Generation Activist: Everyone’s Involved in Politics on Social Media



At #SMWLDN FleishmanHillard hosted a panel discussing how social media has shaped politics.


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At Social Media Week London 2018, Brett Kobie, SVP and Director at FleishmanHillard hosted a panel featuring Peoples Vote’s Director of Marketing Sarah Baumann, Head of International Communications EMEA at Bridgestone, Shweta Kulkarni Van Biesen, and Founder and CEO of Hubbub UK, Trewin Restorick to discuss how social media has shaped politics.

The current state of UK politics is similar to a pile of sick on road the morning after that nobody wants to go outside to clear up. Luckily, thanks to social media, they don’t have to. Whatever we do or say online has impact. Everybody has an opinion and technology has provided us with more tools than ever to voice them.

Kobie picked apart the thoughts of Kulkami Van Biesen, Restorick and Baumann to outline the effects social media has on brands, corporations, the individual and why it matters to, ultimately, the world.

There’s a corporate struggle…

Corporate companies have a history of talk-down thinking and visions on walls. It proves difficult to give up control as a corporation and Kulkami Van Biesen noted how people go to Instagram to figure things out. “These are the types of tools we should be giving to employees,” she urged.

Baumann explained how brands can use social and political developments in their audiences to understand what’s is going in order to progress. “By looking for cultural truths, we can lose the truth,” she mentioned. Brands develop their own insights based on, but not directly involved in truths, thrive.

Yet, Social Media Allows Authenticity

Social media has opened up the opportunity to be more and more authentic. It closes the gap between personal and professional values and corporate companies need to understand this.

They often take the back seat by funding campaigns as opposed to embodying them. It was agreed that companies shouldn’t take a stance on social issues unless they’ve really done their homework. That way authenticity doesn’t need to be justified and actions aren’t done just to make brands more superficially relevant.

…And Celebrates Collaborations

Online is a political hotbed and everything shared or posted has immediacy tied to it.

Collaborations are often the safe space for organizations to get messages out and to a wider audience, as one brand’s demographic may be different to another, yet they’re all affected by politics because they’re living in the same world. One tweet seeps into another and leaves breadcrumbs.

Action Will Always Be At The Core

Baumann stressed how social media is the organizational tool in order for action to be planned and taken. It builds, connects and acts as a foundation for movement. A platform, amplifier, and trampoline. “You can go out and leaflet and host parties, reaching different communities as well as your own. Peoples Vote have hosted seven rallies all over the country for our summer of action, and the march in London a month ago.”

It’s evident that there’s no fast way to a revolution, but one can be manufactured online. “Understand visibility – people can see you,” Restorick stressed. It’s not rocket science. Social Media creates a narrative that pushes real life to happen faster.

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