Back in January, we kicked off the year with the first installment of our 2020 Social Media Trends Series, diving into TikTok and Video. By April of this year, a lot had changed, and in the second installment of the series, we discussed two trends ("tribes" and the use of stories) to help make the most of social media in the age of the coronavirus.
The country is slowly opening back up while grappling with the lasting effects of a global pandemic and contending with a serious and long overdue reckoning, catalyzed by the murder of George Floyd and more than 400 years of oppressive, racist, and unacceptable actions against Black Americans.
Social media has played an invaluable role in the Black Lives Matter movement, acting as a resource for much-needed education, amplifying oppressed voices, sharing stories, holding those in power accountable, passing along crucial guidelines to protect protestors and highlighting the many ways in which systemic racism has permeated nearly every single industry for hundreds of years.
The #AmplifyMelanatedVoices movement, which started in tandem with last week’s #BlackOutTuesday, has continued to gain traction. In large waves, social media users and brands across channels have backed off from sharing selfies and quarantine stories and switched gears to empowering and amplifying Black American voices by sharing posts and videos and creating space for stories, and lived experiences, to be heard.
And this week, all across Instagram, white influential women like Senator Elizabeth Warren, Brene Brown, Diane von Furstenberg and Julia Roberts are giving their Instagram accounts over to Black women as part of the very powerful #SharetheMicNow initiative.
These are just a few of the countless ways that social media, for all of its pros and all of its cons, for all its passing fads and its past and current role in polarizing communities, has helped to foster and maintain the much-needed momentum and fire necessary for real change.
As you, and your brand, do your own learning and unlearning, we encourage you to keep an eye on these movements and the ways in which the very basic, fundamental act of creating space in a shared environment has the power to empower those so desperately deserving of being heard. (Making space is of course the bare minimum, but it's a start).
We have spent the past few weeks doing our own reflecting, learning and unlearning. We unequivocally condemn racism in all forms and support the Black Lives Matter movement and the fight to dismantle 400 years of systemic racism, but know that without action, without real honest-to-goodness change, our words are just that: words.
So we will spend the foreseeable future learning, reflecting, and growing internally as an agency, having conversations (some easier than others), while also doing the real work, the boots-on-the-ground work that will allow us to make good on our promise to fight for both environmental and social justice.
We don’t have all the concrete steps outlined just yet, and we’ll make plenty of mistakes along the way, but we’re putting in the work. We hope you’ll join us in doing the same.