Tamron Hall, the former NBC News and Today Show anchor, who’s about to launch her new talk show, joined WHOSAY CMO Paul Kontonis at Social Media Week Chicago for the chat “Do I Have Your Attention? Fan Engagement Strategies with Tamron Hall” where the award-winning journalist talked about empowering women through social media, how she connects with and engages fans on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter and what she looks for when partnering with brands.
The award-winning journalist, whose career evolved along with social media from her early days as a new anchor in Chicago to closely covering Barack Obama’s groundbreaking campaign to become President of the United States to supporting viral causes such as the hashtag #metoo, talked about the power of social media to help people. However, there’s a caveat. “I think the outrage cannot just come when it’s rich women, white women, when it’s women who are famous,” she said.
“I think that when you have viral hashtags or stories that go viral they often go viral because there’s a celebrity attached to it,” she said. “And so, for women, I think, and as we look ahead, hopefully in the advancement of all women of all colors and all backgrounds, is that we somehow have to remind ourselves [to] not forget the girl behind us, the woman in line next.” She gave the example of “some woman right now who works for city sanitation” who is, perhaps, harassed by a male coworker. “Her name is not a famous name and the person who she is harassed by is not a famous director,” she said. “But, nonetheless, it hurts and her life and her livelihood [can suffer as a result].”
And so Tamron wants for women to use social media as uniter, not a divider. “I just would like to see a stronger alliance between women, whether is the woman that sits in our parish or the woman in Hollywood, whether is the black mom who lost her child in the South Side of Chicago or the [white] Newton mom,” she said. “I would prefer to, one day, look up and see a stage of black moms being held by a white mom, an Indian mom, an Asian mom gathered [...] this is about a child who is actually losing his or her life unjustly, rather than a black child.”
“For women, I think, I’d like to see this unification. Hopefully, [social media] can be the platform because the Green Revolution happened on social media, that was a Twitter movement,” she impassionately recalled. “And so, perhaps, this movement of women can happen that would join us better [...] The liberal feminist can no longer look like a white woman and the mom whose tears are flowing down her face can no longer look just like a black woman. There has to be a joining of women and I think that can happen through the power of social media. That’s what I’d like to see change, the power of social media bringing us closer together.”
Tamron embodies the kaleidoscopic nature of our times to perfection. A seasoned journalist who’s broken the most consequential stories of our generation, she also has a knack for other topics such as fashion and entertainment. “Social platforms show the layers that we are,” the self-professed “multi-layered television personality” explained.
“With Deadline Crime, because it is a crime show and it’s a tough show to watch, it’s hard to put a picture [on Instagram] and have someone ‘like’ it,” she explained, adding that for this type of content she tends to engage more on Twitter and Facebook. Tamron also said that she tends to use Instagram for things such as fashion “and this event” as the ‘gram is “livelier” and “has more color.” She then proceeded to show how good she is at nailing the social media game across types of contents and platforms by skillfully art-directing and shooting an on-stage selfie with Kontonis and the crowd. “This is what they call Instalife,” she joked. “We made this look better than what it was [in real life].”
Tamron, who in a previous interview confessed she’s a brand’s “dream consumer,” followed up on the way she connects with and engages brands online. “I don’t join forces with any organization [if it’s not] in line with my beliefs,” she told WHOSAY’s Kontonis. “I wanna be able to look at my social media and say, ‘this represents who I am.’”
As a consumer, Tamron knows she belongs to a generation of women who are more discerning than ever when it comes to supporting brands. “We now make more money than we ever had, we have control of our lives because other great women, our mothers, our teachers, have said, ‘you’re gonna have your time,’” she explained. “And we are rising up, politically, even though we didn’t see the first female president [yet]. We’re challenging the IT companies, the systems that have supported pay inequality and these atmospheres we talk about [that can lead to] harassment.”
She went on to explain that if a brand wants to connect with empowered female consumers they have to stand ready to share their story in a compelling manner so they can engage like-minded consumers. “We wanna know your story, what you got,” she explained. “I’ve met a lot of women entrepreneurs and on social media who are affirming what I’m saying with our dollars, which is, ‘what’s your story?’ before I give you my money.”