Connecting with other naturals today is as easy as signing on to your computer or powering up your cell phone. Social media plays a big role within the natural hair community. Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Meetup.com, Livestream, blogs — the options to unite are widespread. So come on girl, connecting with other naturals is just one click away!
With over 800 million users worldwide, Facebook has become the most popular social network and is an integral part of life for many people. The sheer number of people it connects on a daily basis is a great tool for the natural hair community.
Many bloggers, vloggers, stylists and natural hair professionals utilize Facebook to supplement their websites and channels. Many curlies turn to the Facebook community for inspiration, motivation and to give or seek advice. Not only does it allow you to stay informed about the latest and greatest products or techniques, upcoming natural hair expos and other social events, you can also stay in touch with people that you meet at these functions.
I think building that network and connecting with people is probably the greatest thing about Facebook and the natural hair community.
Merely 140 characters may not seem like much, but if you’re on Twitter you creatively find ways to get your point across. This method of social networking has been growing steadily, and offers the natural hair community another way to communicate.
I always wondered what was up with those hashtags (#) before getting hooked on Twitter, but it’s just one of the ways to identify and align yourself with a certain group or interest. These hashtag word(s) allows people to search for others who share similar ideas.
The most popular searchable terms on Twitter are #TeamNatural, #NaturalHair, #CurlyHair, and #Locs. These all are easy ways to identify and connect people within the natural hair community, whether it’s promoting an upcoming event, giving the scoop on a new product or posting pictures of a new hair style.
Gaining even more popularity today, YouTube has become one of the best media tools for the natural hair community. Where else can you actually SEE a hairstyle being created, how a product works on a similar hair type, and watch others embark on their natural hair journey?
There is something to be said for the kind of bond that is created between the vlogger and the viewer. They are essentially letting you in on their life. I think the appeal of YouTube is that the vloggers are regular people like you and me, most aren’t paid or sponsored by anyone, and they are just giving you their opinions — whether you choose to follow them is at your discretion.
I love to find people with similar hair textures as my own and see how they style their hair and what products work for them. Although I often use YouTube as a guide, I still take the time to research any new products or ingredients I may want to try.
There’s always a wealth of great information to be found on the blog scene. With highly visible bloggers like Curly Nikki and Afrobella leading the pack, it really gives people a chance to get great information in one spot and also ask questions in an open forum.
Along with blogs, websites like NaturallyCurly.com also offer naturals an effective way to educate, communicate and celebrate their curls. Many of these natural hair blogs and websites also bring in experts in the hair care field so you can get scientific and professional guidance while you’re on your journey.
The next best thing to an actual meet-up, live chats offer visual interaction between naturals. Unlike YouTube where you are simply watching a vlogger give a review or tutorial, live chats actually allow you to be interactive with the host. Being able to ask questions and have those questions answered directly is beneficial not only to the person asking, but to those who are tuning in as well.
The Natural Resources Salon in Houston, Texas has embarked on a new Livestream series that focuses on various natural hair topics and also gives great at home, do-it-yourself style tutorials. BeautifulBrwnBabyDol of YouTube has also gotten into the live chat forum via Vokle, offering natural hair tips and advice, as well as addressing other health and social issues.
The Importance of Social Media
Many companies are recognizing the power of social media outlets such as YouTube and Facebook as methods to reach out to their target market. By providing video demonstrations, detailed product information and genuine customer feedback, companies are able to fine tune existing products and develop even better ones to meet the needs of us, the consumer.
Social media is paramount to linking curlies across the globe. Being able to share a picture of an awesome hair style may give someone in another city, state or even another country the courage to try a new style. The natural hair community is a close knit one and using various avenues of social media only helps to make the community even more accessible.