Society6 and Moya Mawhinney; A Dream Partnership

Moya Mawhinney is not a name you’ve likely heard, but one you are likely to learn in the coming years. A mid-tier Zillenial (in between Gen Z and millennial) influencer with a little over 150,000 Instagram followers and 300,000 YouTube subscribers, she’s been rising through the social media ranks since COVID began. Society6, on the other hand, is a fairly well-known online brand that sells art prints and pieces to millennials and Gen Z’s who know what their style is or who want to expand it. In my opinion, Society6 and Mawhinney would make the perfect brand partnership pair on Instagram.

Society6 is a unique brand when it comes to companies that utilize influencer marketing. Founded in 2009, Society6 is based on the principle that artists deserve a “free and welcoming place for people to discover their work,” (About Us). They partner with artists and designers and sell their work on their site; creating a unique experience for customers looking for original artwork. They also have a blooming Instagram page with about 800,000 followers, and many influencers even follow them. This brand does a wonderful job with catering to their audience, however it can never hurt to partner with an influencer who has the right audience and could bring in even more potential customers. “Since Instagram is an image-based social medium, by showing the specific scene or the environment when the events and activities actually happen, these young consumers could better express and manage their identities and their social relationships in the present as well as retrieve their memories in the future,” (Chen, discussion). Society6’s use of Instagram matches perfectly with this description, and because they are so social media savvy and imagery knowledgeable, it’s only right that they partner with influencers with the same keen sense of Instagram aesthetic importance.

This is where Moya Mawhinney fits in perfectly. Mawhinney started posting on her YouTube channel in February 2020 — right before the COVID-19 pandemic began. But she’s posted consistently the entire time, and managed to gain 300,000 subscribers in a little over a year. She’s also posted consistently on her Instagram account, @moyamawhinney, and has a high engagement rate on both platforms. Mawhinney’s content consists of fashion, jewelry, travel, college and art. She appeals to her Zillenial/Gen Z female followers who value sustainability, looking good and feeling good. Mawhinney has clearly established her brand, “… [the elements of] individuality, identity, personal branding, building brand identity and brand endorsements and partnerships. I believe these elements are what allow for a personal brand to be successful and continue to grow,” (Keightley, pg. 11).

Mawhinney has all of those elements. She recently graduated with a degree in Art History and talks a lot about art on her platforms. It’s clear to see that Mawhinney lives and breathes art in the same way Society6 does. And Mawhinney, though one person, has really created an entire brand for herself. And, “A high degree of co-branding integration suggests greater co-dependence in function and form between the partnering brands, thereby reinforcing the association between them,” (Newmeyer, pg. 73).

Though it’s been made clear that Moya Mawhinney and Society6 make the perfect partnership, it’s important to clarify why Instagram is the platform to pitch this partnership on. Though Mawhinney has less followers on her Instagram than her YouTube channel, her engagement is high. “Also, cooperating with influencers with high numbers of followers might not be the best marketing choice for promoting divergent products, as this decreases the brand’s perceived uniqueness and consequently brand attitudes,” (De Veirman, abstract). It’s also easier to portray art pieces in photos on social media rather than in a video, and therefore her followers are more likely to engage with an Instagram post about Society6 rather than during a YouTube video. Though Instagram is the right platform for this partnership, there are many different ways they could approach it, “several options for branding include placing paid display advertising, participating in social networks as a brand persona, developing branded engagement opportunities for customer participation within social networks, and publishing branded content,” (Ha, pg. 6).

Overall, Society6’s brand is all about giving a space for artists to showcase and sell their work, and for consumers to find unique art that directly supports the creators. Moya Mawhinney is a mid-tier influencer who creates content surrounded by art and her followers share that passion. This is why Society6 and Mawhinney would make the perfect social media partnership.

#ufcjconline

Sources:

“About Us.” Society6, society6.com/about

Chen, Huan. “College-Aged Young Consumers’ Perceptions of Social Media Marketing: The Story of Instagram.” Taylor & Francis, Journal of Current Issues & Research in Advertising, Oct. 2017, www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/10641734.2017.1372321?casa_token=g7VRR9HOfmYAAAAA%3Aj8SVjfXgDiTz1Q8_LdSEsLkB6eL9kpiUpwdsk2e55SNZCaA3R1RFUSjNlIWZQ2j7JARZF8AJuJLFvA

De Veirman, Marijke. “Marketing through Instagram Influencers: the Impact of Number of Followers and Product Divergence on Brand Attitude.” Taylor & Francis, International Journal of Advertising, 7 June 2017, www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/02650487.2017.1348035?casa_token=QXRjqBdrs04AAAAA%3AkJe0emRtah0Bgw8e2VEDZVU5vZJWlj1ycv-mNoxaWoEEUVBWX3nWq2ijeLXsZJU0DY3HJHijBTDObg

Ha, Ashley. “An Experiment: Instagram Marketing Techniques and Their Effectiveness.” California Polytechnic State University , 2015. https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1206&context=comssp

Keightley, Cara Jayne. “An Investigation on Youtube and Brand Partnerships.” Thesis / Dissertation ETD, The IIE, 2016. https://iiespace.iie.ac.za/bitstream/handle/11622/92/Cara%20Keightley%20%281%29.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y

Newmeyer, Casey Espey. “Brand Partnerships and the Determinants for Success.” University of Pittsburgh, 2003. http://d-scholarship.pitt.edu/9114/1/newmeyer_dissertation_aug15.pdf

I’m a masters student at the University of Florida studying mass communication with a focus in journalism. Check out more at juliacollinswriter.weebly.com