Social Media: The 21st Century Business Non-Negotiable.

Lifestyle, Management & Business, missjessamy

We have all heard about the importance of having business non-negotiables that allow us to ensure our branding and workflow is on track as we strive for overall success. And these factors truly are ‘tales as old as time’ including: 

    • focus on customer service 
    • supply and demand considerations 
    • sticking to deadlines etc. 

However, there is now a new kid on the block, and despite it taking over the world at a rapid speed, it is still a seeming pain point for many companies due to the lack of education on its benefits. 

So, what are we talking about? Well, it is SOCIAL MEDIA

Gone are the days where paying big dollars for television and radio advertising during peak news and movie times was the only way to reach your customers. Nowadays, social media platforms have transformed the landscape for businesses when it comes to raising awareness and creating customer relationships. Additionally, it has also created a more cost-effective, controlled and insightful form of advertising and marketing that allows YOU to target YOUR target audience directly. Along with being given the ability to track their movements online (peak usage times, click-through rates, viewing time, what they are searching for, etc.). 

One of the most significant benefits of having an established social media presence and utilising adverting and marketing opportunities through this is that it is innately free. Even though to fully maximise the effectiveness of social media for your company, I would recommend putting some money behind your content and accounts. However, this is not to say you HAVE to pay to see growth online. Making a business social media account, posting branded content, hashtagging and tagging are all ways to propel your business to reach target audiences, and they are all free. Additionally, replying to comments and making genuine connections with your audience and other businesses without having to do face to face communication in meetings or at events are timesaving activities that offer an invaluable growth opportunity to your company. 

If I could say one thing about social media, it is that you truly never know who is watching you. You never know when you might gain 100+ followers instantly from a shoutout from a larger business or influencer. Or when your hashtags reach the right audience at the perfect time, which leads to a bunch of your followers tagging their friends and sharing your content on their accounts. 

In my view, the risk of consumers missing your advertisement on social media is a lot harder than something like television advertising. If you think about, when people are watching television, they are rarely sitting there totally committed to the footage they are seeing. Instead, they are talking, eating, taking toilet breaks, on their phones etc. However, when you are scrolling through your feed, you see each image or video that appears and can consciously or subconsciously take in that content. Also, instead of relying on customers to take the information from television advertisements to then further investigate the company (online or in-store). On social media, consumers can immediately click through to company’s accounts and websites; overall streamlining the advertising process and increasing the accessibility to your company’s information at a (literal) click of a button (or screen tap). Also, once your target audience shows interest in your company or similar companies, advertisements can be directly re-targeted to them to encourage further engagement and appeal to their specific interests.

Who Does Social Media Work For?:

Short answer? Everyone. 

On the surface level, pretty much every potential customer utilises some form of digital/social media through search engines or platforms. Even if they are looking up a phone number for a nearby plant shop, they are going to have to use an internet-based application to find this. 

And realistically if you think about, what is the first thing you do if you cannot figure something out? You Google it or look it up on YouTube. 

Speaking for myself, my Youtube watch history was filled with IKEA furniture tutorials when I first moved out of the home. And I am continually googling how to cook certain types of food or how long I can keep my Spaghetti Bolognese in the fridge for before it goes off. And, those searches right there should be opening me up to advertisements from cooking schools, food safety courses or groceries store deals; as they are all companies that could assist me in solving my problems I am turning to Google to solve. 

In this day and age, most of us cannot go a day without using the internet for something, and that is an EXTREMELY privileged opportunity consumers are giving to companies.

So, if you are not on social media, why not?

It truly needs to become a part of ALL successful business toolkits in the 21st century and it is definitely something that is not going away. So if you cannot fight it, then join in!

Top Tip – Engage, Engage, Engage: 

If you want people to comment, like and share your content, then why are you not returning that engagement? This is a trap I had fallen into before purely because I had become lazy and just continually scrolled on my feed instead of remembering to like, comment and follow new accounts. 

Do not be hesitant to tell people that you love their content/social media strategy. Because as this form of media continues to develop we are all striving to keep up and keep on top of everything to grow our accounts – so a pat on the back from likeminded strangers or companies is always really reassuring and creates a supportive online community.

Engage with me online today @jessicatathem and comment that you came from this post and I will be sure to return the social media love. 

What are your experiences with maximising social media’s offerings in your personal or business life? Let me know below. 

Also, if you want help understanding the world of social media more, let me know, and I can share more focused content around this developing topic. 

Have a great day!

Going from Miss Bossy Boots to being The Boss: A 20-year-old female manager’s thoughts on and experiences with the #girlboss movement.

Lifestyle, Management & Business, missjessamy

All my life, I have been called bossy. Told I should ‘rein in’ my personality at times because it might ‘rub people up the wrong way’ or make people, not like me.

‘Bossy Boots’ was a nickname I became quite accustomed to and to be honest, it never really impacted me too much until I became a boss in 2018 at 18 years old. Suddenly, I was extremely conscious of people thinking ‘the power had gone to my head’ and that I was ‘too demanding’ when requesting for specific work tasks be completed.

But WHY was I thinking this? Leadership had always been something I was involved with. Since Grade 6 (to be exact) where I was a semester year level house leader every year until I became one of two house leaders in my final year of school. Through my degree, I also requested the Account Manager or similar positions in group work to ensure I knew what everyone was doing and to enable me to learn more about leadership.

So, it makes sense that management is a field I have always had an enthusiasm for. I am innately passionate about management and leadership practices that promote growth in both the leader and team members. Along with being fascinated with the exploration of applying different management frameworks in various situations to maximise the effectiveness of company functions.

I also love the challenge of management. The constant demand and requirement to keep learning and need to stay connected to ensure I can empower and guide my team is exciting to me.

I also like how focused management keeps me. I quite literally can not be selfish or singleminded in leadership situations, and I love that.

However, as the second year of my management position rolls around, I have been reflecting on my management practices but also trying to reflect on how I have grown as a leader. And what has blown me away is what I have learned about the #girlboss movement through personal experience with staff and customers while trying to establish myself as a ‘worthy’ leader in a male lead workplace and with an at-times challenging and confronting customer base.

Being someone who tends to struggle with stress, anxiety and social anxiety as well as being a complete Type A personality who continually strives for the unattainable level of perfection in everyday life and work. Being in ‘control’ through leadership roles has allowed me to apply this energy into something beneficial to a community or workplace. However, after once being told to ‘leave work at the door’ I was faced with the reality that my mind wouldn’t let me.

Things affect me, and although I try my best not to show it publicly; I am incredibly vulnerable. Situations get to me, I work myself up so much I feel physically sick, I get shaky, I cry, I get angry, I second guess myself, my breathing increases and my head spins. I feel ashamed when I show that something has impacted me in a management situation, I think the only way to be taken seriously is if I am a brick wall and keep it cool. Acting like I can quickly shake things off and move on once I leave the shift, especially after an aggressive customer or other serious incidents.

Furthermore, I second guess myself in the way I ask for tasks to be done and tend to feel a sense of annoyance or judgement when I (respectfully) execute my managerial role to get staff back on task or deal with customer’s issues.

Unfortunately, we still live in a world where any emotion is a ‘female weakness’, instead of being interpreted as an individual working hard to maximise their workplace through their leadership skill.

In a recent work incident, I was put in a situation where I felt threatened and felt the safety of my staff, myself and the workplace was at risk and working through this issue was hard. Trying to hold back the fact that my stomach was flipping out and I was covered in goosebumps from my adrenaline was not easy.

And while I stood there, talking to the perpetrators, my mind was questioning everything I said. I felt that if I raised my voice and made my tone sterner, it would only worsen the ongoing situation and cause a more aggressive reaction from the male I was trying to deal with.

The condescending and derogatory way this male and many other people in the past have treated me while in a management position is shocking. I regret not writing down all my experiences so I could share them with you.

I became a manager in my workplace when I was 18 years old. Midway through my university degree, with chubby baby cheeks and a severe issue with second-guessing my decisions in and out of the workplace. I was forced to deal with customer commenting on my ability, age, gender, looks and more. Being questioned as to why I was wearing a blazer instead of the work uniform to being spoken to like it was my first day on the job was and still is a very regular occurrence to me. I couldn’t tell you on how many occasions I was met with a puzzled face from customers when the manager was called out the front, and little ole’ me came out of the office.

I had a discussion with my sister recently (who also works in a position of management) about how not only is the perception of women in leadership positions consistently condescended but also how vastly their road to promotion varies from their equal or lesser male co-worker’s journey and access. I look at males in similar or the same positions as me and see how easily they were accepted and integrated into management status. And how although I am there striving to always better myself, I still feel I am two steps behind with my ability to establish authority to staff and customers.

How about instead of judging someone’s leadership ability on their gender, let’s look at their skill set and ability to inspire and empower a group of people to reach their individual potential that promotes team growth and company success?

I have been fortunate to grow up with strong-minded females both in my family and friendships. Additionally, going to an all-girls school since my early school days exposed me to major #girlboss vibes throughout my whole upbringing.

However, I still grew up in a world where to not be reserved and accepting as a female was not the norm, where I was surprised to see females in management positions and where the glass ceiling was still very much existent.

Unfortunately, despite being very grateful for my private all-girls education which exposed to a high level of opportunity. At the end of the day, my school was a religious school that strived to ‘keep us in line’ when it came to the way we expressed ourselves physically and verbally. And I do not want this statement to be interpreted as me saying a level of respectful behaviour is not necessary! I think EVERYONE should learn how to be courteous and polite to one another and themselves. However, I believe these ingrained practices need to be reviewed to try to lessen the overt inequality that is still inflicted onto females in this modern age.

So, if I am still experiencing this level of inequality in 2020, do I feel optimistic that it will change?

Yes, I genuinely do. When I feel particularly defeated or low on my leadership ability or persona, instead of being pessimistic I make the active decision to fill my mind with powerful #girlbosses who show me that there are plenty of us out there fighting a patriarchy that is slowly breaking down, with shards of the glass ceiling slowly beginning to crack away.

I am a person whose mood can be significantly impacted by my surroundings, so taking the time to fill my mind with inspiring people helps me to refocus on my job and goals when it comes to management.

So, where am I going with this post?

Well a) I just wanted to express my feelings and experiences as a #girlboss. But b) I wanted to provoke thought about this topic and to inspire some other girls out there to know their leadership worth and ability. And c) hopefully, in the long run, I can make someone rethink their view on managers and how gender has NOTHING to do with one’s ability to lead a team to success.

So, can’t we create a world where a manager is a manager? Or even better, a person is a person, and we all speak and treat each other with respect and equality.

Being in front of house for a company turns you into the face of the company, and I think people need to learn that that does not negate basic human to human respect. You are not superior to the person behind the counter, desk or phone and vis versa. Nor are you superior to a different gender, age group, race, sexuality or personality type.

Just because I am a 20-year-old female does not negate my ability to be a BOSS who knows what she is doing and who is willing to lead a team to success and empower the people around me.

And I am not just saying this for other people, I am saying it for myself. Because change starts with one person, and I believe with confidence being key, my mindset and hopefully, this post will inspire me and you to think harder about how we view different genders in leadership positions. Or how we could work together to break that glass ceiling a bit more. Because all we need is a crack to start an explosion and for the #girlboss movement to gain further positive momentum; leading to a more supportive and empowering leadership industry.

What are some management or leadership barriers that you have had to deal with? Let me know! I would also love to hear your advice or thoughts on ‘the glass ceiling’ and the #girlboss movement.