Despite my quite dystopian last post about the harms of social media, I am a stark advocate for using digital tools to strengthen feminist movement building around the world. Yet, as the harms of social media can outweigh the benefits at times, I want us to be inspired by approaches that go beyond building a social media following.

Why social media might not be the best tool for your activism or advocacy work

Although social media can be a great way to showcase your work and connect with likeminded audiences – it isn’t necessarily the best tool and here’s why. Social media algorithms don’t work in your favor, they work to maximize attention of its users.

Social media will constantly require you to publish content that may not reach your entire following. Engagement rates on social media are declining, and algorithms tend to favor sensational content that pulls users in to watch – that’s why negative news can be highly viral.

Even if we have over 35 000 followers on Twitter, it is one of the smallest sources for our viewers on Instead search engines account for the majority of users that reach us for the first time.

Checking your social media insights will also show you that many times only a small fraction of your following actually sees what you post. That’s without mentioning engagement rates, that are often even lower. Then all of a sudden, you are rewarded with a post that goes viral or has greater engagement, which keeps you hooked on the social media platforms.

There are of course tactics to use to have a greater impact on these platforms. However, since you don’t own these platforms and they offer very little insight into how their algorithms work and change, you will need to constantly keep yourself updated and informed. What worked last month might not work the next.

Examples of feminist movement building without social media

Just as I encourage you to do in your own life, using digital tools for feminist movement building is all about being conscious about your choices. Are these tools truly effective for your goal? Do they cause any harm? Are these tools accessible and inclusive for the people you’re hoping to reach?

As you review your online engagement for strengthening feminist movements, the following examples may inspire you to think a bit differently.

1. Build safe spaces online

As online violence and harassment is increasingly common on social media and online, feminist movement building requires the creation of safe spaces. These safe spaces offer opportunities to connect, share and strengthen feminists in their work around the world.

World YWCA has worked with feminist activists around the world to build digital safe spaces. They have produced a two-page resource about World YWCA virtual safe spaces. The resource also includes instructions for how to create and conduct a virtual safe space.

2. Safeguard powerful storytelling

Storytelling is a powerful tool to create connection and community. It breaks isolation and the experience of loneliness. In addition, storytelling is a way to strengthen our power, heal and transform as individuals. Social media has a tendency to hijack people’s stories with comments, likes and ultimately judgement. It isn’t always safe space for open storytelling. At Girls’ Globe we encourage first-hand narratives and believe in the power of everyone’s voice to inspire action for positive change. is a storytelling platform where women everywhere are invited to share their story of empowerment in a healing space. This is an example of a powerful space where storytelling allows for inspiration, support, understanding and ultimately personal transformation. provides opportunities for us to connect with our innate power.

3. Publish content that amplifies feminist voices

Quality content is what will sustain in the long run online. The type of content that’s independent of a social media platform’s rise or fall. Podcasts, such as our own Hey Changemaker! Podcast, and online spaces that amplify feminist voices are essential for building solidarity and strengthening feminist movements.

Eyala is a platform by, for and about African feminists. Eyala creates a space to centre the voices and lived experiences of African girls, women and LBTQI people, who dare disrupt patriarchal norms across the continent and in diaspora communities.

4. Make opportunities for connection and collaboration

Strengthening movements online is really about creating opportunities to connect with others. This can be done through storytelling and safe spaces. It can also be done through feminist-led social media spaces, like World Pulse. Connection creates opportunities for collaboration, resistance and powerful advocacy, like through the current 1.8 Billion Young People for Change Campaign.

So, whether it’s creating quality feminist-led content, virtual safe spaces or global advocacy campaigns – there are several ways you can prioritize to strengthen feminist movements online beyond using social media.

At Girls’ Globe we aim to build global solidarity through amplifying and connecting feminist leaders, activists, advocates and organizations.

As a global feminist media platform, it’s our aim to do all of the above. And to connect you with other platforms and partners that are finding new ways to strengthen feminist movements. We know that alternative spaces are essential – especially as the digital world is a reflection of a global patriarchal existence.

Girls’ Globe exists to amplify the voices and stories of leaders of change for gender equality, human rights, social justice and sustainability. That’s why we invite activists, advocates, experts and organizations as members of our global media platform. Together, we can strengthen global solidarity for feminist movements around the world. Learn more and apply for membership here.

This post is part of a bi-weekly column on feminism in a digital world and other issues, by Julia Wiklander, Founder of Girls’ Globe. Please share your thoughts in the conversation section below. To receive the latest posts in your inbox, subscribe.

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