Black Voices Matter on Social Media, and Corporate America is Listening

Social networking and community have been the hallmarks of black society in the United States since its beginning. Church and community gatherings were critical to survival and evolution.

That’s why it should be no surprise that blacks have not only embraced social media, but are using it to evolve issues and information that have long been unattended by the mainstream media.

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“The black social media movement can only be characterized as powerful and growing,” says Andrew McCaskill, senior vice president of global communications at Nielsen.

“Black Twitter consistently drives global, trending topics and cultural conversations.  As blacks become an economic and social force, social media can be leveraged by spaces like the financial services industry as a marketing and advertising tool,” he adds.

A recent study by Nielsen titled, African American Consumers: The Untold Story, found that blacks with a household net income of $100,000 or more use social media in the following ways:

  • 44% to show support for their favorite companies or brands
  • 44% to meet or network with professional contacts
  • 29% to find out about products and services
  • 14% to find information about news or other current events

Nielsen research also finds that more than 70% of whites say they believe African Americans influence mainstream culture on everything from fashion to music and entertainment.

“African Americans are clearly trendsetters, and our results found that they definitely use social media to either show support for brands, or if they don’t like a brand. This can’t be ignored by the marketing and advertising community,” says McCaskill.

“African Americans should recognize that they have these amazing tools to influence what products and services come into their communities. They have these incredible tools to have influence on culture, and the digital sphere. How they use that, is up to them,” he adds.

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