The State of Social Media Now
Patrick Janelle, an entrepreneur and storyteller known for his popular Instagram account, @aguynamedpatrick, became chairman of the board of the American Influencer Council this fall. The organization, which launched in June, is a not-for-profit trade organization dedicated to the professional influencer community. “We’re able to be a liaison between the professionals in the influencer industry and the platforms themselves and the regulatory agencies,” Janelle says. “That’s something that has never happened before—we’re really blazing a trail.”
Janelle spoke to AD PRO about what the social media landscape looks like now, new commerce opportunities on the platforms, and how interior designers can maximize their presence online.
AD PRO: How would you describe the current influencer landscape?
Patrick Janelle: In general, the influencer space has never been stronger. We are increasingly isolated from our social circles and we turn to social media as a source for our news, entertainment, helpful life hacks, and tips—and as a source for information about social justice and politics.
At the same time, we will continue having important conversations about the extent to which the platforms maintain control and also the depth to which we’re each plugged into the digital space. There’s still tension and conversation around proper use, but I think from an influencer perspective, there’s no better time to be in this space.
AD PRO: Social media has become much more fraught this year. We’ve seen death, tragedy…it puts the pressure on influencers to figure out how to talk about all sorts of issues.
PJ: It’s incredibly important for those who have an audience to be understanding of their own position on issues and topics, and then do their best to be vocal about those things. People are looking toward individuals that they follow to get information and insight on a number of different topics—news and current affairs, or food, music, travel, health, and wellness. The more that you’re able to have a strong point of view on any of these topics, the more valuable you’re going to be to your audience.
AD PRO: What’s happening in social media’s home decor segment right now?
PJ: Because of the ubiquity of social media, influencers have democratized how the interior design space works. They have the ability to showcase their own spaces, talk about DIY, that sort of thing. Across channels, across platforms, we’re seeing creators latching onto that opportunity.
Consumers are turning to creators to find ethical, eco-friendly, and diverse brands, which is really important right now. It’s a great opportunity for brands to expand their digital footprint and to be reaching new audiences.