This is a collaborative post by Ellie Jo about the benefits of using social media.
Social media suffers a bad rep these days, and with so many reports in the media, it’s not that hard to see why. However, millions and millions of people are still using it and benefiting from it. While others are taking time out and having a social media detox, it is really about how you use it and what you’re using it for. There are tons of benefits to using social media and here is just ten of the best.
The Benefits Of Social Media
Connecting The World
Whether you are searching for a former school friend, an old teacher, or someone who has moved abroad or just want to make a new friend who has a similar interest, there is no easier or faster way to make a connection than on social media. If it’s not old friends you’re looking for, then you can make new friends, build business connections or extend your personal base by connecting and interacting with friends of friends – which can have a multiplying effect. Having these connections can help with a variety of things such as finding romance, getting a new job, receiving support from like-minded individuals, making or receiving career or personal advice, sharing political beliefs and accessing news in real-time.
There are loads of social communities you can find which are almost the virtual equivalent of local community socials where family and friends gather to exchange news and get updates or the equivalent of having a pen pal has been upgraded as private messages can be sent over social media. When it comes to getting information, very few methods are faster than social media.
When you’re earning money online, social media is a great tool to use. According to one of the make money sites, if you get noticed on the social networks, participate in chats, debates, become popular from your social media accounts, and you will see that there is a world of benefits that awaits you when it comes to earning money online.
Commonality of Interest
You can find and choose other people to chat to whose likes and dislikes are similar to yours and build your network around those commonalities. For instance, if you love chess, knitting, train spotting, or collecting stamps, you can find and interact with people who share the same interests. It can also be a good way to share tips and ideas with others. As well as hobbies, if you’re going through a tough time you can also find people who are going through the same or have been through the same, for example, if someone close to you has a rare disease, there will be a support group on social media where you can meet people who will be able to help.
Real-Time Information Sharing
Instead of waiting for a reply, if you need to talk to someone there and then, you can check if they’re online and use the instant messaging feature and have a real-time chat – no matter where you are in the world. Plus as long as you have connected with that person, you don’t need to have their phone number.
Whether you are a non-profit organization that needs to get the word out about an upcoming fundraiser, there’s no better way than social media to get your message in front of millions of people 24/7. You can also do paid advertising, and you can choose who will see your ad, so it will only go to people who are interested in your product or service or are your target audience.
Increased News Cycle Speed
Social networking has transformed the speed of the news cycle, and most news organizations rely on social media sites to collect and share information. Social media is now becoming a mainstream source for breaking news.
Google Reviews, Yelp, and Facebook have become popular and reliable sources of information for consumers. Because they are real people using the sites and choosing to put their opinions out there, over 90% of consumers use social review sites when deciding on buying a product or hiring a service. This also includes sites like Trip Advisor and Rotten Tomatoes, among others.
While there are many groups for people to discuss their interests, there has been considerable growth in groups focused on professional growth. You can use social media to find a group that focuses on whatever profession or educational pursuit you’re looking for, and you can find help and advice from others around the world. Freelancers, benefit from social media to find work and people can also find plenty of tips on how to handle demanding clients. You can also get feedback on portfolios, presentations if you need it, there are loads of people out there who are eager to help you with your own business and career.
Increase in Human Interaction
While many think that the influx of social media has meant that people don’t talk anymore, it is, in fact, the opposite. Social media is one of the best ways for people to connect and especially those who have more difficulty with face-to-face interaction. There are people who have disabilities who find it difficult to get out, others who suffer from anxiety or loneliness, but through social media are able to find people to talk to. Families are also brought closer together, by social media, especially elderly adults who might not be able to travel to see children and grandchildren but can regularly “see” them posting on social media and feel a part of their lives.
Benefits for Non-Profits
Social networking is a powerful tool for getting a message out. The sites are great for building up exposure and getting more people to support a cause, especially if a video or news story goes “viral.” Social Media has helped many organizations with small budgets to reach mass audiences they would never have been able to afford otherwise. Social media has also mobilized large segments of the population to help with disaster relief when it’s critically needed.
Rachel is an Austin blogger, educator, mom, wife, young breast cancer survivor writing about health, saving money, and living a happy life in Austin, Texas.
Rachel has written for HuffPost and Hometalk and has been featured on KXAN, Studio 512, Fox 7 Austin, and CBS Austin.