Photos by Elijah O’Donnell, Christian Wiediger and William Iven on Unsplash
It’s cheaper than a newspaper and can take you around the world in seconds! It’s social media!
Social media is currently the most powerful forum for introducing yourself and your message to the world. It starts locally with a sharing circle of family and friends. But, it can grow to professional associates, customers, fans, and more. From news feeds to entertainment buzz, everything has a place on social media.
Imagine for a moment an unknown entity in China in 1999. A few friends were inspired to create a platform that would facilitate other small traders the opportunity to trade their products. With no collateral, no capital, and no one who believed in their dream, they decided to use the internet as their source of advancement. Today, it is no longer just a dream!
Ali Baba has truly become magical. Founded as a B2B e-commerce portal to connect Chinese manufacturers with overseas buyers, it has significantly expanded through the years, offering a range of e-commerce services. These include Taobao, a C2C e-commerce marketplace; Tmall, a B2C online commerce platform focused on brands and online retail; Jujuasuan, a group shopping and flash sale website; Youku Tudou, an online video company; and, Alibaba Pictures, an entertainment company. Consider their phenomenal rise in revenues in just the last decade.
In 2010, annual revenues were just about 1.06 billion U.S. dollars. This has climbed to $39.9 billion U.S. dollars in 2017 (https://www.statista.com/statistics/225614/net-revenue-of-alibaba/). This is no small accomplishment when compared to its world-leading, US counterpart Amazon, which grossed 177.87 billion U.S. dollars in 2017.
Amazon.com, founded in 1994, shares a similarly record-breaking history as an American electronic commerce company. Today, it is the world’s largest online retailer of books, clothing, electronics, music and many more goods. As of 2017, the company generates most of its net revenues through online retail product sales.
Amazon’s success shows the power of the internet, as its revenues have risen from just about 6.92 billion in 2004 in their 10th year, to just below 178 billion in 2017. A noteworthy accomplishment is that, as of 2016, Amazon’s brand worth is approximately 100 billion U.S. dollars, topping the likes of companies such as Walmart, Ikea, and other digital competitors in Alibaba and eBay (https://www.statista.com/statistics/266282/annual-net-revenue-of-amazoncom/).
Photos by Jakob Owens, Marvin Meyer, Nicolas LB and NordWood Themes on Unsplash
So what about your personal brand power? How can you be seen and heard?
Statistics from the Pew Institute show that social media users grew significantly in 2018 (http://www.pewinternet.org/2018/03/01/social-media-use-in-2018/). Facebook (68% adults) and YouTube (nearly 75% adults and 94% of 18- to 24-year-olds) are the most popular social media platforms based on US statistics, with the exception of those 65 and older.
Younger Americans (especially those ages 18 to 24), frequently use a range of platforms. Data shows that 78% of 18- to 24-year-olds use Snapchat; and, 71% of them check their accounts multiple times per day. Additionally, 71% of Americans (18-24 year olds) now use Instagram; and, close to half (45%) use Twitter.
The Center has survey data based on five of these platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest. In general, the share of Americans who use each of these services remains constant since the last survey in April 2016, with one notable exception – Instagram. This platform has increased in popularity from 28% in 2016 to 35% today (Smith & Anderson, 2018).
So, don’t underestimate the power of your voice on social media!
From live feeds to instant photos and messages, sharing communities are always at work. During October 2017, I discovered the power of social media at the feet of one of D.C.’s finest, the Celebrity Photographer, Patricia McDougall (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lYhtSzrnSj8). She had me running cameras, appearing on her live radio show and learning the basics of photography and videography. These are skills that I am proud to say I have developed and merged into my own brand with this Crystal Clear Vision WordPress blog and my You Tube channel by the same name, “Crystal Clear Vision by Dr. Keisha.”
So, don’t underestimate the power of social media. Just be sure that what you have to share can add value to you or someone else forever, because that’s how long it will remain out there. The basics are essential. Once you have them down, you can learn the more technical aspect of search engine optimization (SEO).
While you are learning to extend your reach, check out the extensions of my brand at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQUw2eanKAA and http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/KeishaAMitchellPhD. Don’t forget to stock up on nuggets for the next generation in For a Teacher’s Heart! Your students and your friends will love you for what you have to share after reading it.
Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash