By HANNAH POLK
For the Regina & District Chamber of Commerce
With so much negativity often flowing through our feeds, it can be difficult to want to stay active on social media. Doctors and influencers agree, social media can be harmful when used in excess or in the wrong way. When used the right way, like to grow your business, it becomes a valuable resource for connection, communication and education.
Here are three reasons as to why you should stick with it, and if you haven’t already, why you should join in on the fun.
- INSTANT NETWORKING
Remember when kids used to be to be told “Don’t talk to strangers” and “Never trust someone you meet on the internet”? Now, pretty much the opposite is true.
Social media is all about the ability to connect with people you’ve never met, and maybe never will meet, in person. For example, a quick direct message to an Australian surfing company’s Instagram or replying to a tweet from a chef in India means you’ve suddenly made a contact across the world. You will probably never meet the people behind either of those accounts, but if you allow it to, social media becomes the vessel for transactions of knowledge.
In a post on LinkedIn, Lauren Friedman Suits, global social strategist at Adobe, shares the importance of online connection for people you will meet in person, too.
Friedman Suits suggests using social media during conferences, meetings or networking events. This allows you to learn more about the people you will be interacting with beforehand, providing you a framework for upcoming conversations. Afterward the event, you can stay connected with the people most interesting to you by following them on social media.
- BUILD AN AUDIENCE
Similar to finding people you want to connect with online, social media is a great way to find people who want to connect with you. Whether you are trying to drive traffic to your website or get people in the door of your business, putting your brand on social media increases your visibility to the community you’re trying to reach. The best part is most social media platforms have advanced algorithms that will place your page in front of eyes who want to see it. All you have to do is post!
- LEAVE YOUR MARK
One way to think about social media is as a virtual catalogue. The same fun you used to get from flipping through the Sears catalogue can be replicated through an active Instagram or Facebook page. Posting updates about your business, such as new products, sales or events, provides a place for your clients to keep track of you without making them check the dreaded newsletter that’s sitting in their inbox. Your clients are already on social media so why not meet them there?
By thinking of social media as your catalogue, you are also providing yourself with a free way to track your progress. Social media posts last forever even if you delete them, as some have learned unfortunately. This can be an advantage, however, for people looking to archive what has and hasn’t worked to promote their business in the past.