by Brittany Garlin
6 min to read
Is this your first year celebrating AAPI Heritage Month? If so, you’re probably not alone. Awareness of inclusive national days and months is continually increasing, and brands are looking for ways to celebrate with their customers the significant days most important to them.
A recent study found that anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 150% since the pandemic started. The past few years have been tremendously tough on the Asian community, this month marks a time to acknowledge and recognize the many contributions made by people who identify as AAPI.
May was chosen as the month to celebrate Asian Americans’ and Pacific Islanders’ Heritage based on two monumental dates for the United States: May 7, 1843, and May 10, 1869.
May 7th, 1843 was the date when the U.S. first welcomed Japanese immigrants into the country. And May 10th, 1869 is when the first-ever U.S. transcontinental railroad was completed which had significant contributions made by the AAPI community. The first U.S. transcontinental railroad was a major development for the American West as it cut travel time from months to just shy of a week.
African American Civil Rights activities paved the way for the AAPI social movement in the 1960s and 1970s. The umbrella term “Asian American” was not even widely adopted until the ’60s, when different Asian ethnic groups banded together in solidarity.
Today, 64% of consumers worldwide will buy or boycott a brand solely because of its position on a social or political issue. Social activism is more prominent on social media than ever before, and awareness of AAPI Heritage Month has grown tremendously.
Consumers, especially younger demographics, people of color, LGBTQ individuals, and people with disabilities, are recognizing and rewarding brands that foster diversity, share their values, and support causes that promote social equity.
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AAPI Heritage Month is a time to celebrate and amplify the Asian and Pacific Islander community.
“We can’t talk about AAPI Heritage Month without mentioning the trauma that the Asian community has gone through over the past few years,” says Madelyn Chung, founder and Editor-In-Chief of the Asian-Canadian media platform, @RepresentAsiansProject.
“I think that’s why more than ever, it’s really important to use this month to highlight and celebrate the Asian community. It’s important to amplify all of the contributions, the great people who paved the way for us, and those who are making us proud.”
With that in mind, here are four tips for celebrating AAPI Heritage Month on social media:
If this is your brand’s first time celebrating AAPI Heritage Month, then it’s best for you to diversify your social media following, learn from AAPI accounts, and understand the history.
Once you have educated yourself and your team, you can successfully uplift and support the AAPI community in a way that will make an impact.
After your brand (and the marketers managing your accounts) have started learning more about the AAPI community, it’s time to share that knowledge with your audience!
Educating your followers about AAPI Heritage Month can be done through an IG story series (or Instagram Reels), a roundup of the top AAPI-owned businesses in your niche, or a scheduled carousel post to drive traffic to a blog post or landing page with more information.
Use this month to spread awareness of the AAPI community and the contributions that they are making. Now is the time to amplify their voices by using your network to acknowledge and celebrate them.
As marketers, we understand the importance of getting to know our target audience. A lot of our key messaging and content comes from psychology and the behaviors of others.
Long gone are the days when you could make some content around a feeling you had that it will do well. Now, we rely on key insights and data collected to ensure that our bottom line goals are successfully achieved. So, with that being said, let’s dive into some stats.
With this knowledge, it’s important to evaluate if your current content is reflective of all of the different customer personas within your target audience. There’s no doubt that the AAPI community is part of that audience, and your brand has a responsibility to ensure that your target audience is represented in your content.
Educating your community about AAPI Heritage Month is important. But, if you need some guidance or are worried about saying the wrong thing, pass the mic to someone from the AAPI community.
Amplify Asian voices by allowing them to shed light on the cause through your company channels.
you can host a social media takeover on your stories, do an interview for your blog, or ask customers (or employees) from this community to share a quote.
Your brand could also use your channels to spotlight shortlists of AAPI businesses and creators relevant to your industry. By doing so, you’re creating a resource for your followers to share and thus, harnessing the true power of social media through social currency.
AAPI Heritage Month is not a time for your brand to jump on the bandwagon and add this national month to your content calendar to receive a boost in engagement.
May provides you with a full month to learn from AAPI accounts and understand the history. This paves the way to have more diverse conversations and open up new perspectives to better serve ALL of the people in your target audience.
Don’t forget to look internally too — is your brand or agency doing its part in creating a forward-thinking and inclusive culture?
Now is the time to do good. As marketers, we have a unique privilege. We have access to influential brands communication channels that has a significant impact on society. You have the choice to to act as a force for good, or squander that privilege.
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