Why social media is a blessing and a curse for business leaders

Why social media is a blessing and a curse for business leaders

Why social media is a blessing and a curse for business leaders

Whether you run a Fortune 500 company, a startup, or a small business, it’s a strategic bet for leaders to use social media to their advantage. As a vehicle for promotion, advertising, engagement and recruitment, social media has undeniable business benefits, but are professional advantages prompting us to ignore personal disadvantages?

As the leader of a mental health company, I find it difficult to separate the two. I’m going to use this article to weigh the benefits of using social media authentically while shedding light on the negative impact it can sometimes have on mental health, to help you make the best decision for your business.

Avenue of Authenticity

Personal branding has become one of the main ways to drive brand awareness and consider 4.2 billion of the world’s population now they are active on social networks, there is no better vehicle for it. Take Elon Musk, for example. His personal brand has clearly been amplified through his constant use of social media, sometimes a just tweet the markets will move from it.

There are also countless examples of personal branding on social media that benefit society, not just business. Naomi Osaka’s use of social media to speak vulnerablely about her mental health has played a huge role in destigmatizing the conversation and helping people realize that reaching out for support is a sign of strength in life. place of weakness

From a corporate leadership perspective, social media is a platform where employees can connect with their employers and vice versa. And it’s something employees look forward to: a recent poll found that employees prefer to work for a leader who uses social media in a ratio of more than 3:1. I share aspects of my personal life with my employees, especially the fights, as I have seen the power of vulnerable testimonials, not only from Naomi Osaka, but from the countless athletes who followed in her footsteps. Authenticity is key: Leaders who use social media to share their human nature, build trust, and communicate transparency will find that their messages resonate with employees, which in turn can make employees feel more emotionally engaged and connected with your company.

Mental health consequences

From a mental health perspective, social media is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it helps us stay connected to each other and de-stigmatize traditionally taboo topics, but it’s also associated with increased risk of mental health issues, social comparison, and lack of boundaries (we’ve all heard the phrase “social media has never sleep”).

For leaders and employees alike, there is emotional pressure to stay engaged on social media. For some, it’s a simple feeling of FOMO (fear of missing out) and competition that drives them to update their social feeds every few hours, and for leaders there can be internal pressure to build their public profile. But for others, the negative feelings are more extreme and concerning from a clinical perspective, with the potential to exacerbate depression or anxiety. A study 2018 found that the less time people spend on social media, the fewer symptoms of depression and loneliness they feel.

If comparison is the thief of joy, social media is the thief’s getaway car. The platform may promote unreasonable expectations if we see others posting a leaked version of their seemingly perfect life. As leaders, it’s important to consider how social media makes you feel. If it exacerbates your stress, anxiety, and uncertainty, the professional benefits are not worth the personal sacrifice, and you should consider setting limits on social media. Personally, I make sure to unplug during family time by turning off my phone and disabling notifications during late night dinner with my husband. I also leave my phone outside my bedroom door every night to avoid checking social media or emails the last thing before I go to sleep and the first thing when I wake up.

Social media is going nowhere and will continue to play a huge role in how organizations build their brands, market themselves, recruit talent, and connect with their communities. But as leaders, we have a responsibility to promote positive social media practices that protect the health of our businesses and ourselves, to ensure that the blessings of social media outweigh the curse.

Opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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