Social Media

JoAnna Bennett

JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group

7 September 2017

I don’t think any of us would question that social media has become a huge part of our business and personal lives. In marketing, you have direct access to your target audience. In sales, you can research people and companies before you make the first phone call. And in your personal life, you can share a picture of your child’s first day of school or that fancy vacation you just returned from.

I hate to break it to you, but social media isn’t social.

Social media is a space in which we feel comfortable sharing our edited feelings and thoughts with an audience of friends or connections. It becomes more about ourselves and what we want to say and what we want people to believe we are. Social media can make us feel bad about ourselves. It can also make us feel great about ourselves. It is just another one of those things about which we will have to be careful about our consumption. Even though we are the makers of our own destinies, when the brain begins to reward and respond positively to certain behaviors, it becomes challenging to break the cycle.

When it comes to social media, we need to set some limits and remind ourselves that it is good to also get out there and have face-to-face meetings with other humans (again for our business and personal lives). Aristotle once said:

Man is by nature a social animal; an individual who is unsocial naturally and not accidentally is either beneath our notice or more than human. Society is something that precedes the individual. Anyone who either cannot lead the common life or is so self-sufficient as not to need to, and therefore does not partake of society, is either a beast or a god.

Since I would not want to refer to myself as either a beast or a god (don’t tell my husband that one), I must make sure to partake in society. Maybe you should to.

And one more thing, always remember that social media is made up of two words, the second being media. Which is defined as:

the main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet), regarded collectively.

So, even though it appears to be a social platform, social media is also a breeding ground for we marketers who understand target audiences and want you to buy our products/services. It has been known for years that images of food can make us hungry – imagine what other online stimuli we can manipulate.