Parent groups looking for volunteers. Teachers connecting with students outside the classroom. Schools wanting to brand themselves within their community. University alumni planning a reunion. Employers listing a new job vacancy. Candidates promoting their election platforms.

Social media has something to offer everyone. You just need to learn how to use it for your advantage.

Twitter has been incredible for helping educators connect and share ideas through weekly chats. Teachers and administrators from around the world ask questions, share their views and offer support to others. Thoughts are shared instantaneously through 140-character tweets and by using hashtags (#) for streams of particular ideas. Networking is now a global phenomena.

Facebook is now being widely used by parent groups such as Home and School Associations and School Councils, for bringing parents, guardians and community members together to discuss issues concerning students. Weekly calendars and events, parent meetings and school activities are all being shared quickly and conveniently through the use of postings and event pages. Information is easily being posted to Facebook groups and pages, to keep everyone informed on such matters as health, safety and active living.

Instagram not only shares photos and website links to help promote businesses, but is also being used to advertise new job listings. Potential employees can see the business, read the jobs available and click on links to add their resumes. Sports teams and organizations can quickly bring awareness to upcoming events or thank their fans for support by adding a recent action photo or upcoming event notice.

A municipal election is happening this fall in London, Ontario. Candidates should be taking full advantage of the different forms of social media available to them. Reaching out to all potential constituents and sharing thoughts and ideas on the future through the use of social media must be considered when planning a candidate’s platform. Not everyone is on Twitter or Facebook, but the more ways you can get your name out there, the more connections will be made. People who believe and trust in what you are saying, will in turn share your ideas with others through social media. If you are running a website or blog, links to certain posts, candidate debates, polls, etc. can easily be shared in Tweets or posts.

Times are changing. We can no longer rely on face-to-face relationships alone. We need to embrace social media and what it has to offer us, in all areas of life. What do you use social media for? How are you benefitting through its use?