Hispanic Heritage Month begins on September 15 and recognizes the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans on the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.
While the origin of Hispanic Heritage Month feels new to many people, showing your support on social media is the first step in changing that.
To help you better understand Hispanic Heritage Month and how brands can successfully show their support, we asked social media specialist and photographer Leslie Gamboni to share her knowledge on the day:
Understand the background to Hispanic Heritage Month
Hispanic Heritage Month recognizes Hispanic Americans' contributions to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.
The 30-day period begins on September 15 to celebrate the independence anniversaries of Latin American countries Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua.
The timeframe for this month also includes Mexican Independence Day on September 16 and Chile's Independence Day on September 18.
And after the Library of CongressThe US government created Hispanic Heritage Month in 1988, originally called Hispanic Heritage Week.
This is Hispanic Heritage Month at a Glance – But We Have More To Do!
The word Hispanic has sparked a lot of debate since its inception about what groups it includes. The Oxford Dictionary defines Hispanic as referring to Spain or Spanish-speaking countries, particularly Latin America. The word first became widely used through its use in the 1970 U.S. Census.
What is the difference between Hispanic and Latino or Latinx?
Latinx is a gender-neutral form of the word Latino or Latina and refers to a person with cultural ties to Latin America.
The term Hispanic classifies people based on their language, while Latinx refers to the geographic location of a person's country of origin or their ancestors.
Confused? Don't worry, here's a simple breakdown:
Hispanic is a label that describes a diverse group of people of all races, but blacks and indigenous people within that group are often not recognized.
It is important to recognize that these marginalized communities have made a great contribution to the cultural sphere of what we now consider Latinx or Hispanic culture.
Therefore, this year it is important to spend Hispanic Heritage Month continuing the work of the Black Lives Matter movement and focusing on helping the Black, Indigenous and Afro-Latin communities.
Black Lives Matter isn't a trend – it's relevant every day of the year. This also applies to Hispanic Heritage Month. And the good news is, you've already started reading!
If you have a brand or company on social media, this is the perfect opportunity to share that knowledge and understanding with your community.
Hispanic Heritage Month encompasses many different communities, making it a daunting task deciding how to respectfully honor and support it as a brand. However, it is important that companies show their support!
Support Hispanic Heritage Month on social media. Step 1: education
Before sharing Hispanic Heritage Month on social media, make sure to educate yourself and your team on the history, and especially the black and indigenous peoples of this group, who have often not been recognized.
You can use our breakdown of the nuances of Hispanic Heritage Month as a starting point. As you dig deeper into the Hispanic / Latinx communities, it's a good idea to share resources that you have found helpful.
Here are some educational resources you might find insightful:
The Conciencia collective and follow their playlist on Spotify!
The Conciencia collective enables round table style conversations where Afro-Latinx people come together in conversation to discuss the importance of Black Lives Matter in the Latinx community.
Here is a recent episode we posted on YouTube that we liked:
Latino USA from NPR for stories highlighting the experiences of Hispanic and Latin American communities.
Follow on Instagram:
Am i not latina? (@aintilatina) is an excellent Instagram account that highlights the experience and raises the voices of Afro-Latinas.
Encuentro en el Smithsonian, online streaming on September 17th.
The artistic expression conveys meaningful cultural perspectives and traditions. Encuentro en el Smithsonian offers culture bearers the opportunity to share their ideas of identity and culture through their artistic or activist work.
Support Hispanic Heritage Month on Social Media Step 2: Plan Ahead and Do Research
When you immerse yourself in new content, you may be amazed by your new discoveries. Use that excitement to think about how you'd like content to be appropriate for your audience.
Take a moment as you are planning content to reflect the motivation behind the posts you want to share. Take the time to do your due diligence and make sure what you share helps the causes you support in the Hispanic community.
Well-designed, well-researched posts go a long way in building trust between you and your followers.
Posting quickly to bet on a trend can damage your credibility and even skew the work of social justice activists and organizers.
TIP: Avoid making full statements about allies. Focus on resource allocation and platform sharing to keep Black and Afro-Latinx Vote and share actions that you have taken as a brand to inspire others.
Do you need some inspiration on what to share on social media?
look at it Pink root products. your Spotlight on Instagram post by Celia Cruz is a great example of how to share an educational tidbit that reflects the diversity of the Hispanic / Latinx people.
In the Post, they celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month by sharing a brief biography of Celia Cruz, a Cuban Afro-Latina commonly hailed as the "Queen of Salsa Music."
They also included a brief description of the Month of Hispanic Heritage, a small gesture that will help educate and introduce their broader communities about the month.
The article explains why Celia Cruz was a force of nature and at the same time illuminates the enormous contributions of Afro-Latinx to Spanish and Latin American music.
Want to let your followers know about historical Afro-Latinx figures but not sure who to introduce? Start with these resources:
Support Hispanic Heritage Month on social media. Step 3: Promote Indigenous, Black, and Afro-Latin American Businesses
Creating a resource or infographic of companies you support during Hispanic Heritage Month is a great benefit to share with your followers.
It supports minority business owners and provides useful information that your followers can use to use IRL and share on their own platforms.
Here is a good example:
TIP: Do your followers have a niche interest? Share similar accounts from Black and Afro-Latinx developers to introduce new voices to your audience.
An account of the life of an adorable dog named Simon, @ Simonsits, shared a great example of introducing black entrepreneurs.
The post includes a gallery of portraits of black entrepreneurs whose businesses are related to the care of dogs and pets.
Each portrait depicts a business owner and his dog, giving followers an instant glimpse into their personality. Followers were invited to tag @simonsits in pictures of the purchases they made.
By adding a call to action, you can easily interact with your followers by commenting on their posts or sharing how they are helping black-owned companies for your story.
TIP: #afrolatina, #shoplatinx, and #afrolatinx are helpful Instagram hashtags for finding content creators or companies.
Support Hispanic Heritage Month on Social Media Step 4: Share art that sheds light on important history
With the help of social media, creatives can share their art and messages. If you want to support Hispanic Heritage Month on social media, use your platform to expand their work.
It can be as simple as having a spotlight series on Instagram Stories or a carousel collection of your favorite pieces. However, it's important to tell your followers why you think the work is important and always ask for permission to republish and appreciate the artist!
Music and the arts are a powerful way to learn more about Hispanic / Latin American culture. And black and indigenous influence can be found throughout Spanish and Latin American music.
Would you like to learn more? Here's a quick lesson from Rafreyns on Reggaeton on TikTok!
@ rafreyns ## greenscreen ## reggaeton ## latina ## tiktoklatino ## daddyyankee ## latinx ## blackness ## latinosforblacklives ♬ Blackness in Spanish Music – rafreyns
Don't forget that Instagram has a huge music library that you can use to share Hispanic / Latin American music with your followers!
As you explore Latinx music, compile your favorite songs and share them on Instagram Reels or TikTok.
@ asstrology.qween ## greenscreen IVE WAITING FOR ALT LATINX TIKTOK lat ## latinx ## alt ## fyp ## mexicantiktok ♬ Devuélveme a mi chica (Remaster 2015) – Hombres G.
There are so many artists and creators sharing their work on social media. If your brand has a chance to raise their voices, Hispanic Heritage Month is a good place to start.
However, it is important to remember that your efforts in support of Hispanic Heritage Month should go beyond the 30-day period. Think of this as a starting point for long-term support for Hispanic and Latin American communities, and a mission you will continue as a brand.
Whether that means building a broader community, continuing your self-education, or making sure your social marketing fully represents the various communities you serve!
There is no style, palette, or story that represents all cultures that fall into the Hispanic or Latinx category.
Whichever you choose, try to shed some light on cultures that won't be visible this month and have fun learning and discovering new cultures along the way!
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Leslie is a social media specialist and photographer based out of New Orleans. She currently works in digital media for the NBA teams Saints NFL and Pelicans. When not launching new social media campaigns, she photographs the news and events that shape the beautiful city of New Orleans. Say hello on Instagram! – @lesliegamboni