The #blackouttuesday campaign was widespread and generally effective
If you went on social media Tuesday, you may have noticed your feed full of black boxes with #blackouttuesday, a social media campaign to remember, to mourn, and to call for policy changes following the death of George Floyd.
"The message was across, I don't think there was anyone on social media that didn't see that at least once, and in that way, yes, I think it was effective," said Jen Johnson, the social media manager for Evergreen Media. "It was seen by people and people always want to be a part of something."
Celebrities like Justin Beiber, Lebron James, Taylor Swift, Drake, Odell Beckham Jr., and Ariana Grande all posted their support. Rihanna said her makeup line, Fenty, would not conduct business Tuesday in solidarity. ESPN said the Chicago Bears cancelled meetings in support of the campaign.
Johnson said the key to an effective campaign lies in interactions across the platforms.
"I just say, you want the clicks on your post," said Johnson. "You want the likes, the comments, shares are huge. Just those little interactions allow Facebook to put it higher up on everyone's newsfeed."
Algorithms are key elements in making something become widespread, by scanning through all content posted on the platform. Posts with key words and hashtags that relate to an audience get prioritized. Johnson described it like a numbering systeming, where the platform will order the content.
"So, when they see something that they want to react to and that post gets more reactions, it's going to be put in front of more people," said Johnson.
Johnson said the #blackouttuesday campaign was so widespread because it allowed people to share their opinions.
"It starts with that general imagery message and the hashtags, and you put that together with someone who really likes to share their opinion, and most people on social media to some degree, enjoy sharing their opinion or being a part of something," said Johnson. "And so it make it easy for them to become a part of that."