The Real Uses of Social Media


I had the idea for this post the other day, when I was sat talking with my Mum and her friend about social media. My Mums friend says she uses social media to promote her photography business. My Mum is a complete dweeb when it comes social media - she got Facebook last year so she could speak to me in Greece and her 'work gals', still doesn't have a profile picture and has about 7 friends.

I think a lot of the older generation (not meaning to offend anybody) tend to think that social media is pretty pointless, and is used for statuses all over Facebook like "Today I ate an apple for lunch" (actual words from my Mother). But there is so much more to it than that, and I think it's important that more people realise this. 

I'll start with me and my blog. As you're most likely a blogger reading this, you probably know what I'm going on about. How would people find out about your posts if you didn't tweet them? Or Instagram them?

They wouldn't. Well the might, but not to the level that they do. There are plenty of social media accounts which are primarily there for retweeting (aka sharing for Twitter newbies) your posts to their thousands of followers, in order to increase your audience. I find loads of new people to follow and blogs to read through these accounts, when something catches my eye I'm sure to click on it to find out more! I try and make my tweets to these accounts as eye-catching - and with photos - so that people are more likely to click on them and read (and find out how wonderfully amazing I am, *ahem*)

Companies love to use social media - they use it for so many reasons and it's really such a great tool for them. On Twitter and Facebook, they do competitions which require sharing and following a post, a great way to increase there followers and remind people that they are a thing. It is a great tool to promote new products, or new services that companies start offering.

However, there is a downside to social media for companies. It has brought power to the people. If I go to Tescos and pick up a dodgy bread roll, all I need to do is go rant about it on Twitter/Facebook/my blog, and everyone will think 'oh, I won't go back there to buy my next bread roll, it might have half an eyeball inside it...' which is never good for companies!

But then the flip side of that is for consumers, say I go onto Facebook and write about how I found a dodgy roll, I'm likely to get to speak to someone, who might offer me a voucher (normally for more than the 48p I paid for the roll) or some kind of reimbursement. Which is always good for me!

I just think people need to realise that there's a lot more to social media than writing about how you're hungry and want to go to bed. Don't get me wrong, I do write these things, but I find it really interesting how there is like a second layer to social media that not everybody knows. I really wish I'd written my dissertation about something like this, I wish more people realised the benefits that can be had of social media.

I do think that things like Twitter and Facebook are such an interesting inventions, and we often only realise that they help us, individually, but they really are so much bigger than that!

What do you think about social media? Do you think it's a good thing?


  1. My dad used to be just the same! He'd always say 'oh why would I want to go on twitter? People just say that they've just been to the loo', but now he's tried it he can see the benefits. I think in 2016, you're behind the crowd if you're not on top of social media.

    Lisa |

  2. I think social media is a good thing, particularly for news updates.

    When I first started blogging two years ago, I wrote a blog about the consequences of bullying, and how it affected me in my day to day life as it happened. Quite controversially, I published the names and Twitter handles of said bullies and some other people involved on the blog at the end. While no hate was directed at them from over 4000 readers and in the some 2000 messages and emails I received, I knew that what was written could be potentially damaging if a potential employer or a potential member of this particular youth group was to read it, and that I could have faced prosecutions for publishing it online. However, I have no regrets because of how much the blog helped victims of bullying across the world to speak out, and helped bullies to reevaluate their actions (and in one case apologise).

    I think that used in the right way, social media is a powerful tool, but in the wrong hanfs, it can be used as a weapon and do more harm than good.

    Gem x