Social media is a game changer. It came and conquered all already existing forms of communication and more and their boundaries and now here we’re, transiting fluidly through the one global village it created. Globalization. Such sites include; Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, Tiktok, Snapchat, LinkedIn etc.
From building brands and bringing markets and goods closer to people, to starting relationships or breaking them, building or ending careers to influencing social, economic and political scenes, social media is like a university with a lot of courses to learn from.
When I joined that school, here is part of what I learnt from it;
- It has the power to either make you or break you.
Social media, depending on how you use it or with who you interact with, it can either lead you to glory or to the grave. Literary. Many people have gained fame and glory depending on how they decide to use their social media. From being brand ambassadors/ influencers to getting gigs because of the content, people have made a killing. In Uganda, one example can be Martha Kay aka the Range Rover girl. She gained prominence to being who she is today because of the short, comical skits she uploaded in line. Right now, she’s doing a good job as a media personality.
On the sad note, we have seen a number of cases where celebrities or entities have uploaded content that has rubbed wrong on the shoulders of their followers and in the end brands have fallen. Recently, it was the Ugandan media brand NBS on one of its Saturday night music shows where presenters donned the All Lives Matter labeled t-shirts in showing solidarity with the blacks all over the world fighting racism. The next day, the internet was up in arms with some calling for the sack of one of the top dogs that run the station for their ignorance to the matter. Reason being, All Lives Matter is considered to be a counter attack to the Black Lives Matter. It forced them to apologize.
Social media also is part of the leading causes of stress, anxiety, depression and a number of other related issues. This sometimes comes from what people have chosen to put out there. The internet never forgets. Sometimes people put a lot of their lives out there and by the time they decide to delete the content, the trigger fingers have already saved it or screenshot it and it’s too late to salvage. This leaves such sensitive information in the hands of people who you don’t know what they are going to use it for. At one point in time, when you’re on top of your game or on your way there, they can release it to the world and watch your career or anything of the sort spiral down to the ground. Take for example the nude leaks. People have trusted their sensitive beings or sexuality with others they consider lovers. Inside person status but then one sad turn of events and boom, their nakedness is leaked to the world. This has affected people’s brand images and business platforms.
2. Power of networking
Social media has given us the power of networking through the availability of the right social media tools each tailored for specific sections of our lives. There’s LinkedIn for the professional side, Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, and the like for the more social, groupie jazz, WordPress, Medium that encompasses all aspects, YouTube the list is endless. Now with all these sites available, who you friend on them and how you interact with them is what matters the most. They test your networking skills. With proper networking, people have been able to score deals and get jobs and make ends meet. For example me. when I was a dancer, I used to make sure my social media circles included people in the media and entertainment circles because I knew that one day, one of them may be my break through and so in 2013, I got my big break into the media world when from what I was putting up on line, I was contacted by a media personality who offered to put me in his TV show team.
3. It’s the new business & market evolution
Social media has changed the game of marketing and business operations. These days success of some businesses is measured by their social media presence. The weaker your brand or business is on the socials, the lower are your business potential. That means your business is not seen or market is driven there and you need to do something about it otherwise you are going to be left behind. This has led to the emergence of people specializing in growing people’s businesses on line. Call them influencers and social media marketers. They drive sales, views, engagements etc.
People are making ads specifically for the social media people because this is where the money is. This is where yon are to find your target market.
Social media has changed the business scene through promotion of online shopping. People are concentrating on social media because that is where they will find the biggest all-category market and this has brought a threat to other media channels that used to reap big from ads especially the radio industry because now they have to share the money with businesses that have put in placed social media offices to handle online marketing.
4. It’s a screen
Not everything you see on these streets is true. People are living a life to impress or get around and once you are blinded then you are bound to fall. It needs one to take their time before treading with anyone otherwise you may be fleeced. The ladies will post their distresses with a target of looking for a man to gain a favor from or men will flaunt the good life only looking for a woman to sex and go. We have seen a lot of those stories on line. People will pose as prospective business gurus only looking for naïve or desperate soul to swindle. On line dating is a gamble. Many of the cool pics people put on the Gram are a screen to the dilapidated life they’re living and so forth.
Social media needs one to tread carefully otherwise there is a lot of fake it till you make it people.