Spotlight on National Social Media Day / by Haley Smith

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June 29th-July 1st marked the celebration of “National Social Media Day”, sponsored by Mashable. To exhibit the diversity of social media experiences that have shaped the lives of many, the Social Media Day Facebook page continually streamed 27 hours (yes, you read that right - 27 hours) of content to thousands and thousands of viewers.

Every speaker had 30 minutes to share how they harness social media for influence and change, and - SURPRISE! Next Gen members gave some wonderful talks!

Read on to learn more about the presentations they gave, and what social media means to them.

 

Kristie Whites

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Our very own Kristie Whites organized and hosted the event online!
"National Social Media Day was created to recognize and celebrate the technological advancement that enables us to connect with real-time information, share ideas, speak and have our voices heard all over the world. The mission is to bring together communities from all over the world to showcase the smart and positive ways that social media has impacted our lives and how it will impact our future.


27 hours of live streaming was ambitious but, we wanted to make a positive impact and we wanted it to be global. I believe that we accomplished just that. Our reach spanned 44 different countries with messaging meant to educate, inspire, and engage. I have to admit that by hour 20 we were feeling it but, we kept going. By the end, we were more awake than we had been in a while. The topics not only reached others but, they reached us. We made new friends and we don't want to stop. NSMD will continue to host speakers with messages that should be heard and we welcome the NG community to join us."
 

 

Satvik Sethi

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“It's no surprise that social media plays a significant role in shaping the discussion on mental health. My talk aimed to highlight how social media can provide resources, as well as play a positive role in stimulating awareness on mental health. Social media has provided every day people with an outlet to talk about the things that bother them, find people to talk to, and just maybe find the motivation to seek professional help.At the same time, I tried to discuss some negative connotations that social media carries in my world. These negative aspects are a result of the users and their lack of mental health awareness and deeply rooted stigma, the online bullying, and the habit of constantly jumping on the latest trend. 

During the talk I highlighted all these factors and much more!”


 

Jacolby Gilliam

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“For National Social Media Day, my talk was about the power of authentic storytelling in social media. Through work with 9INE POINT, I've realized the value stories have and how they can build a long-term connection between our audience and brand. Nowadays as brands we get so caught up in the new growth-hacks trends and algorithms, chasing numbers not connections. Through my presentation, I broke down a content tactic to tell multiple stories through your brand mission by using what I call the web strategy. Which is all about understanding your target audience’s emotions and struggles; then being real and engaging with them with them through mini-stories that align. Authentic Storytelling is often overlooked but can be so powerful for painting a picture that your audience seeing themselves in.”

 

Jacob Chang

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“My talk was about what people are missing about how Gen Z uses social media. Essentially, I talked first about the distinction between millenials and Gen Z on social media: millenials are digital natives (they were born with electronics) but we are social media natives. Essentially, we create our identities through our use of social media whether it be through posts on Instagram or Snapchat stories or whatever else appeals to them. To an extent this shows how we're performative and curate the content that we post to reveal the image of us that we want to show others. Some of the unique ways that we use social media is through our shared love for memes (meme culture) and engaging in subcultures via shared interests (on reddit, tumblr, etc.) as well as speaking in our own intricate vernacular. One point I especially touched on is the importance of video gaming culture to Gen Z especially with the rise of Fortnite. This has lead to the explosion of platforms like Twitch.tv and Discord that are immensely popular within those communities, and the reason why these platforms have been able to explode and attract Gen Z is because they attract these niches/groups and can grow organically through network effects.

Finally, and most importantly, when people see Gen Z'ers on their phone they think we're wasting our time and doing useless activities. But what we're actually doing is each time we comment, like, post, or even watch a video, we build movements because we are sharing and spreading ideas and beliefs. This is what defines Gen Z. We are catalyzers, believers, and social actors.

We've moved from the dated point of view that one person can't change anything, because in the age of social media - one person can do anything.”


 

Haley Hoffman Smith

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“I talked about my favorite social media experience ever: the creation of the ambassador program I started for my nonprofit that helped me take it global. When I was 18, I started an international nonprofit called Lit(erature) Without Limits, which donated books to girls around the world in mentoring groups. I was struggling with finding international contacts when I was just starting out - I wanted to find girls who desired to be leaders in their communities and could lead the chapters like ‘book clubs’. One day, I stumbled across #bookstagram. My presentation was all about finding this untapped audience, mobilizing a large number of girls for a purpose, and how social media was ultimately the vehicle for me to connect girls around the world over literature, almost obliterating any need for a physical book donation. It truly showed me the power of what social media can do, and changed my life forever.”

 

Ishan Goel

As the rise of social media marketing is becoming a common trend the entire marketing industry is switching gears to be able to keep up with new generation of online sales and the death of brick and mortar. Ishan hit on topics like developing a strong and explosive brand using basic growth strategies when it comes to position influencers or basic PR stunts that buys you free media time. He has consulted for over 50+ startups and has been published in publications like Forbes and Business Insider. He currently marketing strategist at the mark Cuban companies and owns IG Marketing LLC.
 

Omer Hazer

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“What is Influencer marketing and why you definitely should care about boutique Influencers?
We all know it's no longer what a brand tells consumers what a brand is. It is what consumers tell consumers what a brand is.
Going off that mindset, it is easy to see the immense value smaller scale Influencers can generate for your business.
Smaller scale Influencers are relatively cheaper to A list Influencers so it's easier to test for your small business. On top of that, data shows that up to 10,000$ every dollar that you spend on boutique Influencers (2.5 - 35k followers) yields 4x the return of that of bigger Influencers (100k followers +).
So why aren't you utilising the power of Influencer marketing for your business today?”

 

Maureen Manjoro

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“I spoke on Social Media Bias. It is one of the Social Media Business Murderer and people end up not knowing what to do or if social media is the right platform after all. The problem with Social Media Bias is it affects everyone and no-one can be blamed. I also spoke on how business owners can deal with wrong or bias on their social media platforms and what users and customers can also do to help themselves not get caught up in the bias. In summary the cure to Social Media Bias is Social Media Responsibility.”