Social Media for Humans

Can you use social media ethically?

May 27, 2022 Alexis Bushnell Season 2 Episode 13
Social Media for Humans
Can you use social media ethically?
Show Notes Transcript

With many people leaving social media and a lot of those who are sticking around struggling with the ethical issues around it, I'm sharing my thoughts on whether it's possible to use social media ethically and where I draw the line.

Links mentioned.
The Ethical Move:
Social for good and #ReclaimSocial with Tereza Litsa:
Ethical small business ownership with Nancy Hyne:
The power of community for ethical business with Katie Skelton:
Ethical business roundtable:

Alexis' links.
I hang out on Instagram:​
Find me on Facebook:
Join the club to learn more about ethical and effective social media marketing:

Voice over by Hawke Wood:

Support the show

Hello and welcome to Social Media for  Humans, the podcast that empowers you to do social   differently. Your host, Alexis Bushnell, and her  guests discuss their experience of social media   as business owners, users, and ultimately  humans. With insights and advice to help   you find an effective and ethical strategy  that works for you, grab yourself a drink  

and join the conversation. Alexis:

Hi, hello,  hi. Welcome to another quick tip episode of the   Social Media for Humans podcast. I am not  sure this is a great topic for a quick tip   but I'm going to give it a go! So today I want  to chat a little bit about whether you can use   social media ethically. So a lot of the people in  my circles, I imagine a lot of you listening, are   interested in being more ethical, in making your  life more sustainable, in not being a dick, so   social media is kind of in pop culture now the  big baddie. It's not run especially ethically by   the people at the top, we know all of the many,  many, many bad things about various different   platforms, so is it really possible? Can  you honestly say with a clear conscience   "I run my business through social media, I use  social media but I am still an ethical person."   Very very quick answer, I believe yes but I will  explain that's not where it ends! I will explain   why. The way I see it, it is not possible for  every single decision you make, for all the   ways you live your life to be 100% ethical in the  current society that, I assume most of us live in.   It's not feasible, you can't do it, so we have  to, day to day, make decisions that choose   the lesser of the evils and, to me, social  media, using social media ethically and using it   to support ethical businesses, to support  charities and causes and social justice movements,   that is the lesser of two evils because yes, you  can just leave social media, you can choose and   not to use social media at all, delete all your  accounts, not be involved in it, but a lot of   people are still going to use social media and it  will be just the people who don't care and that,   to me, is a much bigger problem. So  as someone who works in social media,   and I will also link to an episode I did with  Tereza Litsa which was about using social for   good and the Reclaim Social movement, I  promise you it is not just me saying this!   I am very aware that users have a lot more power  than we think we do and how we use social media   makes a big difference. So if  you run an ethical business it is   very powerful for you to be on social media to  use these platforms to get to a bigger audience,   to grow your business faster, to get to a point  where your business is sustainable faster,   so that you are drawing in customers you are  drawing them away from the unethical alternative,   and also you are educating more people  about why bar shampoo is better,   about why ethical marketing matters, about why  living plant-based is important. These are the   things and the conversations that need to be  happening and they need to be happening loudly and   everywhere because not everybody knows this stuff  and we can make a lot of noise on social media.   So if your business is run sustainably, pays  a living wage, is aware of the supply chain   and makes sure that all that is ethical, if  you are making ethical marketing decisions,   if your business is doing all those things  and you bring in more people to your business,   that is a win ethically. And if you are a  consumer and you don't have your own business,   even if you do but just bear with me here, if  you're a consumer and you are using social media   to share the ethical businesses that you know and  love, to spread information, to support charities   and things like that, again, that is a win because  more people are finding out about those things   and that's a big deal. I will say that, for me,  the line is on paid advertising. For me, and I   will stress this, for me, I will not pay for ads  on social media platforms because, again, for me,   that is where the line is. I don't want to fund  financially, in that way, any of these platforms.   What I want to do is use them to get out  there to people, to grow my own business,   and to grow and help grow the business of other  amazing ethical small businesses. I personally   choose not to financially fund those platforms,  that is a personal decision. There are plenty of   people who run ethical businesses who do run ads  and they run ads because it helps them get further   faster, it helps them make more sales, and if  that is good for you, great, do it! But my choice,   this is partly why I only teach organic social  media, is because that is where the line is   for me. So I'm just gonna break down a handful  of things that, to me, define using social media   ethically. One of those things is just abiding by  ethical marketing principles, in the show notes I   will put links to The Ethical Move who have some  great resources on ethical marketing generally,   so things like not using FOMO to market, not  using really negative feelings like fear and   anger and stuff like that to market your product,  not creating false senses of scarcity. It's also   things like not using clickbait or engagement  bait. It's obviously not buying followers,   not buying engagement, not joining engagement  pods, not doing any of those very sketchy things.   It's also not trying to beat or hack or get  around the algorithm because basically all of   those methods are very unethical. So it's being  aware of what you're doing on social media,   of how you're using it. So yes, I do absolutely  think that you can use social media ethically   and I personally think that small ethical  businesses, all ethical businesses, should   be using social media to grow your business,  to reach new people, to find collaborations   and other ways, and to get PR opportunities and  things like that as well. So it is a really,   really great way to get out there and make  more ethical businesses successful. So   I will leave several links, I also spoke to Nancy  Hyne about running an ethical business, and I also   spoke to Katie Skelton on a previous podcast about  ethical businesses and community, so I will drop   all the links to previous episodes where I have  spoken to other people about these things so you   can check those out if you are interested in a a  more rounded, intense discussion about this topic.   I would really love to hear what you think because  I know this is something that a lot of people are   struggling with, like can you really use social  media ethically? So I would love to hear your view   whether you agree with me, whether you disagree  with me, I don't care, I just want to hear   how it makes sense in your brain basically.  Tell me, you know, where are you on this issue,   do you think you can use social media  ethically? Do you think it's absolutely   not possible? Do you think there's some kind of  middle ground like I do, kind of where it's like   yeah, it depends how you use it? Let me know,  I would absolutely love to hear your opinions.   If you are a small business owner and you would  like support to use social media ethically and   effectively for your business you can come  and join the Social Media for Humans Club,   it is 30 pounds a month and we have all sorts of  trainings and, key, lots of support, places to ask   questions of other people who care about this  stuff and are also overwhelmed by this stuff,   so we would love to have you. You can also  support podcast on Patreon where you will get   early access to these episodes and also guest  episodes. Yay for the upcoming guest episodes!   So yes, okay, I will see you for a guest episode  next week, take care of yourselves. Hawke: If you   want more regular reminders to find your own  way to use social media, follow Alexis on your   social platform of choice, all the links will be  in the show notes. Until next time, be a human.