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Monday, 4 February 2013

Effective Social Media

A recent reading of Stephen Covey’s “Leader In Me” book has me coming to discuss an issue which can make or break your online, social media success in a technologically literate society.

Being effective with social media is similar to having a flush bank account with a $1000 overdraft. You can put some money into the account (thoughts, feelings, photos, etc.) but if you post or say something that does not benefit you and or your professional development and/or reputation, you double the money being withdrawn from your account. These withdraws add up and use the overdraft which eventually tarnishes and maxes out your online reputation. 

Now, I think that because the wellness network is all about promoting sustainable, proactive health and wellness let me explain how to use social media effectively. Social media is a whole new language which is still in its infancy stage of development. Using social media effectively comes down to one question you need to ask yourself every time you log in to speak.

How is this going to benefit me?

Once you answer and justify that question you can then freely post on facebook, twitter, pinterest, etc at your hearts desire. Whether you are worried that your voice is ‘wrong’ or ‘right’ is completely subjective to your personal opinion.

For example, I would never tweet to my 600+ followers “I cannot believe people who do not like the Arizona Cardinals football team. If you don’t follow them then you are dumb”.

Four problems exist with this projection of voice in an online age:
- I am offending everyone who does not like that football team.
- I am not using good language and use of my ‘tweet’.
- It does not contribute to my health and wellness goals, blogs, followers, etc.
- It is general opinion not backed up by any fact, motive or research.

Instead, I may tweet something like this: “Today I ran to Keppoch Mountain in Antigonish. Wow what a great view from the top and awesome weather!”.

Five positives exist in this particular tweet:
- It promotes physical activity to those reading.
- It promotes getting outside in the winter.
- It uses positive language which I associate with social/emotional wellness.
- It is something that benefits my blog, twitter followers, etc.
- It is a fact that the view from Keppoch Mtn is awesome!

Think of social media as a benefit to your social wellness. It can be a great thing. The greatest thing since the invention of the telephone to be exact. You can reach a massive amount of people for free, market products you endorse and through authentic opinions you brand. It can also serve as a great educational tool. All easily and at your own leisure. Keeping this in mind, your social media voice and projection of image via social media platforms is very important; just as the image you portray walking through the mall. Keep it professional and authentic to you and your principles.

Just always remember that in order to reach towards social and emotional wellness, you must always ask yourself the question, “How is this going to benefit me?”. That way you can stay true to yourself, portray your online voice and build towards a successful future through social media.

Ryan Fahey
B.A Human Kinetics
CPTN Canada
Canfitpro FIS, PTS

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