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Relevant Conversations: Twitter, the Met Gala, and Mental Health Awareness Month

The 2022 Met Gala theme, “In America: An Anthology of Fashion”, inspired collaborations between notable fashion designers and elite pop culture icons. After the fashion extravaganza, social media platforms were flooded with photos and video clips from this year’s gala. TikTok videos using the hashtag #Metgala2022 have a combined 1.6 billion views, and #metgala has 1.8 million posts on Instagram. It is easy to see that millions of people love discussing the Met Gala’s theme, outfits, and celebrity attendees. Each year, organizations have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the conversation to increase audience participation, which can be accomplished in three simple steps. First, identify attendees popular among your organization’s target audience. What age group is the focus of your nonprofit or group? If you cater to teenagers, discuss celebrities like Olivia Rodrigo and Hailey Bieber. A millennial target audience will immediately recognize stars such as Blake Lively and Cole Sprouse. Focused on Gen X? Post about entertainment icons like Gwen Stefani and Sarah Jessica Parker. Second, determine how the celebrities relate to your organization's mission. If your nonprofit is passionate about family values, consider posting about how the entire Kardashian-Jenner family attended the 2022 Met Gala together for the first time. Committed to the environment? Try discussing singer Billie Eilish’s ensemble composed of vegan accessories and recycled Gucci pieces. Lastly, include a call to action for your audience. If you post about the Kardashian-Jenner family, ask viewers to comment where they would like to go with their family. After posting about Billie Eilish’s environmentally-conscience outfit, ask followers to write about their favorite thrifted item. While the Met Gala is fashion-focused, organizations of all niches can use the event to spark meaningful conversation with their audience.

One Met Gala attendee made headlines unrelated to his red-carpet fashion. Elon Musk recently bought the social media platform Twitter for $44 billion. In an interview with Chris Anderson (the leader of TED), Musk discussed his belief that the right to converse freely, specifically online, is vital to American values. Musk also talked about his motives for purchasing Twitter. After all, Musk is known for multi-billion dollar companies such as Space X and Tesla. Unlike his other ventures, Musk states that his goal is not to pursue profits but simply to provide a space for people to talk. What does this mean for organizations? The exact plan for professional Twitter accounts has not yet been revealed. In a Twitter post, however, Musk hinted that professional accounts might be charged in the future. On May 3, the billionaire tweeted, “Twitter will always be free for casual users, but maybe a slight cost for commercial/government users.” Companies like Wendy’s, which is known for comically putting other fast-food chains on blast, and other organizations that use Twitter for marketing will perhaps find a fee worthwhile. Organizations will need to determine Twitter’s value to their marketing strategy.

The Met Gala and the sale of Twitter have been dominating the Internet, but many online participants have also been recognizing the importance of mental health. May is Mental Health Awareness Month, which gives organizations the ability to have purposeful interactions with their audience. Mental health is a broad and varied subject, which can make it daunting to discuss. However, a significant post can be created by remaining true to your group’s values. After all, a company’s target audience supports them because they share something in common, so simply relate the post to your organization’s niche. For instance, American Forests, a nonprofit passionate about trees, tweeted about the positive correlation between being outside and mental health in honor of Mental Health Awareness Month. Like American Forests, you can cite research that relates to your organization’s area of expertise. Another option is to create a simple graphic that simultaneously incorporates aspects of your brand and sparks conversation about mental health, such as Benefit Cosmetic’s colorful post. Also, remember to be sensitive to the needs of your audience; it might even be appropriate to include links to professional mental health services. While mental health is always an important subject, nationally recognized months give professionals the opportunity to ease into vital conversations.

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