2 months ago

The New Normal Series

By Jillian Flores

New Normal, [noo nawr-mahl] noun;  the time we find ourselves in. Where nothing is the same. We cling to the longing of feeling connected, in control and hopeful, and yet, we’re functional. To a degree.

The New Social Era is Here And it’s More Social, Less Media

3 months ago: 

In the middle of our world grappling with Covid-19, I read on an Instagram post, amidst the depths of my own scrolling, that ‘values must change for people to change’. I believe this to be true.

Today: 

As we enter into what some might call a ‘new normal,’ one value that shined during the past few months is that of connection. As the usual rules and routines of how we interacted as a society were halted, the way to stay connected was by adopting virtual behaviors. Most every interaction became a virtual one. And, these points of connection have transformed how we communicate and how, as a society, we socialize in the social space. 

Enter - The New Age of Social 

In March of 2020 the new age of social media began. 

Think about it. For the last 5 years we’ve been in the Ice Age of social, nothing drastically changed. Behaviors on social platforms have been stagnant for the most part. Most brands use social media to show rather than create, and while everyone can be a creator, many are watchers. 

Over the last few months a new social era has emerged, one that puts participation and doing at the center. One that demands more socializing, and less media pushing. Instead of highlight reels, there has been an influx of activity taking place on the channels themselves; challenges, concerts, behind the scenes celebrity content. Using social media to create the interaction that people crave in real life. 

 We Set Out to Understand How The Impact of a Global Pandemic Impacts Social Behavior

Moosylvania's mission is to understand how and why people adopt brands and join communities. We recognized this "new normal" we are all a part of, even trendsetting influencers and A-listers, and went back to the whiteboard. We asked "how has coronavirus impacted pop culture?" We looked at it through the lens of social media platforms

We began to research how digital behaviors are changing and what the implication is for brands. We found that while the coronavirus has not changed everything, it certainly has accelerated everything. The pandemic has made social media more social, less media. There is more socializing within the media, more doing, less simply posting. More interaction, events, activity, expression. And, viral challenges started taking over.

At the crossroads of video, influencer participation and the need to connect emerged the ease of self-expression through viral challenges. These challenges have become the new social vernacular of participation.

Okay, yes, you're right viral challenges are not new. Ice bucket challenge, Harlem shake, planking, have been fads over the years. But, the frequency at which challenges are happening, the rules of engagement and the degree of participation mean that we are expressing culture through viral challenges. 

They are an integral part of how we, now, relate to one another. And not just the individuals you know personally, but celebrities that now are more personally relatable. They, too, are joining in the fun, sharing their homes, habits and humor all as a way to participate. Brands have to understand how to become involved in order to be relevant on this new so-called channel of conversation. 

We analyzed 4 challenges across 3 elements of culture; humanitarian, aesthetics and fun. We looked at the frequency, reach, popularity and challenge DNA. How brands participated and what separated the ones who were successful and the ones who were not. 

From there we developed the guidelines for brand participation in viral challenges. The keys to when and how to join in, lead or recognize passive participation. 

Because right now we might be in the ‘new normal,’ but it doesn’t mean we can put a pause on participation. Brands are being asked to:

  1. Join in 
  2. Listen in & learn more
  3. Be more human  

Just like the rest of us. To do this, we have to know the social frequency of conversation, brands have to be able to participate with people.

Moosylvania is helping brands navigate the impact that the coronavirus has had on social behaviors. To discover how these learnings can help your brand, contact Whitney.voigt@moosylvania.com.

We're ready when you are.