Greetings my esteemed friends!

It’s interesting to know that we are living in the 21st century where the world seems to be moving in a supersonic speed. You will agree with me that in today’s world, the more skills and knowledge you have, the more opportunities you will get. I have always counseled my clients during seminars and workshops that nobody will pay you more than you deserve in any progressive company. The reason is simple; in our contemporary society, a lot of employers, organizations, captains of industries, leaders, human resource personnel, among others, are looking for candidates with variable skills that can be translated to benefits for their companies.

Today, we shall be discussing a topic that has not only influenced our lifestyle; it has also changed the surface of the earth and how we relate. You cannot underestimate the power of social media in today’s world. Depending on you who are speaking to, some schools of thought opine that social media has done more harm than good, while another school of thought feels otherwise. Personally, I belong to the school of thought who feels that social media has contributed immensely to the society. According to Barack Obama, when Steve Jobs died, he said “”He changed the way each of us sees the world.” This is because of the groundbreaking innovation of iPhone in 2007.

During the course of this article, we shall be looking at the pros and cons of social media and how social media can be a resourceful tool in projecting you to greater opportunities. According to Forbes, “there’s no denying that social media is thriving worldwide”.  Social is a very resourceful tool in reaching the world. In our contemporary world today, you can literally reach millions of people with a second. With the advent of live videos, the world has truly become a small place for us to live. It will be ignorant for any rational mind to downplay the importance and homogenous effect of social media. Some of the most powerful social media pages include; Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube, and Pinterest.  Social media has really changed the world faster than we can imagine. According to Pew Internet Research, 29% of internet users with college degrees use Twitter. YouTube reaches more 18- to 34-year-olds than any cable network in the U.S. According to Pew Internet Research, Facebook is the most widely used social media platform by Americans who are online. Facebook constitutes 79% of American internet users, Instagram constitutes 32% of users, Pinterest 31%, and LinkedIn and Twitter constitute 29% and 24% respectively; 76% of Facebook users visited the site daily last year with over 1.6 billion daily visitors; and 51% of Instagram users engage with the platform daily.

The next question now is what is the positive side of social media? Social media has really created so many opportunities for people to air their views. There are so many problems facing the world today, having an idea to solve it is truly commendable. The world is truly in need of visionary leaders.  According to Duke Ellington “A problem is a chance for you to do your best. A progressive mind can use social media platform to reach out to the world with relative ease. For instance, there are many people who have been able to leverage social media specifically Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter to secure job opportunities, while some have been able to use it to market their products. The interesting thing about social media is the innovation it brings to the world. You may want to agree with me that innovation and ideas rule the world. The world is in dire of need of visionary leaders. Social media has become the fastest way to market a product and in fact, it is gradually outpacing the traditional industries that advertise and market products. I’m a living witness to this fact. As an accomplished author, before I published my book Design Your Destiny- Actualizing Your Birthright to Success, I reached out to publishing companies and some publishing firms reached out to me to publish my book after reading the manuscript. I was advised to pay in order for my book to be published.  The cost seems to be relatively high. On the contrary side, some of my mentors advised me to try self-publishing which I did explore. At the end of the day, I compared and contrasted and I went along with self-publishing. Based on experience from authors, publishing firms don’t even market and advertise your work like are supposed to do based on the contract that was signed. The interesting part of this process was that, since I was familiar with the major social media forum, I was able to publicize my book using them in addition to encouraging my friends to share the work within their network. Moral: don’t be known for creating problems, rather be known for providing solutions with measuring impacts.

The truth is, social media — when used strategically over time — is the most powerful form of marketing and market research the world has ever seen. But it’s not a magic bean that grows overnight into business success. It’s a platform for real work.

Another great advantage of social media is that it helps to connect you with great organizations doing amazing work in the world. It’s always good to identify and follow organizations that are passionate about the cause you like. Social media has given a lot of people the desired voice they need to make their voice heard.

Social media has also caused some negative perceptions to people who don’t really know how to utilize it. Many resourceful minds have lost great opportunities just because of what they shared on social media. This is why most employers always search the internet to see what information prospective candidates normally share on the internet and if it does not fit into their standard and expectation, it might come back and hunt the individual.

Despite how good social media is, it has caused so many ills in the society, it has increased bully on the internet and also led to lost of valuable lives. There has been stories of men and women who scam people by disguising themselves to be what they are not. For example, some innocent young minds have been brainwashed by men and women who used catfish to lure them to achieve their sadistic and nefarious means. Social media has also been used to spread hate, and also it has also been used to spread love. Moral: It’s very important that we should start encouraging our friends and family members to use social media for the right reasons instead of the wrong ones.

 

As you may know, perception is everything, a lot of people seem to believe what they see on social media without doing their diligent search to know how authentic and reliable the message been shared on the internet. The biggest factor that kills conversions is lack of trust. Social media gives you an awesomely efficient, cheap, and effective way to build that trust — provided, of course, that you’re a good egg, to begin with. (Social media also does a fantastic job of exposing lousy service, nasty business practices, and crappy products).There are credible minds on social minds whose information we need to believe when they share because of the personality the individuals radiate and how genuine they are.

Some people just basically believe what they see on social media hook, line and sinker, they go to the extent of using the information to judge the individual who posted it. There are lots of fake information out there and many people fall for it. Been able to read in between the lines is very important because it is not all that glitters that is gold. People only show you what they want you to see and in most cases, they share one-tenth of their life on social media while some people are totally off the platform. Let me share a recent experience with you, I recently changed my Facebook status from single to a relationship, I was surprised to see the outpour of comments and likes on my Facebook page. The interesting thing about the post was that I have been in a relationship for the most part, but I preferred to keep the information private. As a matter of fact, I didn’t even know my status was single for a while and the reason why I changed it was because I was filing for my fiancée to join me in New York. I had to do it because of United States Citizenship and Immigration Service looks at social media during their processing. But a lot of my friends interpreted it to mean I have been single for a long period of time without knowing that five years ago, precisely in February 2013, my introduction was meant to take place in a week’s time before the ceremony was canceled due to communal and tribal differences. The rest they say is history.

That said, let’s look at some of the major social media platforms available. We have Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google plus, Twitter, YouTube, Snap chat, and Pinterest. Just to mention a few. The question we should be asking ourselves is how do we leverage this platforms to our benefit? Being able to know how to navigate this platform will make you very resourceful. If you have products you would like to advertise this are great avenues to explore. You must know how to communicate with your audience with each of this social media outlet. Failure to do this will make a good product to appear bad. How you package your product and present it to the world is very important. There are numerous stories of people who have leveraged social media platforms to promote and launch not only themselves but their products. For example, since the emergence of Facebook by Mark Zuckerberg many entrepreneurs have risen to prominence by advertising their product on the platform. Moral: You must have something worthwhile to sell.

The same testimony applies to Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google Plus just to mention a few. Be advised Facebook platform is free and you may organically grow your audience with it, but ensuring your content is seen by your audience is another story. That’s why understanding how each of this social media works is very critical to your success. You must continually educate yourself as they update their system. Moral: Go fishing where the fish are, but more specifically, where your fish are.

With so many brands competing for attention on social media, it’s no surprise that engaging content is key. The key question now is, what problem are you solving? And how unique is your product? These are some questions you may want to consider when showcasing your product.

In conclusion; let’s take time to digest some of this words of advice which will make us think out of the box as we strive to put ourselves out there for the world to see.

  • Don’t be scared of sharing any productive product or opinion that you truly believe in. Not everyone will like it, but it will resonate to the desired audience. Remember, failing to take risk is risk itself. According to Theodore Roosevelt “, the only man who never makes a mistake is the man who never does anything.

 

  • When your friends criticize your product, don’t take it to heart. Always remember the words of Henry Ford “My best friend is the person who brings out the best in me. And Ben Silberman perfectly states that “One of the things I have learned is to be receptive of feedback. That’s why Bill Gates stated “Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.

 

  • Believe in yourself and in your product even if nobody believes in you. This is because Robert Collier made us understand that “Your chances of success in any undertaking can always be measured by your belief in yourself”.

 

  • The world will definitely remember you because of the product and legacy you left in the world and that is why Steve Jobs is fondly membered today. According to Steve Jobs “Innovation distinguishes a leader and a follower.

 

  • Whenever you make a mistake, don’t be hard on yourself. Always remember the words of Oscar Wild “Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes”.

In conclusion, always note that in this era of social media, the most effective way of communicating is building the right relationship, connecting with the right network and partnership with the right people. This is because according to Robin Sharma “The business of business is relationship; the business of life is human connection”.

 

Henry Ukazu writes from New York. He works with the New York City Department of Correction as the Legal Coordinator. He can be reached via henrous@gmail.com

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