👩🏽‍🤝‍👨🏾 Community Case Studies | 👀 Anthro Newsletter #025

Your weekly newsletter on brands, campaigns, culture and insights.

Welcome to your weekly source of must read content about brands, culture and actionable insights. If you’re a founder, at a start-up, in agency or in house - this is the place for your dose of industry news. I’m trying to make this one of the most valuable emails you receive each week. If you’ve enjoyed this issue, please hit the 💗 button.

Hey Anthro fam! Hope you’re all doing well!

Some of you already know I’m running some beta tests for Twitter’s new live audio chat function, “Twitter Spaces”, over the next few days. The world of social media is changing fast and IT’S EXCITING!!!

On Monday 1st February (tomorrow!), I’m hosting an extra cool session and you’re all invited! It’ll be a live audio chat with Twitter Product Marketing Manager, Samir Sheth. So if you want to ask Samir any questions about marketing roles, his career journey, product marketing in tech and social media or anything else - this is your chance 🔥

For those of you new to Spaces, it’s a live audio function on Twitter, that should be rolled out later this year. It’s Twitter’s answer to Clubhouse, but way cooler 😉 In case you missed my cheat sheet on the new platforms in social media the other week, you can find it here.

💌 Here’s your formal invitation:

Follow me and Samir on Twitter to make sure you don’t miss it 👋🏽

Right, let’s get into it!

Here’s what you’ll learn today:

  • How a social media community manipulated Wall Street & opportunities for brands to cultivate trust

  • Holistic wellbeing communities leading the move away from "modern” medicine

  • Edelman’s 2021 Trust Barometer and Ketchum’s cultural trends

The power of a 25,000 strong team on social: They can bring down Wall Street

My mind was blown last week when I was part of Anthropologist Annaliese Milano’s “Crypto Salon” discussion where attendees were discussing the the cross over between meme culture and cryptocurrency culture. We got onto the biggest story of last week - the stock market manipulation and one attendee drew our attention to the scale of the Discord group(s) helping drive the changes to Gamestop and AMC share prices.

Traditionally, Discord is the social platform of choice for gamers to chat (text, voice, video). Increasingly, other niche groups are taking to Discord to host their communities. A community on Reddit “r/WallStreetBets” decided to shift conversation to this community app to further their goal of forcing “hedge funds into losing millions of dollars on their bets against struggling retail companies like GameStop and AMC”. The attendee in the Crypto Salon was explaining how the Discord group was around 25,000 men strong at the time of discussion. The number of members has gone up to 250,000 for one Discord group, and almost 100,000 in another similar group.

Reading up on who some of the people behind this stock market manipulation are, it becomes apparent that largely, there is a generation of disgruntled people in their 20s and 30s, angry at the establishment. Fair enough… I mean, it was Wall Street and the financial establishment that caused the last (global!) economic recession.

For context, Gamestop shares cost $20 on 12th January and rose to a high of more than $483 last week. The share price closed for the weekend at $325.

What’s interesting here, is the anti-establishment sentiment that has driven a group of people to unite and take action - powered by very specific social media. Looking at the recent Edelman Trust Barometer data that was published this month we can see how trust in society is increasingly delicate. In the wake of the data, and recent events here are some thought starters to inspire your brand decisions:

  • Society is increasingly distrusting of institutions. Businesses are seen as the most trusted institution (61%), above government (53%) now 😬 Use that information wisely!

  • While people are bringing down financial institutions, there is a huge opportunity for brands to lead by example and add goodness to the world 💕

  • Amid this world of distrust, pay attention to less mainstream social media. While Discord has been stereotyped for gamers, the implications have had huge economic and societal implications. Community is powerful, no matter where it’s located and it’s a vehicle for trust and action 💪🏽

Tight knit holistic wellbeing communities are healing together, in a move away from allopathic medicine

Image credit @isdermis and @davidburbanke

10% of adults in the USA, and 20% of children in the UK suffer from eczema in some way. Traditionally, such autoimmune diseases like eczema and psoriasis among others are treated with allopathic medicines like steroid creams or immunosuppressants, with dangerous side effects. Unfortunately for those who suffer from severe eczema, these western, modern methods of treatment rarely work, and patients are told there is no cure. I call bullsh*t. And so do increasing numbers of other patients. In comes the power of community!

Over the last couple of years growing numbers of small communities have been popping up all over the internet. Transcending geographic boundaries, and healing together through knowledge sharing, a tonne of research, personal trial and error and emotional support. Empowered Eczema is one community, founded by Health Coach Michelle Mills, out of the USA, and powered by a tight knit Slack channel where community members unite from across the world to share lifestyle tips, recipes and so much more over chats and regular calls. Club Psora (sounds like it should be in Ibiza..! 💃🏽) is also building a similar community around skin conditions and reframing how patients go about healing their skin long term.

What’s interesting is, both of these community examples have been created off the back of a failed system… a parallel world to the WallStreetBets crew. These communities are educating people more than public (or private) education and healthcare systems ever have, and they are truly empowering a generation of people to take control of their health in a way that previous generations never could.

  • Brands who consider the skin health focused people a target audience must know - they are hyper-knowledgeable! These communities value transparency, so it’s in brands’ interests to respect and deliver on that. Skin health focused people read the ingredients of skincare products, and ESPECIALLY food ingredients 🔍

  • Brands that are already operating with transparency and using clean ingredients could partner with communities in this space. People stay loyal to good products 💫

  • Don’t try and pull the wool over these guys’ eyes. Communities are tight, knowledge spreads fast, and above all, karma is real. Gone are the days of opportunistic profit-first marketing. Know your audience and cater to their needs, all the way from product manufacturing to comms 🔁

Other interesting things:

  • Check out Edelman’s Trust Barometer data and insights for yourself - Edelman

  • Ketchum published a free 2021 cultural shifts report focusing on the rise of play, nostalgia, immersive experience, community and the importance of local living - Ketchum Shifts In Culture

  • The best non-acloholic booze brands right now - Anna Perling, New York Times

Thanks for reading guys! And hopefully see some of you on Monday at 3.30pm GMT on Twitter Spaces for the live Q&A with Samir!

As always, ping me with any questions or thoughts and please tweet about Anthro if you liked this issue 🖖🏽

Sanya 😊

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Written by Sanya-Jeet Thandi, a brand strategist & consultant with a love for culture, start-ups and good karma. British Indian currently in Kent & London. You can connect with me on Twitter, but not Instagram, because it’s boring so I deleted it.