With the millions of apps, websites, and other platforms for people to communicate through media that are all over the Internet these days, this is truly the age of social media. Teenagers like myself are among the top users of most social media platforms on the Internet.
Whether it’s updating a Facebook status, fitting a joke into 140 characters, or uploading a picture of our lunch to Instagram, we are on the Internet a lot. Social media is a huge part of our culture.
Recently, I’ve seen a rise in the number of people on my Facebook feed writing or posting long articles about why social media is destructive to teenagers. Many people seem to have a negative outlook on social media and its influence on today’s youth.
Don’t get me wrong, there are a lot of negative aspects to kids having so much freedom on the Internet in this day and age. Advertisers have endless opportunities to manipulate and influence us. Privacy is not really an option for most social media users.
Plus, the Internet is now an environment that allows people to easily and anonymously hurt others. Cyberbullying has become a huge problem in the last few years. These are all negative aspects of being a part of online communities.
That being said, I don’t think social media is totally bad. I actually think being part of the social media world is beneficial for teenagers. It provides a space for young people to share opinions, stories, and thoughts. It allows us to connect with people all over the world. It can be used for bad things, but it can also be used for good.
The true strength of social media is its influence. Social media offers an avenue for companies to not only engage with customers but also influence them with the correct content which assists them with making a decision.
The effect of social media does not stop online. It is part of a much bigger scope and although social media may firstly create a certain buzz about a topic, overall the power that it generates will establish word-of-mouth advocacy.
The truth is that social media — when utilized strategically over time — is the most powerful form of digital marketing as well as market research that the world has ever seen. However, it’s not a magic bean that grows overnight into organizational success. It’s a platform for actual work.
The art of social media marketing is knowing the best places to put in that work so you are able to get results and not just a lot of annoying people who think they’re your friends.
Why Choose Social Media?
The reason why individuals choose social media as their primary source of news is owing to its ability to deliver real-time updates, globally. For example, Facebook Live – and the ability to share on the spot – gives massive audience coverage.
Individuals with larger followings, who share news and articles or give their opinions, have a big impact because followers tend to trust the people who they are following on those platforms.
If you follow individuals on social media platforms who you trust, it’s more probable that you will believe the news as well as information that is shared by them. Social media platforms are also one tool that companies and influencers can use to show authenticity as well as transparency.
For instance, the review system on Facebook pages assists people with evaluating the credibility of a company is it a restaurant, online retail store, media site, or any sort of business.
It’s probably self-explanatory that social media (in other words, speaking with people) is a marvelous tool for the first pillar of digital marketing — building relationships with fans in addition to customers.
You could be a big company, a small company, or an individual. Any of these parties can use social media platforms in order to show your customers that you aren’t a fly-by-nighter. That you can be trusted.
On the Internet and off, bullying has always been a huge problem among youth and probably will be for a long time to come. I’m not trying to justify bullying in any way, but I am simply saying that taking the Internet away would not solve the bullying problem. There are other ways to make a difference.
The people who are against social media seem to focus so much on the fact that this environment gives users an easy way to spread hate and less on the fact that it also gives users an easy way to spread love.
At any time, you can compose a message on a forum like Facebook or Twitter and send it out for anyone in the world to see. Sure, many people on the Internet abuse this opportunity, but what if we encouraged them to use it for good instead?
The other day, in the midst of this big “makeup-free selfie” trend, I used Facebook as a platform to let my friends know my opinion on it all. I made a status update about how I believe we should be focusing on people’s inner beauty instead of the way they look with or without makeup.
That status update got a lot of response, and it felt good to be able to reach out to people and share something important to me, in a few clicks of a button.
The thing is, the Internet gives young people so much freedom. Because of social media, we now have a relevant voice. Granted, there are a lot of young people who don’t really know how to use that voice for the right reasons yet.
In fact, I’m still figuring it out myself. Instead of discouraging youth in our use of the Internet, I think people should start encouraging us to use it for the right reasons instead of the wrong ones.
What Not To Do On Social Media
The most significant factor which kills your conversions is a lack of trust. Social media gives you an amazingly efficient, cheap, and effective way in order to build that trust — provided, obviously, that you’re good, to begin with. (Social media also does a wonderful job of exposing lousy service, nasty business practices, and sub-standard products.)
Asking for ‘likes’ is the social counterpart of asking someone for a compliment. If something works well, or a post reaches a set audience who engages or likes the post, they will come and then like your page (or better yet, share it!)
Changing your outward-facing social strategy in order to match the unique social forms will assist your followers to not only like what you post but also share it. In addition, this will help to boost your reach.
You also must not be measuring success based on this vanity metric. Utilize engagements within the social channel, as well as website analytics, in order to see how people interact with your website when they decide to take the next step.
Social media, as we’ve outlined in this article, is the mainstay of a digital marketing strategy. The youth of today have a voice like we never have before. Social media can be an awesome environment to encourage each other, communicate with people, and share our stories.
Social media gives us a chance to reconnect and keep up with old friends and friends that live far away. It gives us the opportunity to share our stories and get our opinions out there.
Having the freedom to say what we want on the Internet makes us feel heard. That can be such a powerful feeling, and I think it’s a really important one for teenagers to have.
Recently, a few tweets of mine have been gaining popularity, and some have even gotten attention from famous people on Twitter. Social media platforms like Twitter have given me and so many other teenagers a lot of power.
So now, with all of these ways to have our voices heard, I think that teenagers should be empowered to use that freedom for good. People need to start listening to what the youth have to say and understand that so much good can come from this opportunity if we are encouraged and accepted online and offline.