In addition to my previous post, sharing the experiences and my thoughts on the negatives of social media, I thought I would also share the positives. I think during dark and weird times like this in the world, social media has brought a lot of comfort and happiness to people. I am going to talk about the positive impact of social media from the early 2000’s, to the present day.
Back in the day, when I was at school, I had friends from dancing and youth theatre, which I attended outside of school; taking part in community arts projects and dance shows meant obviously some of those friends I couldn’t speak to at school, so having MSN chatroom and having my Nokia phone certainly helped me to keep communication with those out of school friends. I also loved changing the phone case each week and having different ring tones for my phone as a teenager, especially in school five days a week, wearing the same blue school uniform, so the phone case and phone as an accessory would brighten up my aesthetic so to speak and set my identity. I would have a bright pink playboy phone case and a Britney Spears Pepsi phone case, or one to match my school bag; definitely one way to be creative with your fashion choice, accessorizing your phone.
Then of course we had Myspace when I was in my first year of college; I liked how you can blog on your profile, writing up dates every week about what you wanted, so for me it was a way of writing and a source to share it from. However more to mention at a young age it was a way of keeping up with latest house parties going on; Myspace not only gave me something to do in the evenings, but it was a great way to chat and share positive things like news updates with your friends and share the latest music. Beebo was apparently a similar site, but I never really had that in all fairness.
When I started secondary school my dad was a massive technophobe no word of lie, I didn’t get my first phone until I was 15 years of age, I remember my primary school best friend Lucy having a mobile phone and I was super jealous. As secondary school advanced in my years, more of my year group were getting mobile phones, after of course nagging the life out of my parents of course, year 10, was my year, going to underage discos; going to sleepovers and getting more of a social life instead just of paper round and school. As soon as I got my first Nokia phone with a light blue denim case, (I know I was more excited about the phone case than the phone), that was when I was able to meet my friends a bit more outside of school. I remember thinking I was the bees knees walking around school with a mobile phone in a denim case that matched my denim pencil case at the time. In addition, kids today seem to have the latest phones at even 8 years old, my niece for example has more advanced technology knowledge than I did at 8 years old, (I know I’m showing my age here.)
For the duration of this lockdown, social media has had a good advantage, as I have been able to tune in live to dance classes, dance being a long term hobby I have returned to after so long; practising these live classes with an instructor from home, has made it comfortable to rewind and refer back to steps and redoing exercises that in my own time. Like a live dance class I feel I am either obliged to attend at that time or if you have to attend a dance class at a local community centre, you don’t have to worry about being there on time as with online you have the flexibility of practising it at your pace in your own time. So if you’re someone that is self conscious or suffers from anxiety, then why not take part in an online dance class? Another gainful experience from social media.
Secondly I think Zoom is another virtual platform; it’s very simple and straight forward and let’s face it, I am not a tech savvie person, I know I am actually shocking, I used to get laughed and joke with my staff at my previous workplace at how rubbish I was at technology; I had to get the HR lady or one of my supervisors to help sort it out. It was hilarious! So reading this should give people the confidence to feel like they can tune into zoom for meeting, Q & As, classes, live shows and workshops, it’s a great platform, especially for privatised classes, meetings or groups.
A funny story my mom is the least tech savvy person ever, I kid you not, she can barely text, but during lockdown she got herself a Facebook account which my fiancé set up for her; now log on from her tablet, which is amazing, because I can now send her pictures and see her face to face on chat, but also kept each other in the loop; especially when I had no phone for like 10 days, so facebook was actually a lifeline of getting in touch with people.
My favourite social media app has to be Instagram, I love Instagram, from the point of view that it is an account is where I am a bit more open and personal and have only people I want to have on there; plus there’s not as much nastiness and trouble caused as much as Facebook. Instagram is a great way to customise my pictures too, and it’s nice to see uplifting pictures instead of ranty statuses. During lockdown Skype has also been a great tool, especially for people during lockdown having been in other countries away from loved ones, so it’s been a great way to keep in touch and have face to face contact, it don’t half make a difference, and it helps, especially if any of you are like me, it’s great if you prefer face to face chat.
Businesses using social media as a platform.
Furthermore, I must say that we are going into a world that is becoming more reliant on technology and social media, during lockdown I completed and worked on my LinkedIn profile, which even though I have a job, I’m not planning on leaving anytime soon, it’s a good way of networking with like minded people and people in your professional industry; those of you that haven’t any familiarity with LinkedIn, it’s a social media site, but all professional and work related, which business use as a form of promoting staff intake and creating brand awareness, but also can get you headhunted, as friends of mine have found, it’s also a good way to connect and exchange ideas and opinions of people who share similar career goals or in a certain industry. What I found a big help when I was made redundant a few years ago was LinkedIn as it was good for me to apply for jobs, and I ended up at the time scoring 4 interviews in a week, due to connections and responding to job ads on LinkedIn. LinkedIn I would see a good way for a business to have as a social media platform to emulate their brand values.
I think that influencers that have started their careers as self employed on YouTube, have been in an advantageous position to launch and further their career paths; for example YouTube influencer Hannah Witton, who has been a specialist on sex and relationships, has through her career on YouTube, been noticed by brands and building trust with these companies, to post their content, which strengthens and promotes both the business and the influencers profile, building awareness and power. I think YouTube tutorials and influencers are amazing, especially if you have anxiety and do not want to leave the house but you want to learn a new skill from home, YouTube is an amazing for that, there’s tutorials and talks on everything pretty much using youtube.With youtube videos, could lead onto videos and posts being shown and shared on other social media sites, for example adverts or movie trailers can then be shared on their Facebook feed. For example Zoom and YouTube are perfect, as a few of my actor friends have used and uploaded their showreel to launch their profiles for potential producers and directors which their friends have shared to their newsfeeds, have also been shared on both Zoom and YouTube.
Joe Sugg YouTube influencer, but also brother of fellow famous Youtuber Zoey Sugg i.e. Zoella, he started his career through YouTube, which then lead to him being cast in the West End production of the musical ‘Waitress’ without any professional drama school training; he just made a name for himself making YouTube videos. His sister Zoey or Zoella, whichever you prefer to call her, was recognised on social media with having her blog on wordpress and then launching her YouTube channel, and now she’s used that social media status to launch her writing career and also her own beauty products range.
Tools and connecting with customers/ fan bases.
I have been working in catering management for 8 years now, so I have been shown customer interaction via emails, trip advisor and also twitter, facebook and Instagram. My previous job as a general manager of a bohemian style café in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter, advertised for staff using their Instagram and facebook pages, this has been a tool mentors of mine have shown me, that you can actually look someone up on their facebook profile, you can then at what kind of person you are expecting.
In addition, I find that this was very monatomous and not always the most greatest use of my time, but in my previous job I as manager, had to reply to every single tripadvisor comment, be it good or bad, so for me very time consuming, but I could see why they expected this, as at least people can see we as British subjects are using these tools to be polite and show acknowledgement.
Where I work now, my bosses use social media to keep in contact with their customers, my boss who previously worked as a professional writer, launches a lot of her material on social media, for both her pubs she releases a subscription to her blog and newsletter, to keep her customers informed of the latest promotions, events, news and adds a personal touch to it. She has like me come from a theatrical background, which she uses to her advantage regarding her social media connections, during lockdowns she has hosted virtual quiz nights, to keep her customers entertained during isolation. Not only does this keep our regulars in the loop, but also shows value to the customer contact, and also with her quick wit and theatrical welcoming on facebook live, people can see her as a person and can feel that warmth and connection, which will lead to new customers. This boss of mine, has become an idol for me (I know I may sound sad haha) , as she has a real passion for the writing and social media, and always responds with attention to detail on her reviews to her customers, building that trust; which is her personally connecting with her customer base, this is her using the beneficial side of social media.
In conclusion, from this post and my previous post, social media has it’s good sides and bad sides; being creative using social media, for me sharing this blogpost on my platforms has been very privileging. I have also never been so grateful for social media during this lockdown as I have been able to host friendship circle virtual pub quizzes, family chats and video calls. If anyone has any ideas that I haven’t put down that social media could be beneficiary or would like to just share your experiences or thoughts on this post. You’re more than welcome to leave a comment.
Thanks for taking the time to read this. Peace Out folks!