Social media can be a great tool for businesses. It allows companies to connect with people in different ways. You can share photos, videos, and written content. You can promote news, events, and opportunities. Social media have provided new digital ways for people to engage with an organization or product. The possibilities are plenty. But be careful. For all the upsides of social media, there are downsides, too. To help you from falling into any social media traps, here are the risk and benefits of social media ethics:
Benefits of Social Media
Build Personal and Professional Relationships on Social Media
All social media networks are made to build relationships, but the kinds of relationships vary by platform. LinkedIn can help in an active job search and is great for general career connections. You can interact with executives and managers, follow companies, and keep updated about business activities, announcements, and job postings. You can also market yourself for the career you see yourself in; update your page to highlight career milestones; list past work experiences, and search for jobs by keywords that fit your career goals.
Share Expertise and Experiences with Followers
Some social media more than others are great for creating networks to share expertise and experiences. Facebook works well for this. Not only can you connect with individuals and keep up those personal relationships, but you can also create individual and business brand pages. This lets you market a certain product or service, target a precise audience, and adjust your voice and tone depending on your goals. Facebook gives you greater leeway to promote your brand. Because you can reach such a large amount of people, you can also share thoughts, tips, tricks, and hacks about nearly anything.
Use Socal Media Visibility and Links
Platforms like Instagram are about more than just pretty pictures. (Yes, it is about those, but only partly.) Instagram photos and videos are designed to be pleasing to the eye. This is a great network that allows you to use creativity to pull in your audience, a less formal tone to really connect with them, and place links strategically to a sales page. Instagram is tailor made for quick scrolling; the media is easily digestible which means customers are always poking around, 24/7.
Risks of Social Media
Beware the Social Media Cyberbully
Social media has opened communication between people and companies from one side of the globe to the other. The flip side of this coin is that it’s given voice to cyberbullies, sometimes known as trolls. These people tend to keep their real identities anonymous, which they think gives them license to spew hate. Cyberbullies and trolls can leave inaccurate, unfair comments and reviews on your pages and accounts so it’s important to keep an eye on them. Usually it’s best not to engage with them as it adds fuel to the fire; if you do, it can spiral out of control pretty quickly and doesn’t reflect great on you even if you’re right. Beware.
Social Media Addiction
It happens to the best of us: you’re hard at work, in the middle of a project, but you feel the need to check your social media statuses. A few minutes later, you check again. And again. It’s not an exaggeration that social media is addictive. Don’t let yourself fall victim. Learn to recognize the signs (e.g., change of behavior, compulsive posting, feelings of restlessness and urges to always post and be connected) and pursue strategies that force you to unplug like mandatory quiet time at home, no screen time before bed, and regular deactivation of your profiles.
Negative Trends to Avoid with Social Media
It can be easy to fall into bad habits and negative trends. Make sure you understand what’s appropriate to post online. If you’re in charge of a business or brand page, don’t post any personal messages or photos. Don’t message strangers repeatedly to the point of harassment. Don’t pose as someone you’re not – this is called catfishing and is used to trick or lure people into believing something untrue. And definitely don’t promote or spread hate speech or violence. All of these have the potential to ruin your reputation and relationships.
Like with any technology, it’s important that you use social media responsibly. Technology is changing fast, which is why it’s important for you keep up to date on the latest developments, trends, and best practices.
“As educators we need to be teaching the critical knowledge, skills, and abilities that future cybersecurity professionals need to be equipped with,” says Kat Kadian-Baumeyer, Charter College instructor. We agree! If you want to learn about cybersecurity and, more generally, information technology, Charter College has degree programs in IT. We’ll teach you how best to use technology and how to understand the risks and benefits of social media. Learn more today and apply to Charter College.