Social Media Day


Jellyfish Insights

Mashable launched Social Media Day on the 30th June 2010 as a way to recognize and celebrate social media’s impact on global communication. Today marks the tenth-annual global celebration of this day. 2020 kick-started with the intense Australian wild-fires, followed by the global pandemic of COVID-19, and then large scale protests against racial inequality. This period will go down in history as one of mass upheaval. Social media has played its role as global connector more than ever. On this “celebration” day, we chatted to a few of our social experts to get their take on where we are today with social media.

Shamsul Chowdhury, VP Paid Social

Much like the Arab Spring of 2011, there’s a revolution brewing and it’s being powered by social media. Racial injustices and social inequality are front and center in our newsfeeds. And with brands spending so much time and money on social media advertising, they’ve had to refine their brand messaging, even brand ethos in certain instances, to show consumers that they are on the right side of this contentious divide. 

Staying silent is no longer an option; silence implies compliance. Brands have been called out and brought to task by consumers, demanding that they take a stand on this racial and socioeconomic issue.  Nike was one of the first brands to be vocal about racism and set the bar for brands. Others have followed suit, such as PG Tips and Yorkshire Tea in the UK, pairing up to create an amazing hashtag: #solidaritea. 

Most important of course, is that  values, boardrooms, investments, and otherwise reflect those sentiments, otherwise, it discredits the messaging. It really is the time to live the ethos of what you are communicating in your brand messaging. 

For brands wondering how to advertise at a sensitive time like this, the most important factor is messaging. With all that’s going on, it’s important not to be insensitive in the copy, or have imagery that has even the slightest chance of being misinterpreted. It’s not so much about having to be unnaturally cautious, it’s more so just being socially aware and stamping out historically accepted norms that are clearly offensive and inappropriate. 

Brands have always posted content on Independence Day (July 4th) in the US, but this year it will be different. With racial tensions reaching well-beyond boiling point, brands can’t use the same cookie-cutter messaging from yesteryear. Their messaging will have to encompass today’s global issue of racial inequality and injustice. Without it, they’d be remiss and just compounding to today’s issues.

Bryony Matthewman, Internal Communications Lead (Social Life)

Social media is an extremely valuable resource for people across the world to connect with like-minded people, allowing marginalized communities of individuals to come together in ways they might never have been able to otherwise. From the dissemination of vital information to the fandoms and online communities that can help people feel a little less alone, or something as simple as having fun for a few minutes whilst waiting for a bus, social media fits into many of the spaces in our lives. Whilst social media can become toxic, I believe the overall positive benefits far outweigh the negatives.

For brands on social, you could run a few ads and do some community management and call it a day. But, when brands manage to truly grow a community around their organic content, they not only help build brand advocates, but also create an environment where people can communicate with each other in such a way that eventually can have little to do with the central brand or product at all. That might seem counter-intuitive – why would you want to spend money and time creating and sharing content that doesn’t result in a direct sale or sign up? Because you’re building something that, when done right, can create advocates for your brand who will not only be long-term customers, but will evangelize your brand within their bubble of influence, both online and offline. And shouldn’t we all be striving for positive change in the world in everything we do?

Kineta Kelsall, Social Media Director (Training)

Social media has a reputation for breeding trolls and hate speech. But you could say the same for the human race, right? The difference with social media is that it gives you a platform to reach the masses with uncensored content and messaging.  

But over the last few weeks, we’ve seen some brands and tech giants get it right. With Yorkshire Tea shutting down racial conversation on Twitter, and Twitter itself expelling one of the UK’s most notorious right-wing activists Katie Hopkins (for her frequent use of hate speech), you could say we’re moving in a “right” direction.

So for brands or social media users wondering whether they should get behind movements like #BlackLivesMatter, #TransRights and #Pride, the answer is yes, of course. Will it relate to all your customers? No. Will you get some backlash? Yes, probably. But you’re using your platform to promote positive speech. It’s not about forcing the message, it’s about sharing your values and support when it’s right.

Does your brand need help navigating social media? Talk to us and let us work together to maximize your impact.