GADDR asked industry leaders for their take on social media trends and the problem that Gaddr is solving – unifying creator’s own digital identity in one place to easily be found and followed across all channels. This article is part of the Social Media Trends series focusing on expert opinions of social media industry leaders and professionals within influencer marketing.
“Women are the advocates to drive change and increasingly, women use social networks to do that”
Morra Aarons-Mele, Founder and CEO at We Are Women Online
We Are Women Online is a strategic communication firm focused on women mobilization and empowerment to action and discussions that matter. Female bloggers and social media influencers who are part of The Mission List – We Are Women Online’s influencer network – have been part of more than one American election campaign and have had an impact on a bunch of political, educational and environmental issues. We simply had to talk to their Managing director Jennifer Vento about the community and where social media fit in!
How do you empower women in WAWO?
We are rooted in the empowerment of women and that comes through the clients that we work with. It is the very mission of the company. So when influencers are updated to become a part of our network, they know that they’re going to be promoting issues that are very important to them. So we pair them with campaigns to work on and we usually make sure that it is a good fit between the client and the influencers. And that makes sense because our mission – for both clients and influencers – is to create meaningful connections. It works out really well, especially when we are doing things that are based on advocacy. And a lot of our clients are looking to find their eco-system online and we help them do that by connecting them to influencers who understand what you’re doing!
What kind of influencers are those in the network? What kind of issues do they mostly work with?
We work on a range of issues and we work with women from diverse backgrounds and the issues vary too.
We have worked on education initiatives.
We have worked on global poverty.
We have worked on political issues.
We worked on the public health issues, including HIV/AIDS.
And the influencers we work with range from teachers to stay-home moms, from young entrepreneurs to women who are working on the next stage of their lives: their children are all gone after school and they’re thinking about what comes next for them. So we really have a diverse group!
Are they mainly digital influencers?
We work mainly with digital influencers. I would say that many of them also are well-influenced in their communities – in physical spaces also. These two reinforce one another, your online and local community. In addition to doing digital campaigns, we are also doing events and get other influencers to speak and attend. They are well-rounded in a way!
The biggest part of what you offer is the actual match-making between influencers and brands, do you also help influencers develop as social creators?
Yes, we come up with the campaign ideas, work with the influencers to create content around campaigns. You can say we are co-creating content with our influencers.
In terms of social media, how do your creators develop their channels and convert followers across their channels?
You know, it differs between campaigns. In some of them the focus is on what platforms are more popular, and where the follower base is. We work with instagramers, youtubers, in addition to more traditional bloggers. And we work with them to develop multi-platform content around our campaigns.
Have you noticed your network growing across different channels that they have?
Absolutely. Just 4-5 years ago most network members were just writing traditional blogs and now we’ve seen lots of growth in terms of visual media. Twitter as well as Facebook are pretty consistent in terms of influence, but we see lots of growth on Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube. There is definitely Snapchat adoption in addition to that.
How do you think creators best make use of having social channels and engaging their followers differently in each of them?
I think it is being in tune with the difference. It’s a community for each platform. They realize what works on facebook does not necessarily work on Twitter and clearly, Instagram is quite different and so I think creators are doing a great job at adapting to suit various platforms. We give them a starting point and we really give the freedom so that their voice is reflective of what they’re sharing. You may talk about things on Facebook that are more personal comparing to what you are sharing on Twitter. So I think our influencers are doing a pretty good job at adapting content to various platforms and maintaining their places.
How do you see creators facing the problem to convert their followers across different channels?
I do see a lot of them using stronger platforms to link out to the other ones that they’re trying to build. They also engage with people who are influencers on the platforms they’re trying to build. And really focus their creative energy on putting a post that will gain traction and learn how to navigate those platforms in the most effective way. But I do think a lot of them leverage the strength to push people to new platforms.
Do you have any interesting example in mind of influencer collaboration leading to higher following?
A crossover between each other’s content is one of the things we’re trying to do when we are working on a campaign with several influencers. We encourage them to share each other’s content. And I think that includes long-term goals: we have a trusted group that is highly noticeable. So that helps build more following – and more relationships. And I think it also helps that the projects we work on concern issues that people are passionate about! That passion comes through in the pieces – they get exposure to a new audience because another influencer has shared their content. It is all driven by the mutual passion for similar issues! That goes a long way.
How do the metrics change when creators mention their other social platforms on their main channels?
I can see the difference in the number but I don’t know what the conversion rates are for that. I can see the numbers are growing in terms of their followers and engagement goals, which is one of the metrics that we really look at. There are influencers that we work with on a very regular basis so whenever I go in and assess what their following and their engagement look like – I see the positive change over time.
What do you see as the biggest growing trend in social media now – the next big thing?
People are getting bolder. The main demographics on Snapchat begin to do more with that platform. I think a lot more people are working to develop a multimedia content like videos and podcasts. We’ve seen growth in Youtubers but I think we’ve seen a lot of growth in the podcast world as well. And I think a lot of people who have found success with storytelling through their blogs and through social media are now trying to replicate that on podcasts.
Many campaigns now must have to do with elections, is that so?
It’s everywhere. It’s like nothing we have ever seen in politics in recent years. We also have influencers focusing on different related issues as well. A lot of folks have specialized podcasts. For example, an influencer we worked with really focused on environmental and eco-conscious living so that is great fit for the campaign now.
You mentioned that more and more creators are using snapchat and creating multimedia content. What related trends do you see?
People use that not as much as you would think though. I’m not seeing Periscoping quite as much. Sometimes people do it at events. I think Facebook live is getting a little bit more attention and little bit less fleeting and Facebook has prioritized video with its algorithm so it does make difference for influencers: they get a little bit more return. We haven’t actually used it for any campaign yet – but we plan to use it soon.
Gaddr is part of the solution to connecting all social media in one place. Establishing the platform that helps to unify digital identity of social media creators, we let followers access all creators’ content in one place and add them on all their channels within a few seconds.