Look around you. We are forced to focus on what is really important in our world. All of the distractions are stripped from us. What is left are some major issues that need solving. From being forced to physically distance ourselves from one another during the Covid-19 pandemic and all that resulted from it including the lack of sports, parties, bars, and restaurants to more recently facing the harsh facts about racism in the United States. We are presented with an opportunity to approach these things head on.
As a gapper, we have the opportunity to attend trade shows throughout the year that give us education on our industries, connect us to like-minded people, and help us understand where the markets are going. While the majority of trade shows were cancelled this year due to Covid-19, Social Media Week adapted. What was supposed to take place in May and June with events on the east and west coast, respectively, evolved a single online event dubbed Social Media Week One or SMWOne. The trade event took place over the course of the entire month of May and included speakers and topics that were set to appear at both live events. The topics also evolved to highlight what is going on and changes in the Social Media world due to Covid-19.
At gap intelligence, we stay ahead of what is going on in our markets and as more marketing dollars get fueled through Social Media, we want to ensure we understand the channel and how we should view it. The event took place before the tragic death of George Floyd and the resurgence of support for Black Lives Matter. Looking back at some of the segments that I watched, influencers and companies demonstrate how some of the advice and best practices are used in a real world situation to connect with their audiences in the most authentic ways and use this channel for good.
Below I will highlight four topics that were discussed at Social Media week and how we have seen those come to life and amplified over the past couple of weeks.
Spread the Word
While the focus of many marketing companies that presented at SMWOne was obviously on sales, they touched on how social media provides an opportunity to spread all sorts of information. Feeds are saturated by the same things from all creators and that repetition can fade into the background. Those that find ways to stand out are those that are heard. While influencers were once just everyday people turned social media celebrities, they are now considered a channel. Yes, they are a sales channel, and we will get to that, but they are an information channel. People listen to them for good and bad…hopefully more good. Right now, we have seen influencers stop their regular content and participate to spread information on white privilege, systemic racism, and why the Black Lives Matter movement is so important. We have seen them take a stand and flood our information pipeline with truly important issues. And they have a captive audience waiting and willing to listen.
Speak with Your Money
You can now purchase natively from several social media apps, which is good for businesses and creators (social media influencers). We are in a time where our economic health has been completely challenged. People are out of work and many are wondering where their next meal might come from. People are scared of getting sick, they are afraid of the unknown, they are afraid of one another.
Yet, during this very loud and transformative Black Lives Matter movement, social media as a sales channel is being used for good. Content creators are able to quickly and easily showcase black-owned businesses through their platforms and likely help garner sales like many of these companies have never seen before. We don’t often think about who owns the companies we are buying from. However, now is a time where that is being more highlighted than ever and social media platforms are allowing for that information to quickly reach the masses.
Social media can be a hard place to track impressions and brands often are unsure of the impact that campaigns actually make without advanced tools. The impact of the recent events and the sharing of black-owned brands across industries makes clear how powerful social media can be. Your spending makes a difference and the businesses you choose to support with your dollars is more powerful than they may realize. This has been amplified more than ever in the past few weeks.
In addition to businesses, several organizations have been highlighted across social media platforms where people can donate. The work has been done for you in many cases with several of these already vetted and their information readily accessible.
About three months ago, many of us were stripped of our closest human connections. No more going to the office, no more sports, no more going to brunch with the girls, no more concerts, and barely a wave to your neighbor across the street. That left a huge void that has been filled with zoom and Google hangout calls, hours on Instagram, and entertainment from TikTok videos. Our CEO wrote an insightful blog a few weeks ago discussing that connection is a human necessity and it won’t go away. While we can’t connect in person, we find ways…we adapt.
Thank goodness for social media. And while many connect about different topics in ordinary times, the resurgence of Black Lives Matter has given way for everyone to connect on this topic. I can’t think of a time in my lifetime where nearly all content available was streamlined to address a singular movement. For those that didn’t understand how this impacted them likely have learned that. For those that were not sure how to participate have likely found out. For those that didn’t know what to say, they have been able to listen. Social media allowed people of all walks of life to connect with one another to work to understand each other like never before. Our country has been plagued with racism for over a century. What gives me hope that we will make real change is our ability to connect like never before, which can lead to education, and real fundamental change.
Social media has gone through many evolutions in its relatively short time in existence. Where we have arrived today requires that social media, at its core, needs authenticity. The tool gives anyone who wants one a voice. What makes some voices louder than others often comes down to authenticity. Think about the people you gravitate toward on social media. They have a personality that pulls you in but they have an authenticity that keeps you there. We have seen some of the most authentic content during these last couple of weeks and the focus on the black community and the change that our country needs to see is coming through. We see pain and passion and we are listening.
The Power of Social Media
There has never been a time where we have been forced away from each other and simultaneously pulled so close together. While everyone is entitled to their opinion, some things are not up for debate. Some things are simply right and wrong. SMWOne brought together a community of social media influencers and content creators, brands that participate on the platforms, and media companies that provide analytics and advice all together through a remotely run event. The messages and advice they gave to brands and content creators may have been focused on a hundred different industries driving information for a thousand different topics. But what we have seen is the true power of social media for positive information sharing, giving a voice, and allowing those of us that need it a place to listen.
For more than 17 years, gap intelligence has served manufacturers and sellers by providing world-class services monitoring, reporting, and analyzing the 4Ps: prices, promotions, placements, and products. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 619-574-1100 to learn more.