Mental Health Awareness Day: The influencer experience

Mental Health Awareness Day: The influencer experience

Neve Fear-Smith
Neve Fear-Smith

Today is World Mental Health Day. And while we believe in prioritizing mental health every day, today gives us the perfect opportunity to check in on ourselves and our well-being. 

Last week, we hosted a fantastic webinar titled "Mindful Creation: Nurturing Your Mental Health as an Online Content Creator."  We had the pleasure of welcoming four incredible content creators and a representative from the mental health charity, Young Minds, to share their valuable insights on navigating mental health in the digital age we live in.

Our creator panelists, Megan Short, David Larbi, Max Selwood, and Tasha Bailey, are all using their social media platforms to make mental health conversations mainstream. They each have their unique approaches, from normalizing the idea that it's okay not to be okay, to courageously sharing their own mental health journeys.

During the webinar, these inspiring creators shared their wisdom, offering practical advice on safeguarding your mental health in the digital world. They also provided invaluable insights for brands looking to prioritize creators' well-being when collaborating on partnerships.

The influencer experience

Social media platforms and the audiences using them are becoming increasingly accepting and encouraging of conversations surrounding mental health. 

During the webinar, we learned how Tasha Bailey has been able to incorporate her profession as a therapist into her social media content. She explained how therapy isn’t always accessible, whether that’s because of cost or other reasons. However, access to social media is far more available. 

With this in mind, Tasha is able to touch upon some of the common themes she sees pop up with her clients and discuss these more broadly with her followers on social media. The comments she receives on her content allow her to shape discussions going forward to ensure she is providing as much support as possible. 

Megan and David both have podcasts and love how long-form content allows them to go into depth and build connections. Short-form content is booming, but both Megan and David feel as though they can be more open on their podcast, as there is more time and space to properly explain their thought processes. Sitting down to record a podcast can feel more like sitting on FaceTime with a friend compared to creating ‘quick hit’ content for TikTok.

Max explained how he always aims for his audience to leave his platform feeling more positive. Through his own mental health journey, Max has established the value of checking in on himself each day, and this is something he now gets his followers on Instagram involved with. He shares daily ‘how are you today?’ polls on his Stories that allow his audience to check in on themselves, and speak to him about their feelings. Max feels like this has enabled him to build a deeper connection with his audience. 

Brands, consider these things when working with creators

Creators have the most control over the organic content they share with their audiences, but branded content has more creative limitations and is shared with a wider audience. It is important for brands to be aware that working with influencers is more than just another marketing channel, and that humans with feelings are at the heart of the Creator Economy. 

We asked the creators on the panel if they had advice for brands to ensure they’re influencer partnerships are seamless, and the well-being of each party involved is considered from start to finish.

  • Monitor comment sections: When boosting creator content, or posting UGC on your brand channels, consider restricting the comment section, and check in with the creator to see if there are any words they block in their own comment section that you can block too. 
  • Consider your aftercare process: If you are boosting a creator’s video for a month, continue to check in with them for that month to ensure they’re happy with the comments on the content and they can ask you to remove comments they deem inappropriate. This is what strengthens long-term partnerships. 
  • Understand the power of feedback: Let creators know how you feel the partnership went - organic or paid. Aside from numbers, highlight the parts of the content you enjoyed, and share areas for improvement too. On the other hand, let creators give you feedback too. Arranging a post-campaign debrief call is a great way to celebrate your campaign wins, and discuss ways both brands and creators can improve in the future.
Putting yourself first

Many of us work remotely which is a great opportunity to broaden our career horizons etc, this is often a common approach to work when you work in the social media space. We asked the creators what they do to ensure they’re taking care of themselves when working remotely without a large team surrounding them. 

Here are some of their top tips for content creators, and for anyone working in the digital space: 

  • Protect yourself from negativity: Your social media platforms are like your house, and keeping out bad guests is good housekeeping. Blocking hateful or hurtful comments, and unfollowing people who don’t make you feel good is totally fine when it comes to protecting your well-being. 
  • Allocate moments for rest: Whether that’s taking a walk mid-afternoon or romanticizing your morning coffee, take time to step away from your screen and decompress.
  • Build a community: There will be many people out there who have a similar working situation to you, working alone and working remotely. Human connection is valuable, and getting together to share ideas or even just chat is great for your social well-being, and should be a non-negotiable! 
How to take action 

To gain a different perspective on the conversation, we welcomed Louis Collenette, Senior Digital Content Manager at Young Minds to learn more about ways that specifically young people can ensure they’re putting themselves first in an age where a rise in social media usage and negative mental health patterns are not mutually exclusive. 

Young Minds has experienced young people coming to the charity expressing how they’re distressed because of certain content the social algorithms have pushed onto their feeds. Louis expressed that social media platforms must take more accountability when ensuring content is appropriate for the audiences it's reaching, especially as young people spend more and more time online. 

As well as social platforms putting more tools in place to provide a safe space for all users, Louis emphasizes how being a part of a community is important for nourishing your mental health, and connecting with positive and like-minded communities online can make everyone's experience more empowering. And don’t forget, if something you see online is making you feel unhappy, you have the ability to block it from your feed!

Digital Voices have made a donation to Young Minds to show our support to the charity too. Click here to donate too

If you attended the webinar and found it useful, or you’re interested in learning more about ethical issues within the Influencer Marketing industry in the future, be sure to leave your details below to stay up to date with our upcoming webinars, and in-person events!

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