Virtually EVERYONE has social media. A study in 2018 found that 9 in 10 Canadians aged 15 to 34, use some form of social media regularly. I want to explore how this can impact our relationships, particularly romantic ones.
As younger generations have grown up and entered the later stages of their lives, social media has grown with them. Unfortunately, the negative impacts of this come to mind for me before any positive ones. We now have unlimited exposure to potential partners, and possibly unrealistic expectations of what a relationship should be if comparing to the highlights of others lives; all of this might then lead to a general sense of distrust and/or jealousy in a partnership. It is never a reassuring feeling if your partner pays more attention to their screen – but when social media offers a rush of dopamine each time you load a page, what is to be expected?
I do appreciate the fact that some very meaningful, lifelong relationships have been made possible by social media though. Excessive exposure to prospective matches might be a negative when someone is already in a monogamous relationship, but if someone is actively searching… the endless options can be great! Further, couples might be able to use social media platforms to find local date night ideas, or even follow online professionals offering relationship and communication tips for free on their pages.
My mind does still wander back to the negatives though, if I’m honest! Imagine the unnecessary pressure of defining your relationship for a “status update”, or even the issues around Facebook requesting your sexual orientation. Sure, they offer plenty of choices (as you can see from my profile options), but that might not make it easier to share. There are even articles available instructing people on how to handle situations with one unwilling party, because it clearly causes so much doubt! If these features of social media did not exist, adding this tension to a relationship, I think it would mean healthier conversations when both parties are comfortable having it. Privacy is very important to some people, and this might be information they do not even share with friends, let alone the World Wide Web.
I was hard pressed to find many positives that social media can bring to a romantic relationship – can you think of any to change my outlook?!
Facebook Post: How Does Social Media Impact Relationships? Weigh in! #socialmediaimpacts
When we finally brought our puppy home in July 2021, I had contemplated creating a social media account for her. My phone was FILLED with photos of her anyways (you’ll see examples of this below), and I knew my own followers would eventually grow tired of the endless slideshow I was bound to post.
HOW COULD YOU GET SICK OF THAT FACE?!
Nonetheless, I refrained from making an account. Partially because I spend enough time on my cellphone and did not need more reason, but also because I knew some people would have harshly judged the idea. I also told myself, there are so many competing accounts already in circulation. I didn’t feel cut out to market her cuteness any better than the other Golden Retriever owners out there.
Fast forward to August 2022, and I have regrets.
Pet influencers on social media are making a KILLING, solely by existing! My dog could have been paying our mortgage by now, if she had taken off in popularity like some of the lovely pups listed in this article. It is such an interesting concept, and I would hypothesis the popularity is due to the serotonin boost we get from seeing these animals popping up on our feeds.
If you recently brought home a pet, and would like to launch them into the spotlight of social media, all the power to you! I have listed some informative blogs that can help you get started:
Throughout the pandemic, how many times did the Amazon truck pull up your street? How about Fedex/Canada Post/Purolator?
Virtually overnight, our entire population moved behind closed doors, hoping to combat COVID-19. The majority of us expecting our strange new reality to pass quickly. Over two years later, we are finally emerging and exploring our world again. But something has changed. We as a society realized, we can purchase almost anything we want… from the comfort of our couch!
With this in mind, I want to explore the pros and cons of owning a brick and mortar establishment, versus an e-commerce business. If businesses can maintain a high demand solely through an online platform, I strongly believe that brick and mortar style shopping could become scarce.
Logically, physical storefronts have their perks.
Some benefits a storefront offers include:
Face-to-face connection with clients! This really impacts the relationship you are able to build; with online sales this could really be diminished.
Instantly owning your purchases is a huge perk to me if shopping at a physical shop!
A common complaint I have heard from online shoppers is that they can’t physically inspect items bought online – brick and mortar spots have this advantage.
This list ^ really works to illustrate precisely the “cons” of an online-only business as well. If you are looking for more, read this interesting article next!
HOWEVER, on the flip side, there are many things working against the brick and mortar option:
OVERHEAD COSTS IN THIS ECONOMY – YIKES. Check out this page, they list off a few of the costs you are up against when opening a shop!
In this age of technology, a presence is still required online! Therefore, you are really just doubling up the efforts and those visiting your store would possibly have found you online anyways…
You are required to work within fixed working hours (they elaborate on this here!), which can be super limiting. Your work hours are no longer really set by you, as they could be set by the mall your establishment is in, etc.
Lastly, some of the benefits to an e-commerce business I’ve noticed for myself so far include:
Set my own hours and availability!
If I have a day where I do not have much extra time to allocate to my company, that’s okay. I do not have an open sign that is required to light up in order for clients to shop my product. They can comment/message, and I will get back to them as soon as I sign back on. This flexibility is much harder to organize when you have a storefront to maintain.
Little to no overhead costs
Instagram is a free platform, so since I currently stick to this social media site, I am able to present my product at virtually zero cost.
My clients can be from anywhere in the world (SO much growth potential!)
It can be done from home. You do not have the leave the comfort of your home if you prefer. The convenience aspect is unmatched.
If you are faced with this challenging decision, I hope you choose only what works best for you. After looking through the data comparing the two, I am less sure that one will dominate over the other.
I think that there is really room for both to survive and thrive in the same environment. We have access to so many products as a society, both may be required to meet the demand!
As a consumer, do you prefer shopping online or in a physical store?! Let me know in the comments!
Facebook Post: So many decisions to make as a business owner! Have you thought about whether to open a storefront or go virtual? Check out this article to help you decide… #onlinevsinstoredebate
Twitter Post: Are storefronts a thing of the past? Weigh in on the Debate here! #onlinevsinstoredebate
Have you been toying with the idea of starting up your own small business on Instagram, but aren’t sure where to begin?
THIS is where.
I will cover some crucial do’s and dont’s that I have learned the hard way since launching my company in 2020. I had no clientele, no platform and no IDEA that monetizing my hobby would take off to the extent that it did. It quickly became apparent that an eye for casual fashion, paired with a healthy dose of ADHD, was enough to get me started. If you have an innovative idea in mind, you are already ahead of many others looking to get their businesses online!
DO: Amp Up That Aesthetic
I am not, in any way, an artistic or creative person. Due to this, I look back on my original posts and cringe. I spent the first few months of my building phase struggling to appeal to my clients with my content. I never aspired to be an influencer, and hoped that my products would speak for themselves. It took pressuring my close friends to speak the truth before I realized, my page was ugly! This limited my growth so much, and as soon as I started posting with intent and cohesion, the compliments started pouring in.
If you have less than stellar skills in this department like me, simply do some research. Since my clientele are shopping for clothing that I deem acceptable to resell, I can deduce they have similar taste. Therefore, I proceeded to creep on all my favourite Instagram pages. I scoured these pages with a critical eye to flesh out exactly what they were doing that appealed to me. And from there, I re-branded. Now, my logo, my photos, my stories – they all follow a similar palette. Yours can too!
These photos illustrate the cohesive aesthetic used on my page, @como_consignment.
DON’T: Be A Robot
YOU NEED TO BE RELATABLE. Small, local businesses really thrive on the relationships they build. My clients interact really well with content of my puppy, who has zero connection to the products I sell. They have recently requested I create more unrelated content, focusing on fitness (because they are already aware of my dedication to an active lifestyle!)
My business model works on a bidding system on most items for sale, and I need to trust my clients will come through with payment for their purchases in a timely fashion. I have found that if I interact with buyers as I would a friend, they are more likely to respect my terms.
Want to avoid coming across too formal and robotic? Head over to this article and learn some great ways to humanize your account!
DO: Stick to Simple
Client feedback has been absolutely crucial in building my brand thus far. I spent the first few months after my launch stressing over every small decision, from what filter to apply to my photos to what products to post next. Then I realized, I didn’t need to make these decisions…my consumers could!
Since this revelation, I constantly poll and engage with followers with SIMPLE asks in order to get their opinions on how to continue growing my business.
This is one of many story posts I make, containing a simplistic poll. No longer am I burdened with deciding small things, I leave it up to the audience.
Be careful with this though – in my experience, the less thought required, the better! If you prompt clients to write out their own response in a text box, they are far less likely to respond. If it is something quick and easy, they have nothing to lose.
DON’T: Push the Limits
Let me paint you a little picture.
You invest months of time – building your aesthetic, getting to know your clientele, when suddenly you are hit with a message that your account has been suspended or banned.
Not sure why? Join the club! I was hit with this terrifying message not long after I started out.
Why? Because I didn’t research Instagram policies to learn that certain actions have limitations!
Before you so much as like, post, or follow – read up on the 2022 limits currently set by Instagram.
NOW RUN OFF AND CREATE!
PLEASE do as I say, and not as I did. I wish I had had this advice (and possibly a therapist) to guide me through the beginning stages of my launch. There is plenty more to know, but if you focus on these baby steps, it will be that much easier to succeed.
Have any questions on these tips or interested in learning others? Drop a comment and I will, at the very least, provide my uneducated opinion!