When I woke up this morning I had to rub my eyes twice. Late last night The US Congress protest had led to the death of four people. One of the first ‘counteracts’ Helsingin Sanomat wrote about was the temporary closure of Trump’s Twitter account and disabling the sharing of the video on Facebook. So by closing social media, social impact was also minimised. In this instance, the most effective way to cut the wings of effectiveness is to prevent social media shares that contain false information.
I had promised to write an article about social media and influencer marketing trends in 2021. And the two words into which it all culminates to is social IMPACT.
We’ve talked about the reliability of social media influencers before, and researched their societal impact. Many social media influencers have created meaningful and value based content relating to e.g. nutrition, wellbeing and the environment. Coronavirus pandemic, at the latest, underlined the role social media influencers play also in national and global crisis communications as messengers of rightful information and preventers of disinformation. Almost 50% of the followers of the influencers that took part in the #coronafacts project last spring said that they had changed their behaviour as a result of the information influencers shared.
However, it’s not only about crises when talking about societal and social influencing. A lot happens also in the daily actions of influencers, businesses and social media users. It’s a matter of values, responsibilities and understanding one’s role as part of creating a wider public opinion. As with commercial goals, opinions matter also in societal messages which ultimately shows in individuals’ behaviour. As a counterweight to Trump we luckily also have Greta Thurnberg, who is just as much a social impact phenomenon that centers around one person.
This year social media influencers as well as businesses will all have to answer questions such as ‘why do we exist?’, ‘What are the things we want to have an impact on?’, ‘How are we going to change the world?’, and ‘how can we help our followers and audiences to form opinions based on reliable information?’
We believe that social impact is created like a gourmet meal: by creating a clear recipe, a strategy, and ensuring that all of the important ingredients are involved. Our experience is that the main ingredients are responsibility, choices, interaction and communications. The basics of influencer marketing which are values, authenticity, transparency, professionalism and activity, are the spices to the meal. Find out more on our Ping Ethics page!
Last year we published The Handbook of a Reliable Social Media Influencer together with Mediapooli. The handbook is an open tool for everyone who operates on social media, and we hope that it’ll help you in your work as a content creator or marketer.
We at PING Helsinki continue to do human to human marketing this year as well. We humanise communications, activate influencers and their followers, evoke conversation and create phenomena. We want to help our responsible clients to make brave actions, communicate about them and to change the world together with social media influencers.
– Inna-Pirjetta Lahti & Tuomo Meretniemi