Social media is a strange thing to have to wrap your head around. It consists of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and anything in between that revolves around bringing people together. In fact, the exact definition of social media is as follows: websites and applications that enable users to create and share content or to participate in social networking. This means that anyone anywhere has access to social media as long as they have access to a computer. This is a far cry from carrier pigeons sending messages across towns and cities, and even simply from carrying flip phones instead of smartphones.
If you haven’t already figured out that the Internet and social media are changing and updating at an extremely rapid rate, it’s high time you come to terms with it. All you can do now is continue to adapt as necessary.
When running a small business, it’s important to show off your brand in a likable, easy-to-understand fashion. This is what people like to see. We like things that are pleasing to our eyes, ears, noses, and everywhere else. Advertising on social media is no different.
That being said, do you ever stop to think about what goes on behind the scenes? What exactly is it that makes the Internet tick and social media work? There’s a lot more to it than you probably ever imagined, and the following TED Talks from 2019 prove that point. We highly recommend watching these to better understand the world of social media and the Internet in general. They will change the way you go about advertising and marketing your business.
Our Dangerous Obsession with Perfectionism is Getting Worse – Thomas Curran
Social media is hugely popular with young adults. 88 percent of young adults aged 18 to 29 admitted to using at least one form of social media, vastly outweighing those in differently aged categories. Coincidentally, the same group of people obsessed with using social media are the same ones who are so easily swayed one way or another by what they see on the Internet. Whether it’s a beautiful Instagram model, a ripped bodybuilder, or someone with lots of money and clothes, young adults automatically compare themselves to those people.
While we know it’s good to push ourselves to be the best versions of ourselves possible, sometimes we’re already there and we don’t even know. Social media can be a dangerous place, and if we become obsessed with being “perfect,” it can even be life-ruining.
Thomas Curran’s TED Talk about these dangers is eye-opening and raw. It helps you to see that you don’t always have to have a “perfect” ad when a real one might work better. When marketing yourself, always be the most authentic version you can be, and let people know you are on their side.
A Free World Needs Satire – Patrick Chappatte
Satire (noun): the use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues.
Everyone needs a good laugh no matter the subject. Humor speaks to everyone, no matter what language they speak. Patrick Chappatte demonstrates how much the world needs a good laugh in his TED Talk, and though widely politically driven, that doesn’t mean it doesn’t work for advertising, too.
The world is full of so many heavy topics even on a minute-by-minute basis, that when people use social media, they typically want to escape reality for a short while. When you advertise your brand, be sure to appeal to the humor in people, for it’s endless. Everyone loves a good laugh, hence why the rise of meme culture has made such a mark on social media in today’s culture.
How Twitter Needs to Change – Jack Dorsey
Yes, that is the same Jack Dorsey who founded Twitter.
Dorsey asks a very important question surrounding the validity of Twitter: “Are we actually delivering something that people value every single day?”
In short, of course we would like to think that Twitter delivers information that we need and enjoy reading. But the reality is, there’s just so much content on the Internet that is useful, irrelevant, or just stupid.
When you market yourself and your business, you want to make yourself available on as many platforms as possible. This includes Twitter, as there are over 321 million monthly users. However, when you use this platform, use it as a source for good. You want to be able to answer Jack Dorsey’s question with, “yes, we know we are delivering something of value to people everyday.”
If you just asked yourself that and couldn’t come up with a positive answer, it might be time to reevaluate the way you advertise, and possibly even the entire business as a whole.
How You Can Help Transform the Internet into a Place of Trust – Claire Wardle
Similar to Dorsey’s previous TED Talk, Claire Wardle looks into the Internet. Why is it that there are so many instances of untrue, false information available to almost anyone? If we as a society pride ourselves on a love of learning and growing daily, then this shouldn’t happen. Wardle urges, “together, let’s rebuild our information commons.”
Our first amendment right is freedom of religion, speech, and the press. Wardle is not trying to take down every bit of information on the Internet, but rather make it better as a society. We are so emotionally driven that it’s sometimes hard to get a grasp of what is or is not true.
When it comes to marketing and advertising, never take advantage of people’s emotions. Of course, use pathos in your advertisements if necessary to show that you aren’t just a company. Instead, convey the fact that you are a person with a staff, morals, values, etc. Most importantly, don’t spread false information. Show off your true self and let others know that you value their business.
There are so many TED talks that will change the way you present your business online. Social media is a powerful place that can change the lives of many. It’s up to you to carry out your message in an upstanding and truthful way. Take the advice of the TED talks previously mentioned and incorporate their tactics in your own business. Take ownership of who you are and who you want to become.