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Social media has always been an ever-evolving industry, but over the course of this year, it has been pushed to make huge leaps in order to bring people together like never before. The combination of a global pandemic and social unrest has turned these sites into information highways. From informing Americans on how to register to vote in the upcoming presidential election to Tinder attempting to solve catfishing, social media continues to expand as a place for trending topics.


Celebrity & Entertainment

People’s Choice Awards announced, Jennifer Lopez, to be honored as ‘People’s Icon of 2020’

On Thursday, nominations for the E! People’s Choice Awards were finally revealed to the public. Justin Bieber and Megan Thee Stallion lead with six nominations each, however, the spotlight is on the multi-talented star Jennifer Lopez. J.Lo will be honored with the People’s Icon Award on November 15th, highlighting her long history of achievements in the entertainment industry. Jen Neal, General Manager of E! News, Live Events & Lifestyle Digital says, “Jennifer Lopez has an unmatched global appeal and for more than two decades, has given us some of the most iconic, unforgettable performances of all time. For paving the way for artists around the world and single-handedly increasing Latinx representation in music, film, television, and fashion, we're honoring Jennifer Lopez with The People's Icon of 2020.” After the announcement, there was an overwhelming outpour of support for Lopez, as fans came together on social media to congratulate her.

Shawn Mendes teases new single coming out October 2nd and album Dec 4th via Instagram

On Wednesday, September 30th Shawn Mendes announced via Instagram that his new single, titled ‘Wonder’, is being released on October 2nd. This will be followed by a full album release of the same name on December 4th. To increase excitement and engagement for the single, Mendes created a website with the URL “whatiswonder.com.” The website features an intimate 360 tour of an apartment, which fans believe contains easter eggs hinting to aspects of the new album. At 12am ET on October 2 the full song and video for Wonder premiered and were met with rave reviews by fans and musicians alike. Justin Bieber commented fire emojis on Mendes’ Instagram post and the music video quickly rose to #3 on the YouTube trending charts.


Brands & Industry

Neiman Marcus Sustainable Approach

Online shopping has transformed into more of an experience in this digital age, which brands like the Neiman Marcus Group have begun to capitalize on. NMG announced they are switching their focus to the customer experience by building a seamless encounter online and in stores. In order to achieve this, NMG is strengthening the omnichannel customer journey, growing customer lifetime value, and focusing on full-price selling by streamlining the Last Call. NMG is also reinvesting in its supply chain by initiating the sale process of two Texas distribution centers. These tactics all come together to achieve NMG’s main goal of sustainable longevity. It will be interesting to track what brands, luxury or not, follow in the footsteps of NMG.


Social Media & The Election

As the Presidential election quickly approaches, social media platforms are increasingly promoting and integrating voting registration into their apps. Aligning with National Voter Registration Day, Instagram and Snapchat implemented voting tools for users to easily access in-app. Instagram has instituted pop-ups and ads that are linked to resources for more information on the voting process. The app also partnered with TurboVote to make registration as simple as possible, as well as adding stickers to Instagram stories that link back to verified resources, such as VotingInfoProject.org. Snapchat has also taken strides to increase voter registration traffic. According to TechCrunch, the app introduced voter-focused programming. The programming features celebrities such as Snoop Dogg, Barack Obama, and Arnold Schwarzenegger, along with launching new Snap Originals focusing on the election. Snapchat has reported that the app alone has helped 750,000 users register to vote.

David Dobrik teamed up with Headcount for a Tesla giveaway. So far, the giveaway has resulted in nearly 100,00 new voter registrations.

Influencers are also stepping up to the challenge of encouraging their followers to vote. The non-profit organization HeadCount was one of the first companies to bridge the gap between politics and entertainment. Teaming up with artists like Ariana Grande, John Mayer, and Billie Eilish, HeadCount has sought partnerships with social media influencers to prepare for the election in November. On Tuesday, Youtuber David Dobrik announced his partnership with HeadCount on Instagram by hosting a giveaway of five free Teslas. The contest requires users to share the post on Instagram stories, tag a friend in the comments, and check up on your voter registration via the HeadCount website. The post currently has over 3 million likes, and HeadCount reports 200,000 users have looked into their voter registration as well as 100,000 new voter registrations on their site. As it is just the beginning of October, we can only expect to see HeadCount expand on their partnerships allowing for a larger and younger generation to become aware of the importance of voting.


Pinterest Ad Slots

With the holiday season quickly approaching, social media platforms are developing and constructing new ideas to integrate businesses onto their sites. One particular app that is forgoing new ways to increase holiday promotions and sales is Pinterest. The new features include more ad slots to help increase product visibility. According to SocialMediaToday, advertisers will be able to place ads in Pinterest Lens matches, the 'Shop' tab within Pinterest search, and even shopping matches on Pins. Along with these features, Pinterest is also implementing more detailed insights on specific pin performance. This allows for verified merchants to see in-depth metrics on the performance of organic and promoted pins. These new updates will allow for businesses to expand their markets and maximize product exposure.


Influencers

Bryce Hall’s new podcast about finance ‘Capital University’

Head of the TikTok creator collective, Sway LA, Bryce Hall is branching out in order to grow his entrepreneurial side. To kick off this transition, Hall launched a podcast titled ‘Capital University,’ to educate himself and his fans on the importance of money management. Co-hosted by professional investor Anthony ‘Pomp’ Pompliano, the two will provide advice on investing, financial security, and share their stories of generating wealth and financial mismanagement. It’s not uncommon for influencers to transition to new platforms such as podcasts, however tackling the subject of finances has yet to be done by a lifestyle influencer. Starting off ‘Capital University’ with a bang, Hall and Pompliano will feature an interview with ‘Shark Tank’ entrepreneur and TV personality Mark Cuban. With Hall’s total follower count at 25 million and the success of Pomp’s own podcast, we believe Capital University is paving the way to something new in the podcast game.

#TinderPartners with TikTok Influencers

Since Tinder is the most popular dating app in the United States, with 7.86 million US users according to Statista, the popular dating app has set the tone for creating innovative ways to generate user engagement and growth. Though apps like Tinder have changed the game when it comes to dating, they also come with many privacy and safety stemming from meeting strangers in real life. The misuse of fraudulent profiles, or ‘catfishing’, is an issue that happens to users daily. To add more security to dating profiles, Tinder launched photo verification which allows people to take a selfie mimicking the photos of yourself on your account. Once submitted, accounts will be under review and soon return with proper verification, symbolized as a checkmark. To spread the word about this new feature, Tinder has partnered with a mass amount of influencers on TikTok including Zane Hijazi, Bretman Rock, and Lele Pons. The partnership features the influencer posting a video about the app and use the hashtag #TinderPartner. Some #TinderPartners TikToks include simple instructions on how to get verified. Other videos take a comedic approach - like @thehousenobodyaskedfor ‘s TikTok on how Anthony, the “robot” got verified on Tinder and it has made him more human. So far, this campaign has accumulated over 19.7 million views on TikTok.

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