SOCIAL MEDIA – A DISTRACTION OR A NETWORKING AND COMMUNICATION TOOL?

With Social Media so prevalent we are all extremely visible. Your prospective clients, your peers and your competition can drill as deep as they wish searching, reading and gathering information online about you and posted by you without you ever knowing who’s searching. Depending on what they find, your prospects may choose to do business with you or not.” Mari Smith, marismith.com

To most people social media is like marmite you either love it or hate it. Social media such as twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, just to name a few, play a big role in people’s daily lives.  

People use social media for a variety of reasons, such as keeping in touch with friends and family across the world, make new friends and finding old friends or old school mates.  Social media has something for every community. Other people use it as a networking tool for business, acquiring new clients and forming new partnership.

It has created new careers paths and working practices. It is also considered a great marketing tool for those with online businesses, vloggers and bloggers. Every like, every follow and; every comment creates a sense of reassurance to the user that there is someone out there appreciating their thought process.

According to a study by the New York Times, people share information on social media for a variety of reasons. Their reasons include a desire to share what they consider amusing content to others and in particular to define their personal digital brand.

Social media has evolved from being a handy means of keeping in touch with friends and family to being used in shaping the business world, politics, education, careers and much more.

In the last couple of years, we have seen the impact social media has had on elections, such as in the American presidential elections and even Brexit. In fact, a study carried out by Cardiff University cites that Instagram was very popular with younger voters in the run up to the elections held in December 2019.

Social media enables people to share information quickly and in real time. The ability to share photos, opinions, events etc in real time has transformed the way we live and how we do business. Most businesses nowadays use social media as an essential part of their marketing strategy. It has become a key means of engaging with customers and for customers to connect with businesses.

As Jeff Bezos, CEO at Amazon, puts it “If you make customers unhappy in the physical world, they might each tell 6 friends. If you make customers unhappy on the Internet, they can each tell 6,000 friends”, that’s the power of social media.

It has changed the way people communicate with each other and what they share about themselves.

For those who have a Facebook account, its sharing information with people they have not seen in years and they will probably never contemplate having face-to-face meeting with or just sit down for a good old fashion chat with them.

Some people go on social media just to check other people’s stories whilst others use it as an inspiration maybe for artistic or creative works or just for information.

Social media is a very powerful technological tool, when used properly it enhances people’s lives and businesses. However, it has the potential to make people anti-social and take away their ability to interact on a face to face basis.

……Sometimes, it’s better to pick up your phone and call someone for a chat or organise a coffee morning, or even better still contact someone on your social media to meet up.

….You never know what difference that might make in someone’s life to have that social connection.“Social media is the greatest leadership tool ever invented. It gives you the opportunity to amplify your voice, extend your influence, and create a tribe of passionate followers who want to hear from you.”Michael Hyatt