The word “wellness” can conjure up a variety of images. Its broad definition can cover anything from yoga and juicing to CBD dosing or simply taking time out to Netflix and chill (and I mean relaxing.)
Social has only increased the depth of wellness as a catch-all, turning it into a far more positively holistic term for the way we all decide to take care of our bodies, as individuals.
Sadly, the problem with wellness encompassing such a huge range of themes, is its ability to become an excuse for doing certain things that are in fact extremely damaging for our bodies, and not anything to do with being ‘well’ at all.
Among the myriad of incredible, game-changing influencers who are promoting an inclusive, positive message of wellness, there are the few who have been given the social media talking stick, and used their power to sell a very skewed image of “wellness” which has had a knock on effect in the industry.
Health and social media have completely converged, it’s more important than ever that we understand the ramifications of advertising damaging products that claim to be part of the “wellness” sphere, that are actually doing some of the most significant damage to users.
In a recent survey conducted by Nuffield Health, more than 22% of the 18–35-year-olds questioned said that seeing other people’s gym photos on social media made them feel under pressure to look a certain way, 30% wished people took more realistic and less staged pictures of themselves in the gym, and 33% felt too self-conscious to join a gym.
Some positive steps have already been made; Instagram recently enforced age gating on posts promoting said products, while The Anti-Diet Riot Club’s notorious message to end fat-shaming and dangerous diet propaganda has filtered through to social platforms themselves, proving that when it’s used the right way, social media can be an incredibly positive and powerful tool for change.
For the “wellness” space, the New Year brings monumental affluence with it, but what does that messaging mean for the health and wellness industry in the social space? Will fat-shaming and fitness fanatic chat take a toll on the hugely positive self-love trend evolving on Instagram? How can influencers work responsibly with brands to create authentic, holistic wellness content?
In the latest episode of Verified Views, Alice living, a personal trainer, Womens Health columnist and best-selling author tackles what 2020 looks like for the social and wellness space.
Alice reviewed some of the key wellness campaigns from 2019 and identified errors brands are currently making in this space, looking at the ways brands in the well-being space can work collaboratively to produce creative, positive campaigns that make an impactful difference in the world.
Authenticity is key
Before you lump yourself in with the wellness community as a brand selling “wellness” products, make sure you understand what the word means and where you fit into its definition. Alice talks about the inauthenticity of brands jumping on the “wellness” bandwagon, when their products or brand ethos have no real wellness benefits. If you’re going to be selling a product, make sure you’re not just using “wellness” as a buzzword to lure customers in.
Live and breathe positivity
If you want to be a part of the positive wellness sphere, make sure your brand social pages are following and full of positive wellness influencers who are really making a difference. Whether that’s qualified educators like Dr. Joshua Woolridge, social wellness experts like Alice Liveing make sure you’re on the right side of history.
Build trust to keep them coming back
Showing vulnerability online is never a bad thing. If brands can help customers realise perfection doesn’t exist, it will help them create deeper connections and set their customers free.
Campaign diversity should be normality, not a novelty
Work with influencers who are truly diverse and fit your brands archetype… There’s no such thing as ‘One Size Fits All’ when it comes to fitness. Wellness influencers, and therefore customers, come in all shapes and sizes. It’s therefore important for brands to celebrate and reflect the diversity of their audience.
Work smarter not harder
More hours spent at your desk, doesn’t necessarily mean more work is getting done. Alice recently spoke to a team of BNP Paribas employees about the importance of work life balance, and told us in the podcast episode that “a lot of people at the top of companies think that the more hours their staff are putting in and the more they're at their desk, the better the output… but that’s scientifically proven to not be the case.”