COM0011 Blog #1: Navigating Negativity on SM & The Exhaustive Undertaking to Establish “Influencer” Status

Establishing a highly interactive and warmly engaging presence across Facebook, Linked-In and Instagram is an undertaking that blends my professional and personal goals. As the new Programs Support Officer with the Canadian Armed Forces Transition Group (CAF TG), a proud military veteran, empathetic Army-Widow, registered Social Service Worker, resilient cancer survivor and resourceful lone-parent, my aim in initiating this goal is strategic;

To effectively engage with fellow Canadian military veterans on Social Media (SM), offer valuable information on CAF TG’s latest initiatives that promote their success and wellbeing, share my experiences to foster connectivity and network with national service-providers/support-agencies/institutions that offer valuable resources and opportunities to veterans, in effort to stimulate partnerships with our team.

Having recently taken an oath to serve Canada as a full-time, federal public servant with CAF TG’s Military Transition Engagement and Partnerships (MTEP) team, I have been tasked to join our organization’s efforts in rejuvenating and modernizing our Facebook page, and assist our team in creating an MTEP Linked-In and Instagram account. Due to my personal experiences as a thriving veteran, “Army brat”, former mil-spouse, and survivor of a fallen soldier, in tandem with the skills I offer as helping-professional and successful Veteran’s Affairs Canada Vocational Rehabilitation Program graduate, (Georgian College and Algonquin College Alum), I have been encouraged to take the lead on our team’s SM engagement. YIKES! Both an exciting and overwhelming endeavour.

16 January 2023 – Photo I captured with my iphone after I took my oath to serve Canada as a Federal Public Servant

What is stopping me from engaging more on SM?

My reluctance in commencing this lofty goal with exuberance and the reasons I have yet to fully invest in SM engagement stems from two major factors;

  1. Negative commentary and unfavourable engagements
  2. The magnitude of creating content, posting interactive and engaging content, keeping up with trends, replying to comments and direct messages (DM), taking quality images, analyzing insights/engagement data, monitoring the platforms effectiveness and sticking to a posting-schedule. FEWF!

One way to avoid “negative” or unfavorable commentary all together is disabling comments on SM platforms. However, this can act as a means of suppressing the free speech of Canadian veterans, limiting their opportunities to express their viewpoints, offer their concerns, share their experiences and air their grievances. Secondly, turning-off the comments section also inhibits veterans from describing their positive experiences with a program or support service. Stopping our “followers” from commenting on the SM platforms of Canadian Government institutions/organizations/entities is not an option, nor do I think it’s a good idea. All voices matter. Valued veterans ought to feel safe, comfortable, empowered and welcomed to express themselves openly.

HOW can I navigate negative or unfavourable commentary?

I hope to garner more insight on this as the SM course progresses.

The following article offers some advice on this;

https://khoros.com/blog/5-ways-brands-should-handle-negative-feedback-on-social-media

Although I appreciate the need and effectiveness of employing SM to optimally interact, inform, network and collaborate, I am concerned that in order to promote our team’s initiatives and establish a strong SM presence, a full immersement into the on-line world is required. Mindful that the more one invests their time and energy into SM, the less time they spend in the “real world” and that too much on-line activity can be detrimental to my Mental Health (MH).

Click this Forbes Article; “6 Ways Social Media Affects Our Mental Health” https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2017/06/30/a-run-down-of-social-medias-effects-on-our-mental-health/?sh=5f3e162e5afa

My fellow Social Media course mates, I have a question for you!

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