. Twitter is a good way to practice writing concise titles!
I hope you are all having a lovely start to 2018 :)
Photo courtesy of Giuseppe of the Creative Commons license