The power of social media

Saying that social media is changing our world as we know it is not a new idea or statement.  The fact that it’s speeding up change on a global level that hasn’t seen this rapid change since the creation of the internet is not a new idea either.  But it’s important to put into context just what social media is and what it can do.  My generation has largely embraced social media in the form of Facebook and Instagram and Twitter.  The generation after me is embracing other technologies, like SnapChat, Peach, music.ly, and probably others that I haven’t heard of.  I would like to say that I am astounded when I meet people in my generation that don’t use Facebook or any other form of social media, but I’m not.  I get it.  We have families, careers, and feel that social media is either a time suck from those things (a noble thought), or that it’s for younger people, or “people don’t need to know what I’m having for breakfast”.  Everything is what you make of it.  I went to college and saw several kids come in, get wasted night after night, and fail out of school.  Yet others studied, worked hard, had fun, and found balance in their studies/social life and are much better because of that experience.

Social media is the same way.  Is it full of narcissistic people?  Sure.  Is it full of conversations that are a waste of time?  Yes.  Has there ever been a tool to get your information, product, statements, thoughts, writing, art, or any other info/opinion you have to as many people at such a low barrier to entry as social media? No.  I’m going to go on a side bar and focus on the business benefits of social media.  It’s the single greatest tool, if you’re in business to get you messaging, branding, and products out to people for very little cost, if not free.  If you are in business in any form you need to be aware of social media and be comfortable with it.  And learn it.  It wasn’t until this year that I learned about Facebook ads and how they work.  It’s amazing!  And so inexpensive to get to the exact audience you want to target.  And now SnapChat is becoming a thing so I’m doing everything I can to learn more about it.  I’m not awesome at social media by any stretch, but I, as a business owner, need to learn as much as I can about it.  It used to cost thousands and thousands of dollars to marketing firms to get to the audience and to get the analytics that you get with social media.  It’s amazing and something I am super excited about and feel very strongly about it.  If you’re having a tough time prioritizing your life in regards to the time you spend on social media, figure that out and get acquainted with the tools.  Avoid the time traps and time sucks.  It’s tough during the political season but avoid the long, drawn out, and destructive debates.  Be constructive on social media and you will have a different experience with it.

  • Cut out or unfollow people that clutter your feeds
  • Only be part of groups that truly mean something to you
  • Put your phone away during important family times
  • Ask yourself “Is what I’m doing on this helping to make me a better human or making me money?”
  • Network the crap out of your network.  If you’re going to a new city, try to connect with a friend you haven’t seen in a while
  • Learn how to use different features and why they are there.  Hashtags for example.
  • If it’s not edifying, then don’t do it
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