The influence of African Americans on social media can be found almost anywhere – pop culture, music, fashion, and even politics. 44% of African Americans use social networks to show support for their favorite companies or brands.¹ Yet, the same Black social media users who generate buzz around the world’s trendiest topics are largely overlooked by the brands they’re supporting. Black History Month is a great time to shine a light on them.
The usage of social media sites to reach African Americans has been proven to increase consumer engagement, as 81% of African Americans are more likely to show support of a company via social media.² Nielsen reported that $1.2 billion of ad spend in the first half of 2022 was targeted toward Black and African American audiences.³
Black History Month: Black Creators and the Influencer Gap
In Forbes’ 2022 Top Creators List, only nine creators were Black, out of 50 people. In the Top-Earning TikTokers of 2022 list, Forbes revealed that collectively, the top-earners had made $55.5 million. However, not a single Black creator landed a spot on that list.
Black creator, Khaby Lame (154.9M followers) has more followers than TikTok’s highest paid creator, Charli D’Amelio (150M followers), yet Lame did not secure a spot on the list. According to research conducted by MSL and The Influencer League, the racial pay gap between white and BIPOC influencers is 29%. The gap widens to 35% between White and Black influencers.⁴
In the summer of 2021, many Black TikTok creators went on strike, refusing to create and post new dances until credit was given for other popular dances created, including The Renegade. The strike later prompted TikTok to release their commitment to diversity and inclusion and create the @blacktiktok page to highlight Black creators and diversity.⁵
The #BlackLivesMatter movement began as a hashtag in 2012 after the shooting of Trayvon Martin. Today, the hashtag has become a political organization with over 4.7 million mentions within #BlackTwitter.1
Speaking of #BlackTwitter, it has quickly become one of the most influential communities across all social media platforms. #BlackTwitter is simply African American Twitter users, using the platform as a catapult for social issues, Black history, pop culture, and sharing the commonalities of simply being a Black person.
#BlackGirlMagic was created to shed light and praise the capabilities of Black girls and women. #BlackBoyJoy was used to show Black men, of all ages, in all their glory and fight the negative stereotypes within today’s society.⁶
*Photo by Oladimeji Odunsi on Unsplash
¹ Black Influence Goes Mainstream in the U.S. Nielsen
² African Americans And Social Media. Marketing Resource Solutions. https://reachmrs.com/?p=436
³ Black/African American Representation. Nielsen.
⁴ MSL Study Reveals Racial Pay Gap in Influencer Marketing. MSL Group.
⁵ Black Influencers vs. the Social Media Wealth Inequality. CofC.
⁶ Black Twitter: The Impact and Inspiration. Medium.