3 Creative Uses for Social Media

Most people think of social media as a way to connect with their fans and followers and share updates on their own personal lives and share links to interesting articles. Businesses have even jumped on the social media bandwagon as a way to increase their brand awareness and reach out to more customers.

These are the main reasons that people use social media, but the functions and capabilities that social media provides are also beneficial to other uses. The following are three creative ways to use social media.

1. Emergencies

Many local law enforcements have started using social media as a way to keep their community informed. Social media is a great way to inform the neighborhood about road closures, community events, possible threats, weather alerts and even community news. Rather than generate mass phone calls to the community or leave them uninformed until they read about it in the paper the following day, social media can keep the community informed in real time.

A white paper by ICMA discusses the benefits of local governments use of social media as well as detailing some case studies.

2. Education

Most people assume that social media is a distraction to students in the classroom and that it only sets students up for cyberbullying. But when used correctly, social media can actually be quite beneficial to students and educators. Schools can create a Facebook page as a way to connect with parents and students. It can be a way to inform them of sporting games, school events and even general school district news. Students can also use this school page as a place to connect with other students and inform them about upcoming events, such as student council elections or field trips.

YouTube can also be a great tool for education. There are a multitude of great educational videos available on the site that teachers can use in the classroom. Teachers can use YouTube to access old classics, such as “Bill Nye the Science Guy”, or they can see videos of more recent events.

Mashable has a great infographic on how social media is being used for education.

3. Goals

Social media can provide a great support group to help you achieve your goals. If you tell your friends or followers that you’re now on a diet, for example, you can create regular posts on a weekly basis that keep track of your achievements. Everyone will know what your goals are, and they will be able to encourage you to achieve them. Plus, since everyone will know about your goals, you won’t want to look like a failure in front of all of your fans and followers, so you’ll be even more motivated to work hard to achieve them.

Rather than assuming that social media is for boring personal updates and links to articles, try to see the creative ways it can be used. Social media is supposed to be a form of communication, so rather than only communicate what your schedule is for the day or upload photos of your kids, employ one of the creative uses to make it that much more beneficial. You can use it for personal goals, and communities and schools can use it to keep people informed.

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