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The Influential Times Episode 7

by | Feb 3, 2020 | ,

For the last month we’ve been putting aside real content gems to provide you all with an industry round up of what’s been going on throughout the month of January, adding our two cents. Despite us only being one month into the year, it’s been big already …

Global PR & Research agency Edelman are back with this year’s Trust Barometer, an exhaustive survey of public attitudes in 26 markets worldwide. They’ve asked thousands of respondents how they feel about businesses, media, NGOs & government to bring us this definitive guide to public trust. The headline for industry influencer relations is that trust in company technical experts, academic experts and “people like me” stayed strong, indicating marcomms professionals would do well to integrate opinions from these groups into their content strategy.

The long-awaited successor to Vine – Byte – launched this week, with a promise to deliver reliable monetization for its creators. Persuading creators to sign up and invest their time in Byte is one major challenge, but in the linked piece, Chris Stokel-Walker explores another potential issue – cross-platform posting. A big part of TikTok’s success and meteoric user growth lies in the ease with which users can download content and repost it quickly to Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. If the “legacy” platforms start to crack down on this, the video-based newcomers could be in trouble.

What happens when the employees are not happy with what their employer is doing (or not doing!)? This is where we see ‘Employee Activism’ come to the fore. This has been around as a concept for a while already but this month has seen the clash between Amazon and its employee come to a head as the company tried to lock down employees speaking out only to see ever more coordinated employee action. This type of activism is partly about generational differences, and brands who get it wrong can expect coordinated employee action against them – but if they are extolling values that are aligned, then employee activism becomes employee advocacy and can be a great boost for a brand. Employee social media power = a powerful double-edged sword!

Much has been written about the ‘demise’ of ‘influencers’ due to various concerns about authenticity, fraud/bots and disclosure. It’s been argued that what people want instead of ‘influencers’, are ‘advocates’ – i.e. people who are influential online but are focused on championing a particular cause, e.g. climate action, access to education, human rights, etc. Some influencers have now dedicated a part of their activity to ‘advocacy’ – i.e. posts supporting a cause or a charity. But how should brands decide which ‘advocates’ they should work with if they also want to get involved in supporting a cause?

The business networking platform unveiled proposed changes to their popular Elevate platform with the aim of making it easier to drive employee engagement through Company Pages. LinkedIn suggested that Core Elevate functionality would be available for page admins by the end of 2020, at which point Elevate would cease operating as a standalone app. This move will likely consolidate Elevate’s popularity with marketers looking to leverage employees as a channel for brand messaging.