“Must be well-versed in Twitter and Instagram. Social Media Marketing Intern Needed.” These proclamations from employers and many more, are increasingly present in our society and job market today. In an evolving world surrounding heightened connections and plentiful access to information, how does one tackle the labyrinth that is social media?
Social media has taken the world by storm, and is a very essential tool in our modern American society. Social media takes on many forms and offers many services. The first of which I will mention, is that of an informant. With new technology and software, comes quicker, easier, access to information. Whether this be breaking global news, or Steve Harvey’s birthday, we now have access to far greater resources than we had twenty years ago. Social media plays a large role in how people, especially kids and teenagers, decipher and navigate such an overload of information. The Internet and various news outlets present different sides to every story as well as occasional sources of misinformation. Social media sources allow people, particularly students around my age, early lessons in information processing and in source credibility. We high school students live in an age of CNN Twitter accounts and the verbal use of “google.” The ever present influx of information available to us, not only heightens our awareness of perspective and conflict, but also allows us to determine, for ourselves, what information is worth obtaining.
Another crucial role played by social media is that of a construction worker. People are beginning to craft a social media presence on a broad scale. What you post, who you follow, who follows you, these are components to the technological individual one may present to the world. Social media allows people to tweet their political opinions, like or favorite posts from various organizations and individuals, and present photographs or messages that they feel capture their moments. When the whole world is watching, who are you? This is the question many ask as they try to fit an anecdote into 140 characters. This is the question many ask as they apply multiple filters to their newest post-worthy picture. This is indeed the question many ask and try to answer correctly when portraying the views and missions of their organizations. This is social media marketing. For yourself and for your initiatives.
Well, if social media marketing is so crucial, how does one do it? How does one do it well? Many look to the aesthetic blogger or famous individual for the answer to this now pressing question. Some may look to the nonprofit with thousands of followers. If you seek to expand an initiative and inspire others to join, a social media presence may prove more valuable than you may think. The aesthetically pleasing edits, or the all caps captions may seem frivolous and unimportant. However, they are not, I repeat, not to be ruled out. How you present an idea, individual, or group to the world may prove equally as important as what defines it. People want their eyes to be pleased and their attentions to be grabbed. Crafting a strong social media presence is essential to inspiring others to get involved.
This brings me to the next, arguably most important role of social media, that of an advertisement. Once you have a steady audience through multiple media sources, then you can portray your message. This can be seen in many forms. Some individuals use social media to promote an active lifestyle, a decorative flare, or simply just to show off fun with their friends. Other larger groups and organizations use social media as a way to promote special offers or fundraising opportunities. It has never been easier to make your mission known to a widespread group of people. If you, as an individual, are supporting a local charity race initiative, you can tweet about it. If a company wants to promote a new lotion, they can have a celebrity endorse them on Instagram even they can Buy Real Active Instagram Followers to promote their lotion with wide range of audience. Advertising comes in many forms, with many different goals and purposes. With social media, you can collect interest and notoriety with a few clicks. Marketing has never been this simple. Marketing has never been this complex.
The last and final role of social media doesn’t have a clear name. Social media is defined by what it means to us, how we use it, and how it makes us feel. Social media is an asset in many ways. It can, however, be destructive. For teenagers, and many adults, social media can be overwhelming. It can form a labyrinth, full of advertisements, body image, and socioeconomic divide that can lead to heightened feeling of jealousy. Many of us see the lifestyles of certain individuals on social media and render them superior to our own. In an age where it seems we can know everything about someone from one profile; I beg this question. Do we really know anything at all? We know only what the user wants others to see. We don’t see the sadness or the mundane. We don’t see the hardships or the plain. Yet we continue to judge and base people off of an internet profile. We all have much more to offer than a page of pretty pictures. Teenagers who have grown up in an age of oversharing and likes and comments sometimes get lost in it all. Social media is meant to be a fun way to connect with others. It is not meant to allow constant comparing and scrutiny. One of my favorite lines from a poem that I wrote in the fifth grade is as follows: “Stars often make us feel horrendous about ourselves. Then our happiness becomes a book that we lose among the shelves.” I may have thought that to be exceptionally more profound back then, but I think it still rings true today. Don’t let people or pictures or messages make you lose your sense of happiness. Perceive social media as a tool, not as an obstacle.