How to Utilize Social Media for Personal Development.
For communication, media sharing, business, entertainment, education, and even politics, it’s something that has come to stay.
With over 50% of the world’s population actively on one social media platform or another, it’s safe to say that social media has become the norm.
Ever picked up your phone to go through your feed for some minutes, only for you to realize later that you’ve been on it for hours?
That’s how addictive and time consuming it can get due to the endless content available. If each content on all the social media platforms was a drop of water, when combined they’d make an ocean. An ocean that continually increases by the minute.
Yes, it’s possible to get lost or drowned in it. However, you can achieve a lot if you navigate properly on the social media waters.
Regarding personal and professional development for instance, take a look at…
What You Stand To Gain From Using Social Media The Right Way.
1. Mindset growth.
To a large extent, what you end up being able to achieve in life is determined by your attitude and mindset. With the wrong mindset, there are levels in your personal and professional life you can’t reach.
Your perception of work-life balance, scarcity/abundance, what you can/can’t do, possibilities, competition, amongst others, can make or mar your growth.
Ideally, you should position yourself such that you’re continuously growing and renewing your mind positively. The healthier your mindset, the better your life has the capacity to become.
Now, while it’s true that there are social media disadvantages such as peer pressure, intimidation, low self-esteem, and other emotional & mental negatives, it can also give you the opposite of these. It can help broaden your horizon.
On social networks, you can find life and game changing opportunities to apply or sign up for. It’s also possible for opportunities to come knocking on your door…even when you’re not on the lookout for them.
Jobs, internships, scholarships, grants, fellowships, exchange programs, mentorships, and many similar opportunities get shared in their thousands across the different platforms daily. We can almost say gone are the days when people had to go physically in search of opportunities or vacancies.
Also, you get the leverage to sit at tables and attend events that you ordinarily would not have access to for a bunch of reasons, including distance.
Through social media, you have leverage to meet and connect with people all over the world, including those that you ordinarily wouldn’t have access to.
Networking is important because it helps you form relationships with people that have the potential to partner with you, connect you to relevant opportunities, inspire you, challenge you to be better, and generally play one part or another in helping you get to certain heights.
If you go about networking the right way, you’ll end up having valuable additions to your social capital.
4. Increased visibility.
Nope, you don’t have to be a local champion for life. Through social networks, you can position yourself, brand and business to be seen and heard world wide from the comfort of your home.
Apart from you being visible when people deliberately search for you, there are other avenues through which you can be seen.
- You can appear in search results for other people when your names are similar.
- You can be suggested when when people within your niche are followed or connected with.
- You can be suggested to other users among people they may know.
- You can be seen by other members of groups and pages you belong to.
There are steps you can take to increase your online visibility, including personal branding. We’ll throw light on them in the next sub heading.
5. Platform to make impact.
Want to play your part in changing the world? Want to help make the world a better place? Want to impact lives positively?
I bring you good news.
Via the different social media platforms available, the power to do so is literally at your finger tips.
- Lend your voice towards a cause you believe in by helping it trend or signing petitions.
- Make donations to support a cause you believe in.
- Make donations to support people and communities in need.
- Create awareness on something by creating content on it or sharing other people’s content.
- Be there for people.
There’s so much power in this. The recent well coordinated and peaceful nationwide protests to end a rogue police unit, SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad), police brutality and bad governance in Nigeria, for instance, started online.
How To Utilize Social Media For Your Self Development.
1. Detox your social media.
It’s not only your mind and body that should be detoxed. Your social media needs to be too. Purge it of everything that isn’t helping you grow in one way or another. In particular, purge it of everything leading you in the opposite direction of the upgraded you.
Unfriend or unfollow any person, organization or page that doesn’t add value to you. Exit those groups you no longer need. Unfollow those accounts that spread toxicity and negativity your way.
If you can’t unfriend, unfollow or exit, then mute them at least.
2. Follow the right accounts.
The right people to follow are the opposite of the people you flushed out above.
Follow people that inspire, motivate, encourage, teach and challenge you. Follow people that add value to your life.
Examples of people you should be following are; Thought leaders in your industry, people doing same or similar stuff you’re doing, people that have attained heights you want to get to, and people intentional about developing themselves & helping others do same.
Also, there are accounts dedicated to sharing (personal development) opportunities on all the social media platforms. Search for them using the right keywords.
The goal is for you learn something relevant, get exposed to a relevant opportunity, get valuable additions to your network, be inspired or encouraged every time you spend time online.
No, you won’t have to study your news feed like it’s school work. ?
When you start following the right accounts online, it tells on the content of your news feed. And when you go through your news feed, even without trying, the learning, unlearning and relearning begins to happen in your subconsciousness… With time it’d begin to manifest in your attitude, mindset, habits and other areas.
Your social media news feed should be like a balanced diet.
Because personal development should be all round, don’t limit yourself to the career and academic aspect alone. Follow accounts that’ll add value to other areas of your life as well.
3. Brand yourself properly.
If how you dress is how you’d be addressed physically, how you brand yourself is how you’d be addressed online.
So, how do you want to be addressed? What do you want to be known for?
Figure that out, then set up your accounts such that people see you through that lens when they come across your profile or engage with you.
To do this;
- Write your bio well.
- Put up content that establishes you as an authority in your niche, or at least, reflects your interests.
- Provide value.
- Use relevant keywords for your bio, skills, about and content. It’ll help you get found easily when people search for stuff within your niche.
- Use your full name or first and last name, not your nickname or something else. It helps increase your googleability.
- Use photos of you as your profile photo, not pictures of other people or images of random things.
- Use professional photos.
- Be careful with what you post. The internet never forgets.
4. Engage (civilly, of course).
The “social” in social media is there for a reason. You’ve got to actually interact with people to form valuable connections.
To do this;
- Write in a manner that encourages engagement.
- Appreciate people when you get value from them by liking, commenting or sharing.
- Volunteer to help out with stuff.
- Reach out to introduce yourself or say hi after connecting.
- Dont chat lyk dis. Spell properly.
- Know and respect boundaries.
- Observe social media etiquette.
5. Position yourself for opportunities.
What’s that they say about being at the right place at the right time? It applies online too. You’ve got to set your door in the path where opportunity comes knocking.
To do this;
- Join groups where opportunities you’re interested in are shared.
- Have your CV and personal letter on standby.
- Apply for internships, jobs, fellowships, grants, summits, etc. You can’t get a yes if you don’t ask.
- Attend events and network with other participants.
- Reach out to authorities to be reckoned with in your area of interest and provide them with value.
- Let people know what you do or what you’re interested in.
- Provide value through your content to gain credibility.
Can you now see that indeed there are benefits of social media for personal development? It doesn’t have to be toxic or a waste of time for you. It’s a gold mine waiting for you to dig in. What are you waiting for?
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