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How to Successfully Remote #WFH, According to 6 Social Media Professionals

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how to successfully remote wfh according to 6 social media professionals
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Recently, Melissa Teng had the rare opportunity to get creative with her bathtub at home.

Teng, the co-founder and creative director at lifestyle blog Wit and Folly, was working on a social media project with a skincare line. She set up her bathtub space with lights, candles, and bath bubbles. Then, she put herself in the tub as the model.

If this were any another time, Teng might have hired someone else to model for the project, but that simply isn’t possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Individuals everywhere are following social distancing, and staying at home to help minimize public health risk of the coronavirus.

In many respects, social media professionals may actually be best positioned to make a successful transition to remote work from home – this job can be done literally anywhere in the world, as long as you have the proper equipment and a WiFi connection.

Yet even so, for most, this will be a significant transition. So what are the key secrets to maximizing your productivity in social media management when working from home?

I spoke with several social practitioners to get their insights into #WFH success.

Create structure and routine

DeeAnn Sims-Knight, tyhe founder of Dark Horse PR, is currently working remote with her team members. In order to make the transition into remote work, she reiterates the importance of creating daily structure and routine, which can have a direct impact on overall performance.

“When working from home, wake up at your usual time, shower, and get ready for work just as you would if you were coming into the office.”

Sims-Knight advices that people should try to stick to a schedule as much as possible throughout the day. Each circumstance will be different, depending on your work from home environment, but establishing structure early on is key for succeeding now with remote work, as well as later when you return to a traditional office setting.

If you don’t create a schedule primarily to support your own WFH habits, do it in consideration of your clients and team members.

“Setting a schedule ensures you’re available and reliable to your clients and fellow employees.”

Time batch your work

Several social media professionals I spoke with also emphasized the importance of time-batching your workload.

Jenay Rose, the founder and CEO of Namaste Jenay Inc., says this WFH tip enables everyone to be at their most efficient and productive.

“If you have a bunch of similar tasks to do, like writing emails or captions for a client, organize those tasks to work on them together. This helps you avoid task switching so you can better find that flow.”

Make sure you have the proper equipment and a dedicated workspace

Brandi Mowles is a Facebook and Instagram ad strategist at Brandi and Company LLC, and her key tip for maximizing WFH productivity is defining a clear workspace within your home environment.

Mowles has taken this to the next level, building her own studio to facilitate social content creation, complementing her existing home office space.

“Instead of a webcam, I have a DSLR, and I’ve upgraded my lighting and learned how to do some pretty cool streaming tricks.”

Creating a studio has enabled Mowles to keep testing various forms of content, experiment, and get creative. Of course, not everyone will have the capacity or space to build an in-home studio fit for purpose, but you can still establish a dedicated workspace within your home. This should be a defined area that you work from daily, which feels professional and enables you to organize and lay-out everything that you’re using for your work.

Trying to figure out the proper equipment that social media pros need on hand?

Melissa Clem, the owner of Become Intertwined, a boutique social media agency in Southern California, says that these are some of the key tools that you should consider:

  • Standing desk or computer stand – If you don’t feel like you’re active enough, this will help you get up and on your feet.
  • Phone stand – Mount your phone on a stand to avoid shaky handheld camerawork on a smartphone.
  • Surfaces for shooting flat lays and details – Think polished and professional photography backdrops, like those available from Replica Surfaces
  • Lighting – Clem recommends using as much natural light as possible – however that’s contingent on what you’re shooting from home. Consider investing in a Ring Light with a stand for selfies, DIY tutorials, and videos. Clem also recommends using a lightbox for detail and product shots. 

Set clear communication expectations with the team

Jaime Huffman runs a social media agency called Charleston Blonde in Charleston, South Carolina, and her entire staff is now working remote.

Huffman says that the most difficult part of the adjustment to WFH is not being able to physically sit with, and bounce ideas off the team together.

“Normally, we talk and interact constantly all day – some of my favorite moments are when we are sitting around, talking, joking, and coming up with creative ideas for our clients.”

Now, Huffman and her team engage frequently from their remote spaces with the help of Basecamp – through Basecamp, they’re able to upload ad design ideas and edit copy together. They also video chat daily on Zoom, where they’re able to see one another on screen.

Huffman credits clear and concise communication strategies for their team’s remote work success. She advises that managers should set fair and attainable expectations for remote work from the very beginning, as that provides team members the flexibility to work on their own schedules, while still understanding what’s expected, and when.

Additionally, Huffman advises that managers should seek to maintain awareness of the stresses and hardships that their team members are going through amid the current situation. Making sure to express gratitude is one simple measure to keep in mind in this respect.

“You can never thank your team members enough when they are doing a good job for you. When people feel appreciated, they work harder. My team continues to work hard because they feel appreciated.”

Create a turn off routine

You have a routine for powering on at the start of the day – now you also need one that enables you to turn off from social media as much as possible.

Some tips to help:

  • Go for a walk after powering down – “I listen to a podcast or something that gets me in personal mode,” Rose says. “I also like to meditate and move my body with a quick workout.”
  • Take 15 minutes to plan for tomorrow – Mowles likes to do this before shutting the computer down and exiting her home studio. “When I leave the office, I am now in ‘mom mode.’”
  • Clean off your computer – Teng powers down her computer and enjoys a cup of tea, while cleaning off her computer and workspace for tomorrow.

As a final pro tip, remember that the end of work time you establish for yourself must be as firm as the one for the start of the day.

Setting end of the day hours, as Clem points out, is the best way to unplug, relax, and turn everything off – just as much as any social media pro would do in a traditional office setting.

Socialmediatoday.com

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How To Remove Your Personal Data From The Internet (And Why You Should)

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How To Remove Your Personal Data From The Internet (And Why You Should)

Digital exposure comes with several downsides, the first one being the potential for identity theft and financial fraud. Imagine someone gaining access to your bank account or credit card information just because they stumbled upon your personal details online. It’s a scary thought, but it’s a real possibility when your data isn’t adequately protected.

Privacy breaches and data leaks are another significant concern. Think about all the times you’ve entered your information on various websites or social media platforms. Each time you do, there’s a chance that your data could be compromised. Whether it’s due to hacking, inadequate security measures, or even just a simple mistake, once your information is out there, it’s vulnerable to being accessed by unauthorized parties.

However, it’s not just criminals you have to worry about. The more personal data you have online, the more you open yourself up to targeted advertising and unwanted marketing. Have you ever searched for something online, only to have ads for that exact thing follow you around everywhere you go? It’s not a coincidence – it’s the result of companies collecting and using your data to target you with ads.

Finally, let’s not forget about the darker side of the internet — harassment and stalking. Unfortunately, the anonymity afforded by the internet can embolden some individuals to engage in harmful behavior in the form of cyberbullying or online harassment, which can have serious consequences for your safety and well-being.

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More Generative AI Tools are Coming to Social Apps – Is That a Good Thing?

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More Generative AI Tools are Coming to Social Apps - Is That a Good Thing?

The latest developments in generative AI have opened up a range of new possibilities and potential use cases, But are we sure that there’s a value to them within social media apps?

Sure, there are some helpful, practical use cases like image editing for ad backgrounds, and creating optimized ad copy for varying purpose.

But for regular users, does generative AI really enhance the social app experience?

For years, people have complained about spam messaging polluting their DMs, and artificial engagement prompted by, say, anniversary and birthday updates. These types of posts feel disingenuous, non-engaging, and don’t really add value to the “social” experience.

But now, with Gen AI, social apps are trying to make such even more prominent, with almost every app now experimenting with different forms of generative AI, which can be used to create content that humans can then post to their profiles, cosplaying actual engagement.

LinkedIn, for example, has an AI post composer, which will write your updates for you in-stream, and Facebook’s also experimenting with the same, while X claims that, soon, you’ll be able to transfer responses from its Grok AI chatbot into your updates.

Why would people want that? Why would users want to post robot responses, and attempt to pass them off as their own thoughts and opinions?

Spammers and scammers will love it, no doubt, and engagement farmers will be keen to “optimize” their updates through these tools. But are those the types of posts that actually enhance social media interaction?

Of course, that’s seemingly an afterthought, because now you can create a profile image of yourself as an 18th century warrior. Isn’t that cool?

As a novelty, sure, that’s kind of interesting. But how many generative AI images can you create to depict yourself in different scenes before it starts to weigh on you that you’re not actually doing any of these things?

Social media, by definition, is “social”, which involves humans interacting with each other, sharing their own experiences, and the things that are filtering through their real human brain, in order to then feel more connected to the world around them. That’s been the universal value of the medium, building on books and movies in facilitating more understanding and connectedness, so we all feel less alone and more engaged with the world around us.

How do bot updates help with that?

And of course, this is all, inevitably, still going to get a lot worse.

LinkedIn says that it’s re-building its foundations around AI, in order to power “the next ten years of product development and innovation”. Which means more AI integration, and more bot-generated content, and as these tools continue to iterate on the latest trends, in order maintain relevance, they’ll also be training on more and more AI-generated updates that are flowing through their circuits.

Which means that AI tools will increasingly be powered by AI responses, diluting human input out of the process with every refresh.

The “social” aspect is becoming more automated, more stale, and less human with every such integration.

Of course, the counter is that people can already use AI tools outside of social apps anyway, so whether they’re integrated or not, they’re going to be utilized for the same purpose. Which is partly true, but still, adding them in-stream, making it easier for people to just tap a button to generate a response, seems like a step in the wrong direction either way.

That’s not to say that Gen AI tools are not useful. As noted, there are practical use cases for optimized, simplified tools that can complement human creation.

But bleaching humanity out of the source code is simply not a pathway to value.

And whether we realize it or not, the Gen AI shift is going to take far more significant turns yet.  

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3 Things You’ll Regret Not Knowing Before Buying Meta Platforms Stock Right Now

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3 Things You'll Regret Not Knowing Before Buying Meta Platforms Stock Right Now

It’s been a wonderful time to be a shareholder in Meta Platforms (META -0.43%). After hitting a low around the start of November 2022, the business has seen its shares skyrocket nearly fivefold (as of Feb. 20). Investor enthusiasm is through the roof.

Despite this monster performance, the FAANG stock, which is near its all-time highs, trades at a forward price-to-earnings ratio of just 23.5 right now. This might prompt you to rush to buy shares.

But before you do, here are three things you must know about this dominant tech giant.

Massive, but growing

Meta Platforms owns and operates some of the most popular social media services on the face of the planet.

Between its various platforms — like Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger, and Threads — the business counted a whopping 4 billion monthly active users (MAUs) as of the end of last year. This means that almost half of the world’s 8.1 billion people interact with a Meta digital property once a month. That’s hard to wrap your head around.

While it’s reasonable to assume the company can’t get any larger, it’s worth pointing out that MAUs were up 6% year over year in the fourth quarter. Because the U.S., Canada, and European markets are much more mature, Meta is finding success posting better growth in other geographies, like the Asia-Pacific region.

This massive scale has resulted in powerful network effects. The more users on a particular social media platform, the more valuable it is to users. Anyone can start a new app tomorrow, but it would be almost impossible to expand the way Meta’s services have, which protects its competitive standing.

Digital advertising is key

Providing free services to billions of users means that Meta, unsurprisingly, is a digital advertising powerhouse. Of the $135 billion in revenue it brought in in 2023, 98% came from selling ads. This puts it behind Alphabet in the global rankings when it comes to digital ad revenue.

Because of the valuable data Meta is able to extract from its gigantic user base, it’s no wonder that businesses of all sizes find it extremely effective to target audiences using the company’s platforms. The ongoing integration of artificial intelligence (AI) features will only improve this for marketers.

The downside is that the digital advertising market has shown itself to be somewhat cyclical. When interest rates rise, inflationary pressures persist, consumer spending gets pressured, and everyone is uncertain where the economy is headed, it makes sense that ad spending will be among the first thing that executives cut. Meta reported a 1% decline in revenue in 2022 thanks to these headwinds. However, things picked up in a huge way last year: Sales jumped 16%.

It also helps that digital ad revenue drove a fantastic 54% operating margin for the family of apps segment in Q4. Add this to Meta’s net cash position of $47 billion, and there should be zero concern about the business being able to navigate any unfavorable macro conditions.

Meta’s metaverse ambitions

Love him or hate him, credit goes to Meta’s founder and CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, for building one of the world’s most valuable and dominant enterprises in just two decades. By being a forward-thinking innovator, he’s always trying to position the business for whatever tech shifts that might come.

Zuckerberg thinks that next shift could be the metaverse. As a result, he’s focused heavily on creating new hardware and software products in the hopes of attracting 1 billion users to spend and interact in virtual worlds.

He’s putting his money where his mouth is. Meta’s Reality Labs division posted an operating loss of $16 billion in 2023, and more losses are expected. And it doesn’t make much money, producing $4 billion in revenue combined in the last two years.

But given a proven track record of success, as well as vast financial resources from the company’s thriving social media apps, investors should doubt Zuckerberg at their own risk.

If you’re looking to scoop up shares of Meta, you now know three very important aspects of the business that can lead to a more informed decision.

Randi Zuckerberg, a former director of market development and spokeswoman for Facebook and sister to Meta Platforms CEO Mark Zuckerberg, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool’s board of directors. Neil Patel has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Alphabet and Meta Platforms. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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