Social media is a wonderful tool to reach new people, connect with old friends, stay up to date with the news, find valuable resources, and so much more. After all, the key word in the term is social.
But underneath it all, we ultimately use social media for personal gain, whether it’s the self-satisfaction of being followed by thousands of individuals or promoting our work in hopes of advancing careers. There is a certain layer of selfishness about social media.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because we still bring joy and value to others. It’s when we become too selfish that social media takes a turn for the worse.
In these next sections, I’d like to break down the right and wrong of social media and how staying in its good graces is what leads to real personal gain.
The Right Way
There are three fundamental elements to effective social media usage:
· Valuable content
· Ethical marketing
· Ongoing enthusiasm
Content is one of the main reason we use the web, which is why we create and share what fascinates, scares, brightens, and challenges us. It’s one of the big reasons many of us get into blogging, because it gives us a platform to share our opinions and expertise to whomever will listen. When you create great, valuable content you are effectively using social media for good.
Once you are adjusted to using the web, you will begin to see the marketing opportunities (which isn’t always just about money). Marketing does get a bad rap at times, but it helps us understand how to promote ourselves, which is vital for moving forward in our goals. When you are legitimate in the items, services, or information you offer, you are validating the purpose of social media.
It’s important to bring a certain enthusiasm to your online endeavors because this will increase the chances of people (perhaps your customers) interacting with your brand. This enthusiasm spills over when it comes to reviews. With the right push, the happy individual will begin using review websites to share their thoughts and experiences with a company. When people share praise, especially at the local level, it helps the brand build a strong presence in search engine results. This way you can, as the marketing representatives at 29 Prime put it, “Place your business in front of customers looking for your services in your own backyard.”
The Wrong Way
There are three fundamental elements which lead to ineffective social media usage:
· Bait and switch
· Inactive engagement
An issue that is leading to an unpleasant social media experience is the fact that many people tend to be very narcissistic when using these social platforms. They feel their popularity justifies their actions but the reality is that it merely disrupts the flow of valuable information and leads to their slow demise when it comes to online reputation.
Another problematic issue is that many people have taken to social media in an attempt to ‘bait and switch’ users into buying products, services, or participating in actions they don’t find worthwhile. If you lead this type of usage in social media, you are bound to ruin it for many, as readers may feel burnt on the experience (which means one less potential good voice in the mix).
Finally, if everything is automated, there’s really no real value exchange happening between the parties because it’s just one way communication. You have to be sincere in your conversations because empathy is what brings us together. The people moving head in life are the ones who strike up conversations, make connections, and help out – you can’t do this if you’re acting as a robot on these social channels.
In between it all runs a thin line. There are times when it’s necessary to push and other times when you need to receive. By keeping the vast majority of your social media activities on the positive side, you will find that you can build sincere relationships with fellow users. It’s through this connection that you will find the grand opportunities to bring your life, career, or business to the next level.