It’s all about connection, right? Humans love feeling a part of a community, regardless of COVID-19 or not. With everyone home these days, it only makes sense for social media usage to skyrocket, right? Thanks to modern technology, we have the ability to reach out to an audience right at our fingertips. We can offer 15-second glimpses of our current situations through an Instagram story post, relate to a stranger through a tweet or hashtag, find lifehacks through a pin, and even connect to others in the same industry simply through a status update. This is the hold that social media has on us these days: even when we find ourselves confined to our homes, forced to change our daily routines, what is the one thing that remains constant? We still decide to scroll through social media threads. This isn’t to say there is “something wrong” with this picture–we all crave connection; especially in unprecedented times.
Maintaining A Healthy Balance
Photo courtesy of Mahevash Muses
With that said, a healthy balance is key. While it is in our nature to stay up-to-date with current news or keep in touch with loved ones, it is a fear that most of us will continue to live life primarily through a screen rather than cherishing what’s in front of us. We see it all the time at concerts–as if we have this personal need to document every aspect of our day. We’ve all been guilty of this at some point (and some still are). This mindset is when social media can become toxic. You start to spend more of your time on social media scrolling through timelines, taking in global news, or the worst of the worst: comparing yourself to others because their posts constantly showcase the best aspects of their lives. You start to feel fulfilled with how many “likes” or “retweets” you get, and soon, find a sense of accomplishment through a follower count. Fellow designers / professionals alike can mutually agree with this idea of validation.
So, how do we maintain a healthy balance? First, is to track how much time you actually spend on social media, and cutting that time in half. Time can really fly by when you are just scrolling through social media feeds, so awareness is key. If you need to use social media for business purposes, start looking into apps or programs such as Hootsuite or Planoly that will schedule posts automatically.
Secondly, know your priorities. It can be easy to miss out on the real world and spending quality time with loved ones when you’re investing attention toward social media. As much as possible, put the phone away at the dinner table and important moments, and be present. You’d be surprised how much weight can be lifted off your shoulders when you put your phone away during the weekends.
Lastly, and most importantly, do not compare! A recent study shows that heavy social media usage strongly contributes to anxiety and depression. Many social media users post photos and updates that only showcase the flattering parts of their lives, and sometimes, we tend to forget that everyone has their fair share of trials and tribulations. Try to think of the bigger picture, and be realistic with your thinking: their one moment in time should not be the means of comparison to your entire life.
How Social Media Can Contribute To Company Growth
Photo courtesy of FameMass
According to the GlobalWebIndex study from Hootsuite, 3.8 billion people–50% of the global population, is using social media for an average of 2 hours and 24 minutes a day. This is an increase of 9.2 percent since 2019, and with this pandemic, we can probably say this statistic is predicted to increase. In fact, App Annie reports, “People are spending 20% more time in apps during the COVID-19 lockdown.” This is because social media gives a window into a brand personality that otherwise doesn’t exist without repetitive in-person meetings. It has the power to humanize your company, and establish credibility. So while we find ourselves at home, scrolling through social media feeds out of boredom, your company has the power to potentially reach out to your entire audience just from the comfort of your own home. More than that, you can use social media to help monitor current news or trends occurring within your industry.
Each time you log in is an opportunity to promote content, make connections or generate leads, and interact with past clients or customers. This allows your company to always stay top of mind. More recently, “going viral” has become a trend especially on Twitter, which can lead to increased website traffic, or opportunities to collaborate with influencers. For companies that directly serve customers, social media is extremely beneficial for real-time customer service / support. As we’ve said before, people love to complain, and social media allows customers to directly address situations at hand rather than waiting for an email.
The Harsh Reality
If you are a part of the handful of people who think social media just isn’t “for you,” congratulations! Given recent times and advancement in technology, staying away from social media all together is a huge feat. But, the fact of the matter is, is that we need it. This goes for any company; design firms and even startups. In the design world, a consistent art direction and social media feed gives potential clients a small glimpse into your capabilities. For startups, social media helps with advertising opportunities: you want to let your industry know that you are a top contender. Overall, It is what gives your company the opportunity to make connections with people all over the world. When you deprive yourself of this aspect of business, you deprive your company from branding and innovating opportunities. Social media can be the very thing that helps you land your next client, or even the next generation of talent you’ll want on your team.