Movements Are Worth Making Sticky
Once upon a time I was a YouTuber. A possible sign that I have ADHD was building a whole brand around a social media presence I maintained for only a few months. This got me thinking about online social media brands and how they apply to activism and their movements.
Faetale may never become a memorable brand— but some online community driven “brands” we do remember are #Ferguson and Occupy Wall Street. Ferguson evolved from hashtags including “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot” and #NoAngel; to becoming a part of the larger Black Lives Matter and Say Their Names movements. Similarly, Occupy Wall Street evolved from “We are the 99%” to Eat the Rich. Evolution is an appropriate term for how this came to be because it didn’t happen overnight, directly, or always in an obvious way yet it is clear where we are today and where we came from.
You could say these movements were sticky. That is to say, movements with staying potential. A way to get a movement’s brand to stick is to rely on a person’s self-efficacy, altruism, and inner desire to enhance their reputation or social status online by being (Chiang et al., 2015, pg 98) in the know and being seen as a good person. Hubspot found sharing short-form video brands significantly increase their reach. This, however, is counter to what the world saw with Kony 2012 that despite being long-form video was shared in a viral fashion. While in the end Kony 2012 may not be considered a success, it did have a promising sticky brand even going so far as offering action kits.
Despite passion for a cause that we wish would be able to stand completely on its own as succeeding on its own merits it’s clear that causes can be helped by being sticky with a good brand. By skipping this step, proponents may leverage the advantage of a quality brand that may be more memorable than the original cause. This can be seen all the time in debates like pro-choice VS pro-life or Black Lives Matter vs Blue/All Lives Matter. Words matter as much as the underlying cause of which they support. Let’s keep movements worth fighting for sticky.