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  • Influencers become definitely committed in 2022

    It's not new, influencers are more and more involved in different causes. Kolsquare was the first market player to use the term "responsible influence". This 2021 awareness will continue into 2022. Politics, global warming, cyber-harassment: influencers no longer hesitate to speak out and get their messages across to their communities - and even more so - to defend the causes they care about!
    6 min

    Influencers increasingly involved in various causes

    If some people still think – wrongly – that influencers are only good for sharing coupon codes for dropshipped watches or dental products, it’s because they’ve been stuck a few years back. Today, more and more social networkers are speaking out for good causes, whether they are humanitarian, societal or social.

    In particular, many of them are speaking out to defend the planet and alert us to the environmental risks we all face. This is the case of Hugo Clément, a French journalist and influencer, who regularly alerts his community to the risks linked to deforestation, intensive breeding techniques and over-consumption. He does not hesitate to call politicians to order and to confront them with their promises, as is the case with this Instagram post which has more than 100,000 likes and reminds President Emmanuel Macron of his promise concerning animal welfare.

    In the US, we can mention the writer Ibram Kendi, author of the best-seller « How to be an Anti-racist » and one of the most fervent supporters of the « Black Lives Matter » movement, with 975 K followers on Instagram and more than 320K on Twitter.

    Payam Zamani is the Founder and Charman of One Planet, an investment fund and incubator for tech companies, whose main drivers are societal values and sustainable development. As an Iranian refugee who immigrated to the United States following the Islamic Revolution, he is committed to the refugee cause through his Instagram community, which has no less than 430K followers.

    Another example of a committed KOL is the young Swedish woman Greta Thunberg who is an activist in life and shares all her actions on her Instagram account followed by 14 million followers!

    There are many who are committed to this noble cause. And this movement can also be found among influencers who at first glance have no connection with these environmental commitments. One example is the beauty and lifestyle KOL (Key Opinion Leader) Enjoy Phoenix, who explained in a video some time ago that she no longer wished to receive products from brands after being showered with gifts for years, in order to limit waste.

    The fight against racism is also supported by many influencers who are striving to fight against this scourge. In the United States, and around the world, the Black Lives Matters movement has been amplified by social networks and influencers who have supported and shared the cause on a massive scale. The co-founder of the movement, Alicia Garza, now has 280,000 followers on her Instagram account and does not hesitate to use this channel to spread the movement around the world and raise awareness about this cause.

    Body positive, anti-racism, education, women’s rights,… Social networks are the bearers of many movements thanks to the power of reach of influencers who commit to making the world a better place by using their power and their voice to carry their messages and convictions further and to raise awareness among the younger generations in particular. 

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    Focus on the French presidential campaign 2022

    We all remember the Youtube video of McFly and Carlito with the French President Emmanuel Macron or the round table organized by the government spokesman Gabriel Attal with various influencers, including Marie (Enjoy Phoenix), to discuss the theme of student insecurity. Politicians seem to be more and more inclined to use Influencer Marketing as a lever to talk to young people.

    On the eve of the 2022 presidential campaign, politicians no longer seem to hesitate to use Influencer Marketing to reach out to new voters on the various social networks.

    IFOP and CEVIPOF have conducted various studies in 2019 and 2021 and the figures speak for themselves: social networks are the primary source of information for 18-34 year olds. 45% of them get their information from these media, compared to only 7% for the written press.

    It is therefore easy to understand why politicians are playing the social network game more than ever. Especially since young people vote much less often than their elders: for example, for the regional elections in 2020, 87% of young people abstained in the first round, compared to 67% of French people on average. Conversely, only 40% of the over 70s did not vote (Ipsos survey).

    Using social networks to remobilise young people seems to be the bet made by many politicians today. In addition to partnerships with established influencers, some politicians do not hesitate to launch themselves on social networks. This is notably the case of Jean Luc Mélenchon who now has 600,000 subscribers on his Youtube channel and more than 1 million subscribers on his TikTok account where he does not hesitate to speak out to share his ideas. He is not the only one to have launched himself on this network, which appeals to young people. The Minister of Transport, Jean-Baptiste Djebarri, is very active on the network and now has 665,000 subscribers.

    Politicians or influencers? This trend does not only affect France. In the United States, too, politicians are not hesitating to throw themselves into social networks. We remember, of course, Donald Trump’s antics on Twitter, which led to him being banned from the network. Another example is Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who did not hesitate to play a game of the famous video game « Among Us » in front of nearly 430,000 people live on Twitch two weeks before the presidential election.

    Political influencers are also present on social networks: Hugo Decrypte offers daily decrypts on its various social networks. Some are more oriented than others, but on the left as well as on the right, we find KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) who do not hesitate to take sides and defend their political ideas online.

    Activists are also part of the game and can be found in large numbers on social networks, particularly TikTok. One example is presidential candidate Eric Zemmour, who has many supporters among young people on the network. Some activists even become influencers in their turn, such as Thonia, a pro-Zemmour activist who now has more than 38,000 subscribers on her Tiktok account where she puts herself on stage to defend and share the ideas of her favourite candidate.

    Focus: KOLs and cyberbullying

    Another key issue for which influencers are getting involved is harassment, and more specifically cyber harassment, which is unfortunately very widespread on social networks. Under the guise of anonymity, haters do not hesitate to target and lash out en masse at a person they have designated as a « target ». The recent suicide of french influencer MavaChou is a sad example. The young woman was only recently recounting her descent into hell following the hate campaign she had been receiving since 2019.

    Unfortunately, she is not an isolated case. In France, 40% of students say they have been attacked online. And things are unfortunately not getting any better, with London-based influencer Erim Kaur stating that in her opinion « Harassment has got worse, by 100%, since the confinements started ». She is not the only one to say this, as American youtuber Margaret Hemenway also admits that she has received a lot more hate since the beginning of the health crisis.

    Faced with this scourge, social networks have no choice but to try to reduce these online attacks in order to preserve a healthy space on their applications. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, says that cyberbullying is a priority issue for the social network

    The French subsidiary of the application is launching an awareness campaign. Prevention sessions in 300 secondary schools will take place during the year with the associations Génération Numérique (Kolsquare’s partner since December 2021) and e-Enfance. These will aim to inform children and parents of the dangers and help them to better protect themselves and others from this scourge.

    Twelve influencers will also be involved in this awareness campaign to promote the tools available on Instagram to protect against cyberbullying and to encourage their communities to fight against online bullying.

    This campaign comes at the right time after the bad buzz of the « Anti2010 » hashtag that appeared on TikTok a few months ago, on which many malicious videos were posted about young people entering secondary school this year. This trend led to middle schoolers harassing their classmates online and offline as they entered the sixth grade.

    Another development, this time pointing the finger at Instagram, is the recent revelations by the Wall Street Journal that a third of young girls suffer from physical complexes because of the social network. This article echoes the study of reports that had never before left the Meta group, and which also showed that 13% of suicidal British teenagers believe that their desire to die comes mainly from Instagram. These are chilling figures and demonstrate once again the importance of protecting young people from the sometimes devastating effects of social networks today.