All social media platforms have advantages and disadvantages. It is important to consider all aspects of a platform before you make the decision to join and participate.
Advantages of social media platforms
Many of the most popular social media platforms are free: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and Google Plus. Many social media Web sites are funded by advertising. As long as advertising continues to be successful, it is very unlikely that these sites will ever have fees.
Social media is a great way to keep in touch with family and friends. It is possible to communicate with family and friends who live close by to arrange lunches, parties, special events and more. Additionally, you can keep up with the latest happenings with family and friends who live far away.
Social media can be a great asset for feedback. Whether you are interested in getting feedback for personal or professional projects, social media can be helpful. Share your personal endeavors, such as cooking with your kids and vacation photos. Gain valuable insight about your professional work, such as published articles and senior portrait portfolios.
During the past five years, social media has become one of the most popular promotional channels for many different types of businesses. Whether you have a brick-and-mortar shop, an online shop or both, you can use different social media sites to promote your business. While this does take time and a level of expertise, it is very low-cost advertising.
Social media is a great way to network. No matter what interests and profession you have, it is very likely that there are other individuals on any social media site who share your passions and job skills. There are numerous ways to network with these people, including Pinterest boards, Facebook groups, Twitter hashtags and Google Plus circles.
Social media can be a great source for research and gathering both personal and professional resources. For example, if one of your hobbies is photography, use photography-related Twitter hashtags to find tutorials and other articles. Likewise, if you publish your own articles about photography either personally or professionally, you can use some of these same channels to find relevant materials for your writing.
Disadvantages of social media platforms
Like many Web sites, social media can become more of a time-waster than a time-saver. It is easy to get sucked in to watching videos of friends' babies and cute pets when you should be participating in a professional Twitter chat or publishing an article. It is important to schedule dedicated social media time for both personal and professional tasks.
Some people make the mistake of using single social media accounts for both personal and work posts. It can be frustrating to search through numerous work promotions on a personal Facebook profile. It usually is okay to post minimal personal or professional posts on the opposite type of account to get some exposure, but in general, it is best to create separate accounts.
A number of people use their professional accounts solely for their own promotions. Most people do not want to follow these feeds. Take the time to post additional resources and information that will be valuable to your followers, such as articles pertaining to your field.