How Effective is Brand Activism on Social Media?

By Casey Elder, Account Supervisor

Brands have been put under the spotlight like no other this year. The way brands react (or don’t react) to social injustices has been watched forever, but this year it was on full display.

In the summer, the way brands reacted to the Black Lives Matter movement did not go unnoticed. Many brands took to social media to express their sorrow, frustrations, and hope for a better future.

Ben & Jerry’s is a brand that has notably always appreciated social justice, but this summer the brand especially used its platform to educate and inspire its followers through social media posts and stories.

Glossier is another brand that used its social media platforms to support Black Lives Matter. Glossier knew that Black-owned beauty businesses deserved better so they committed $500K in the form of grants to Black-owned beauty businesses. This information was relayed via social media and their entire plan and application link was posted as well.

Using social media as a platform to inform and educate consumers is especially important. Participating in brand activism uses a large platform for good and shows consumers that the brand is there for them, respects them, and wants to help make the world a better place.

This is effective not only because consumers notice when their favorite brands participate in social listening but it can also determine whether or not they continue to support their brand.

Additionally, as a brand, their platform is significantly bigger, thus making it that much more important to use that space to share their voice and educate consumers about social issues.

Another brand that has used their platform for good is Patagonia. From implementing a self-imposed Earth tax to supporting youth activists, Patagonia is aware of their impact on the Earth and knows they can use their platform to make a change. Patagonia uses its social media accounts to do more than promote their products.

They share videos from the League of Conservation Voters to educate its followers about environmental policies and videos educating its followers about the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and the threat of oil drilling, to name a few examples.

One of the most important parts of brand activism is that companies know that they are part of something bigger than themselves. Because of this, they fight to make a difference, make a change, and support others in the same fight.

Social media is an effective platform for brand activism because it is a place to share brand personality and often is one of the first platforms for a consumer to explore.