Social media emerged first in the early 2000s and has now evolved to a point where 72% of Americans are now on some sort of social media (2019). LinkedIn was launched in 2002 and MySpace was launched in 2003 and by 2006 it was the most visited website on the planet until it was eclipsed by Facebook in 2008. What people don’t know is that musician, Justin Timberlake, bought MySpace for $35 Million in 2011 but it has since then declined in visibility.
Today we have the likes of Instagram, Twitter, Reddit, Pinterest, TikTok, Youtube, Snapchat and now Clubhouse all battling for downloads and the attention of billions of people. It is estimated that 4.2 billion people are on social media as of 2021. The rise of smartphones have meant a major shift of society, individuals and businesses. In 2018, digital marketing surpassed traditional marketing for the first time in history.
This radical shift has come with its own set of new problems and challenges that we as a society have never dealt with at such a scale. I refer again to the Netflix documentary “The Social Dilemma,” that spoke of the dangers of social media and it showed just how much social media robs people of their time. It has increased the amount of insecurities and depression cases amongst humans especially those of teenage girls who constantly battle with definitions of beauty and comparison. They highlighted many other points and highlighted how terrible these platforms have become. I looked at it and yes I can agree with many of the points they highlighted but I also know that as with all things it comes down to the user. Electricity can be used to power a brothel as well as a hospital, the powers that be are all neutral and move towards good or bad depending on the intentions of the user.
Over the years there have been issues regarding privacy of user information been shared and I remember a quote from the documentary saying:
“If you aren’t paying for the product, YOU are the product.”
With all that you have a choice to make, you can either be used by social media, let it steal your time, energy, resources and peace of mind or you can use it for your benefit. This requires an intentional approach and I figured I’d give you some points so you can better navigate this new world we are moving into. Social media is here to stay and you are either going to use it or it is going to use you.
Here are some uses for you take advantage of:
1. Use social media to connect to like minded individuals
Social media has people ranging from Elon Musk to even sheiks in Dubai who are constantly sharing information based on their perspective. There are billions of people online who share your views who could either reinforce or add to where you already are and it’s on you to decide if you’re going to look for them and align. Or you can spend your days following your High School friends online who you no longer speak to so you can try to keep up with them. You must choose what you tune into just like any TV set.
2. Use social media to learn from people who are better than you
To add to point one, I have made it a point to follow people who are better than me who add to what I’m doing and I am constantly learning from them. This means everytime I pick up my phone and open a social media app, I have a chance to learn unconsciously. This dramatically accelerates your learning without you even noticing, yet people miss this. Youtube is literally becoming the new university for me and people there share tips on literally everything from beauty to gadgets. Stop being ignorant and go forth!
3. Use social media as a distribution channel for your products, services and ideas
I already said that there are 4.2 billion on social media worldwide. And I already said that digital marketing has in 2018, eclipsed traditional media in terms of revenue for the first time. Why has this happened? Because businesses have realised that that's where people are which means that social media is now a distribution channel for products, services and ideas. I have made a large portion of my money from selling my products, services and ideas on social media. Content in itself lasts forever and passive income can be generated from this too if you’re smart and are willing to learn.
4. Use social media to do marketing research
Social media can also be used as a market research platform for new products. You can pay attention to trends and form an analysis on what's going to be massive and where things are flowing. People happily put up products and services they use online and trends are created and followed because of this.
5. Use social media to get ideas and inspiration
Feeling low on motivation and inspiration? Well you can easily go on Youtube and watch some video from me or Tony Robbins amongst many other individuals to give you that juice you need at the moment. I learnt that problems are not unique to you, there are countless people who have dealt with the same problems you are now dealing with and have overcome them. All you have to do is have the attitude to remain optimistic and search for the solution to your problems.
6. Use social media to form your own opinion away from traditional media
The traditional media no longer has the monopoly on information as they did before. In fact traditional media especially in the form of print has seen an attack on their industry and they struggle for relevance. They mostly cater to the boomer generation but now you have an ability to siff effortlessly through tons of information to form your own opinions of what you care about. Fake news has grown because of this trend.
7. Use Social media for investment purposes
We have also seen the rise of social media investment decentralisation last week as we saw wall street hedge funds being destroyed for shorting stocks by reddit user “Wallstreetbets.” We saw billions of dollars being transferred in a space of a few days with Gamestop, AMC, Nokia and Blackberry stocks rising in value. You can now be a part of this and really gain insights from many people regarding the markets so you can make better informed decisions about where to invest your money.
What I am basically trying to say to you is this, as with the pandemic, you can either see a crisis or you can see opportunity, it all comes down to you. The apple means different things for the seller, the farmer, the hungry person and the chef. You choose the world you will live in and it comes down to your internal attitude that will determine what strings of reality you pull towards you. Choose wisely.
Learn to use social media!!!
Call to action!!
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