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3 Tips to Make Social Media Work for You

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Social media is something that we use everyday to constantly connected with people we know and those we don’t. With platforms like MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, it seems like the social media storm came out of nowhere and blew up before our eyes. It feels like yesterday when we were making up the corniest usernames for our Black Planet accounts and writing our friends on AIM. Social media definitely has its perks, but with those perks come other not-so-good consequences as well. The key is to make it work for you and not against you.

Photo Credit: http://www.pacificcrestre.com/2015/05/20/social-media-tips-for-property-managers/. Retrieved [8/30/2015].

Photo Credit: http://www.pacificcrestre.com/2015/05/20/social-media-tips-for-property-managers/. Retrieved [8/30/2015].

The Gift

One of the greatest things about social media is that it allows us to give and receive information infinity times faster than ever before. As soon as something happens, no matter where it happened in the world, we can know about it within seconds. If we think about some of the biggest news that has happened over the past few years like the many protests, recent police brutality cases and conflict in the Middle East, we were able to know about them right after they happened. People who rarely watch the news learn about things as well and are able to further spread information to their followers. Social media engages people on issues that they wouldn’t otherwise be engaged on, ultimately raising unprecedented awareness. Take for example the ALS ice bucket challenge on Instagram.

Photo Credit: http://internaut.media/training-courses/. Retrieved [8/30/2015].

Photo Credit: http://internaut.media/training-courses/. Retrieved [8/30/2015].

Social media has also opened up doors that was once closed for entrepreneurs and brand owners. According to Adweek.com, 80 percent of social media savvy small business owners use channels such as Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn for monitoring and collecting information about their competitors. These businesses are also able to tap into untouched markets through social media. Adweek states that, “Social media has revolutionised businesses marketing for brands of all shapes and sizes …” 

Not to mention, social media makes us feel good. We’re able to see images of things we want and goals we want to reach; motivating us every day to go out and chase our dreams.

The Curse
Photo Credit: http://www.pacificcrestre.com/2015/05/20/social-media-tips-for-property-managers/. Retrieved [8/30/2015].

Photo Credit: http://www.pacificcrestre.com/2015/05/20/social-media-tips-for-property-managers/. Retrieved [8/30/2015].

However, with all those perks, comes disadvantages as well. Social media has opened a huge can of worms for people to unload all of their personal opinions about everything – negative and positive, as an attack on pretty much anyone who will listen. Celebrities are subjected to this all the time, but even average folks are being bullied in this way as well.

We are constantly bombarded by images everyday, all day and often find ourselves longing for what we see as we scroll down our timelines. People can make their lives look nothing short from amazing and perfect on social media, leaving many of us wondering why we can’t have that, too. But 9 times out of 10, these images and 15-second videos are just life snapshots.

We can also lose track of our day when we get too consumed with social media. If you’re not careful, it can certainly become a distraction and time drainer.

How to Make The Gift and The Curse Work for You

However, there are ways to make sure social media work for you and not against you, whether your a brand owner, entrepreneur or just someone who enjoys it leisurely.

Limit the time you spend on social media

Too much of anything can turn bad. Designate time blocks in your day to take social media breaks. This way, you can still get your fix and remain productive.

Follow the right accounts 

Your timeline should be filled with things that not only interest you, but will improve your life as well; whether that’s growing your business, getting fit and healthy or working on a DIY project you’ve been dying to try. By doing this, you’ll be bombarded by positive and desirable images that motivate you, rather than images that make you doubt yourself.

Take caution before posting 

Once something is out there on the Internet, it’s there forever, no matter how fast you hit delete. Celebrities do it all the time; tweet or post something on a social media account that they will later regret. A good rule of thumb is to always take a few seconds to think through your post before uploading it and ask yourself, “would I be able to show someone I respect my account without cringing?”

It’s all about balance and moderation. If you keep these tips in mind, you’re well on your way to conquering life with social media.

Written By: Chey Parker, Managing Editor
Editor in Chief of EGL
Media Personality