Monday 29 August 2016

Why Social Media? Part 1

Social Media is a gift!

It can be an incredibly rewarding gift but can often feel awkward and clunky like a toddler trying to wear their mother’s high heels, even with the big grin on their face.

Social media gets a bad rap for making us feel as if we have to manage something akin to trying to dress that wriggling toddler however, embracing the ‘why’ of social media before the ‘how’ can be incredibility liberating.

So ‘why’ social media?

Let’s look at what it is. Social media is a ridiculously broad term for many hundreds of sites, platforms and apps which enables users to connect, engage, and share information.

It’s important that we make the point that promotion or sales are not necessarily the reason why most of us use social media. One could argue that social media platforms are all about self-promotion and the popularity for selfies as well as the rise in photo sharing, particularly of staged meals photo would likely support that thought.

Some 1.57 billion people are listed as having a Facebook profile and that doesn’t include the many pages that we also own. These may be for businesses, charities, community groups or for a group of friends who like to keep in touch in a quieter space.

Quieter spaces are hard to find in our busy world but social media gives us space to be ourselves, or a version of ourselves (if we wish, but that’s another article!). We get the chance to show off our children, connect with like-minded people across the world, argue a point, learn from others, increase our areas of influence and do it all from our couch. The Sensis Social Media Report for 2016 shows us that 26% of Australians check their social media sites more than 5 times a day and another 24% at least once a day. So half of us are using social media sites every single day.

I’d like to suggest that the ‘why’ of social media is that our platforms are an extension of us- our hearts, our dreams and our lives. We are individuals connecting with other individuals. A spider’s web of connecting fibres across the world to places that we might only ever dream of travelling to.

The more connected that we are to others, the more influential we become and the more influenced we can be.

It’s the power of influence that is the ‘why’ of social media.

In Why Social Media? Part 2 we’ll talk further about how to use the ‘why’ of social media turns into sales on social media.

Kathy Smail, after her family roles, is a Communicator who loves the impact of words and is 
working on a novel, when she can drag herself away from reading. Her previous role as Social Media Manager for a national retailer and various roles in Corporate Affairs, Marketing, Human Resources and Learning & Development has fed her passion for getting the message across. 

She can be found chatting:
Facebook: Kathy Smail Social Marketing Business
Twitter: @KathySmail
Instagram: kathysmail_social_marketing
The Web:


  1. I love social media (this probably isn't going to surprise anyone!). It's how I first connected with people who love books and reading as much as I do, and it's how I've been introduced to readers, bloggers and writers all over the world.

    1. I love how it connects people. I've got great friends who I've known for many years who I've never met!


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