We hear lots about the negative affects of social media on our wellbeing and whilst these concerns are all valid and too much of anything is a bad shout, I am passionate about the pros of utilising our favourite platforms online. My now husband slid in my DMs on Myspace when we were 16, I’ve developed two businesses with social media to massively thank for their success, during lockdown I met the most amazing bunch of women I could have imagined from different areas, different walks of life, businesses and backgrounds that I would not have met without Facebook! Social media can be dangerous but it can be wonderful and life affirming and below are just some of the ways I believe it can enrich your life.
Social media helps provide a sense of community. There is no doubt that words and thoughts can flow easier, barriers can be broken down and friendships can be made much easier online. During the pandemic virtual communication has been a lifeline for so many people, from grandparents being able to video call or students being able to take regular classes, the ability to make our (currently quite scary) world seem smaller has been invaluable.
How often have you seen somebody’s new car on Instagram, ‘liked’ another airport check in or congratulated someone on their promotion, sure this can unleash a green eyed monster in some of us but when you flip that on it’s head - use these little nudges from the universe to level up! Be happy for the friends and acquaintances you keep on your following list and let their wins push you to achieve yours.
For a brand or small business social media can be used to create a positive digital footprint and search results. We don’t all have the time/budget/know how to create a hard hitting website, but with a Facebook page or a curated Instagram grid, we can put our best foot forward online. Social media searches will appear when a potential customer or client Googles you.
Social media can hold a breadth of opportunities for just about everyone, whether you’re looking for a gang that shares your passion, a skill swap to help you level up in business or just someone outside of your usual circle to discuss this mad mad world we’re living in. By expanding your social media usage from mindless scrolling to targeted engagement you can really make something of the time you spend on each platform.
Awareness and education
We’ve all rolled our eyes at a ranty political status online, a conspiracy theory here, an offensive meme there - take these little glitches in your feed as a push for you to learn. If something confuses or upsets you online then do some research, study both sides of the debate and have your knee jerk feelings backed up with fact! There’s no reason for not learning something new every day.
Share your passion
Do you struggle to find people that share your interests, maybe you’re into a very specific genre of music, film era or way of life. Start a Facebook group, set up an Instagram or Twitter feed and create a hub for likeminded people to gather. The absolute glee you’ll get from finding your people will outweigh any nerves you might have at putting yourself out there initially.
Whilst it’s not good vibes to be money hungry (we’re all about channelling abundance don’t you know) there is endless opportunity to make money via social media. Whether this is building up your accounts to the point where you can work with brands to promote them or selling your own products or services to the audience you’ve built, there are some people who have made millions online from a lightbulb moment! Whilst I cannot promise this, the possibility is there and as with anything you just have to work and learn as much as you can about the platform you’re focussing on.
This leads me onto my final point.
So many millennials/Gen Zers are crafting quality content that only our friends see, some 13 year olds are better at video editing than people being PAID to do the job and these skills are going to be so invaluable when it comes to the formal workplace. Whilst young people are more preoccupied with smashing the latest TikTok dance, as a parent/guardian you should encourage this creativity and determination whilst obviously being wary of potential concerns that can arise on any social media platform. I remember building my own website in Year 9 and being told off for wasting time when I should’ve been reading The Inspector Calls (oh the memories!) but guess what, when I first started my role in Marketing and was asked to add to the company website, I wasn’t shook by the back end of our systems as it was something I’d been able to trial and error with in my own time! What can seem like time being frittered away at a screen can actually be instilling lifelong skills!
As you can see I am a massive geek about all things social but would love to hear about the ways that any of the platforms I’ve mentioned have added to your life!
Hannah works with small businesses and entrepreneurs to give them the tools to level up on social media. She specialises in encouraging her clients to make the most of their time on their platforms through targeted engagement and content that sets their audience alight!