Why Our World Needs Social Work in 2020

A key focus of my blog is Career Discussions. While there is a current push for careers in the STEMs, one career that will always be needed is that of social work. Social workers do a lot of society’s “grunt work” as they tend to problems and issues down on the personal and familial levels. The following contributed post is entitled, Why Our World Needs Social Work in 2020.

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Although society is improving more each day, social work is still important in 2020. Social workers stand up every day for human rights and social justice to help strengthen our communities. Social workers can be a voice for those without a voice, or those nobody wants to listen to. They help to tackle serious social issues, and can help to come up with solutions allowing people to live to their full potential.

Why Our World Needs Social Work in 2020

The Poverty Line
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, nearly 15% of Americans live below the poverty line. People living in poverty need social workers to help them cope with the overwhelming challenges of homelessness, unemployment, underemployment, and poor health.

Mental Illness
With that in mind, it’s also important to note that many families are suffering from mental illness. Around 20% of the US population are affected by mental illness during any given year. For people who struggle with mood disorders, anxiety, psychoses, substance abuse, and other serious forms of mental illness, social workers are imperative.

Child Abuse And Neglect
Social workers must also address broader social and public policy issues that increase the risk of child abuse and neglect, including poverty, unemployment, and homelessness.

While our world still very much needs social work in 2020, it isn’t always easily accessible for those in rural areas. The infographic below can provide more insight into social work in rural areas and what can be done.


credit to University of Nevada Reno

Get Social: Brilliant Benefits For Your Business

Three focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. As today’s world has become more digital, your social media presence is critical to your business’s success. While social media is misused on a personal level by many people, it’s a very valuable weapon in your arsenal for your business. The following contributed post is entitled, Get Social: Brilliant Benefits For Your Business.

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More than 3 billion people use social media platforms. While social networks may have started out as a communications hub designed to help friends, colleagues and family members stay in touch, its role has undoubtedly evolved. Today, social media plays an integral role in promoting businesses and enabling companies to reach out to customers. If you’re not already reaping the rewards of utilizing these networks and apps for your business, now is the time to get social.

Image credit https://pixabay.com/illustrations/social-social-media-communication-3064515/

Brilliant benefits for your business
If you’ve never used social media as a business tool before, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. The truth is that social sites offer an incredible platform for all kinds of companies, and an effective social media marketing campaign can have an amazing impact. Here are some of the most significant advantages of using social media as a marketing tool:

Raising brand awareness
Branding is a means of giving your business personality and showing potential customers what you are all about. Social networks offer an opportunity to enable followers and friends to get to know your brand and to show the human side of your company. Whether you’re a fun, quirky business selling gifts, toys or novelty items, or a smart, professional firm offering services like accounting or legal advice, you can use social media to enhance your brand image. You can also get your name out there by encouraging all your existing friends and followers to share your pages and posts. A small group of virtual friends can soon become an expansive network.

Reaching more customers
Billions of people use social apps and sites, and many subscribers check their profiles and news feeds several times per day. Using social media advertising and sharing posts can help you build your client base and reach out to users you may never have been able to contact without social networks.

Defining an audience
Social platforms often have tools you can use to pinpoint users and define your audience. If you’re using adverts to promote your business, for example, you don’t want to pay for posts that have no chance of converting. You can use features like Facebook’s audience insights to maximize your chances of targeting people who are likely to have an interest in the products or services you’re selling. If you are looking to use social media to expand your customer base and increase conversion rates, and you’re not sure how to go about it, it’s wise to consider working with a social media agency. Marketing experts will be able to design and implement a campaign based on your objectives and your target market.

Engaging and communicating with users
Communication is key in modern business, and many customers like to have a relationship with the brands they buy from. Social sites enable you to share posts, comment and send messages within a matter of seconds.

Social media may be a platform for catching up with friends and sharing funny videos, but it can also be an incredibly effective marketing ploy. If you’re not already using these networks to showcase your business and attract customers, what are you waiting for?

Top Tips For Creating A Good Social Media Presence As A Small Business

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. It’s a much different world than it was 20 years ago. Social media permeates everything in 2019 and everyone is using it. As such, you must effectively do business there. The following contributed post is entitled, Top Tips For Creating A Good Social Media Presence As A Small Business.

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It’s apparent now that social media is here to stay and it is quickly becoming apparent that to succeed as any business you need to be able to show that you have a good online presence on platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Just because it’s now becoming a necessity to have an excellent online presence, doesn’t mean that you will already have your plan of action when it comes to the steps you need to have in place to succeed.

Image by Pixelkult from Pixabay

There is still plenty of time and ways that you can optimize your social media presence and with so many benefits it’s bound to be worth the time and effort. Have a look below at some of the ways you can create a good social media presence as a small business:

Look At The Networks

With so many social media platforms available it can be really hard to know which ones are the best option for your business. You should try to think about the platforms that your customers are most likely to be using or start with the four most popular. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and, Pinterest. Maintaining and creating content for each of these platforms can at times, be very time consuming and it has been known to take up almost the hours of a full-time member of staff. As it’s imperative to succeding online to be regularly seen and provide a constant flow of content it might be an idea to use outsourcing to help get you started and to maintain your accounts. By outsourcing for things such as social media videos productions you are freeing u your time for focus on areas such as your goals and strategy.

Goals Are Good

There are a number of benefits for a business that is active on social media, and there are several things you can achieve purely from having a social media presence such as being able to provide a second to none level of customer service. Not only this you’re able to engage with your customers, learn about them, expand your audiences and gain valuable insights and feedback about your products or services. In order to achieve any of this though you need to make sure you are setting goals. Think about what you want to achieve from using social media and how you’re going to get there. Think about areas such as whether you’re going to consider hosting a blog, are you going to share reviews of your products or are you planning on using influencers to promote your products?

Create A Solid Strategy

Having that plan for improving your online social media presence is all good and well but in order to achieve it you need to make sure you have a solid strategy in place. Once you have your goal you need to make sure you are putting a plan into place to help you reach it. You should start off by deciding who and how you’re going to manage the social media accounts and then set clear guidelines across each platform to make sure they are united in the flow and appearance of your business. Once you have this inplace you need to think about the content you are going to include and the frequency you plan to post, once you’ve decided this then you should try sticking to it for a while so you can monitor your engagement success.

Do you have any other tips for helping to create a good social media presence? Please share your top tips in the comments section below.

Nailing Your Social Media Campaigns

Three of the focuses of my blog are Financial Literacy/Money, Business/Entrepreneurship and Technology. A good deal amount of business takes place online these days and thus it becomes critical to use social media effectively. Doing so could take your business to the next level, and not doing so could cost you. The following contributed post is entitled, Nailing Your Social Media Campaigns.

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Your business is going well, your team (or just you) are fantastic at what you do, you outsource where you need to. Virtual assistants, some social media management – the type that can even tell you about your social media footprint, and the occasional copywriter. But what about if you want to have a go at your own basic social media campaign?

After all, it pays for you to understand what goes into it, and how to do it in the future.

Learning and implementing a social media campaign might seem like a bit of a daunting task but gathering up hints and tips from respectable sites, chat sites, and joining facebooks groups will help you on your way.
For a quick reason as to why you should be making an effort – there are 600 million people on, and they are scrolling for hours a day. Your adverts should be something the right people see.

Here are some quick fire tips for tackling your next social media campaign.

Social, Social, Advert & Social

Or something like that anyway. Social media is about taking part, conversations, communications and interacting. When you are putting together your campaign, skip the boosting altogether. In all of your materials, from graphics to text posts have questions. Ask and be curious. Be authentic in your communications, hold your communities attention and post links to your products – sure – but weave it into more social posts.

Don’t Beg

Running a competition for likes and follows is fine. Posting every day for likes and follows can come across a little bit needy. Growing organically takes time and care. Of course, ask people to share the content that they enjoy with their friends too, why should they want to share and follow? Content focused – always.

Be There

Make it simple and easy for people to be able to find you on all of your social media platforms. On your website have a share button, so that people can do your advertising for you. When you post new content, you should share it across your platforms too. When you start pushing out content with a message about your new product or service, make sure that you follow up with people that respond and any questions that are asked.

Purpose

Through all of your interactions, you should stick to your goal. Have your text, images, and communications all focused on the message. If you have a sale, make sure that everything is focused on that.

Photo by Rahul Chakraborty on Unsplash

Money

Don’t be scared to put some money into your social media marketing. It is almost impossible to be seen now without paying the price. So spend it well. Go through your analytics and see what your most robust set of numbers? Spending there makes sense, or use the tools to build a similar audience profile to advertise to.

Your social analytics can give you a lot of insight into where your campaigns have been successful, on from that your google analytics can help you see where people arrive and the conversions too.

Is Your Company Using Social Media Correctly?

Some of the key focuses of my blog are: Financial Literacy, Wealth Building, Business and Entrepreneurship. A key to effectively doing business in today’s world is the proper and most efficient use of Social Media. The following contributed post is thus entitled; Is Your Company Using Social Media Correctly?

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There is no getting away from the fact that social media has revolutionized the way in which most companies operate these days. If you’re just starting out in the business world; you might struggle to work out how to use those platforms to your advantage. With that in mind, take a moment to read this post, and it should help to point you in the right direction.

Use social media for marketing

Sites like Facebook and Twitter are excellent tools for promoting your business and reaching lots of new customers. There are paid advertising tools on both of those platforms, and there is no minimum spend. So, you can mess around with the targeting options until you find something that works. You can then make a more substantial investment.

Use social media for customer service

Facebook is one of the easiest ways to keep in touch with people these days. So, maybe you should undertake customer service duties on that platform? The infographic below will let you know more about social media and customer service so make sure you check it out!

Use social media to keep up to date

As an industry leader; you need to keep abreast of the latest news. Social media platforms are often the best way to make sure you don’t miss anything, and you’ll usually find the news on those sites first.

Now you know how to use social media correctly; nothing should stand in the way of your success. Remember to take a look at the infographic below for extra tips and tricks.


Designed by USC

A discussion on the dangers of cell phones, social media, and technology with Dr. Ralph G. Perrino

Two of the focuses of my blog are Science and Technology. Up to this point I’ve discussed technology from the aspects of careers and investing. In this post I’m taking a different approach and will discuss its potential dangers in our world which is becoming steadily more digital and technology dependent – a topic I’ve heard periodically discussed in numerous circles over the years.

Joining me in this discussion is mentor, veteran educator and fellow writer, Dr. Ralph G. Perrino. Dr. Perrino has his own blog, “Dr. Perrino’s Blog”. He has authored numerous articles, essays and books and both founded and directed the Northern Virginia Tutoring Service, which is how we first met. He was further responsible for my becoming a member of the board of directors for the Friends of the David M. Brown Arlington Planetarium.

Here on my blog I crafted a post titled Are we losing our Soft Skills due to Technology? On his blog, Dr. Perrino recently crafted two posts titled, I thought I had seen it all…until today, and Are we creating a digital dust bowl?, among other blog posts. The following is our recent discussion regarding the dangers facing our steadily increasing technology-dependent society and world.

Anwar Dunbar: Hello, Ralph. You’re one of my mentors and I of course know a lot about you, but can you give the readers a few facts about yourself for context? For example, what is your background? Also, how did you become involved with education?

Ralph Perrino: Sure, Anwar. I studied Sociology at Catawba College in North Carolina. I then did extensive graduate study in Sociology at the University of North Carolina, where my areas of concentration were in collective behavior and social movements, and social change. I also hold a Master’s Degree in Public Administration and a Doctorate in Education from George Mason University. I have taught full-time and part-time at Northern Virginia Community College as an associate professor of sociology and political science since 1984. I also founded and served as director/owner of Northern Virginia Tutoring Service, LLC, from 1994 until 2018. The reason I became involved in education is that I have always had a passion for teaching. I find that I often teach the content area while at the same time, I offer life lessons to students who are seeking direction in their lives.

AD: One of the focuses of my blog is Technology from the perspective of encouraging awareness of STEM – for careers and for investment purposes. While we celebrate our emerging technologies, there is a downside to them as well, which we’ve both written about from different angles. What initially raised your eyebrow regarding our society-wide ‘addiction’ to our new digital toys and devices and the plethora of applications that we use on them?

RP: While I do absolutely agree that there is a use and a place for technology in today’s world – education and research, investment and banking, professional connectedness and networking are just a few examples – I also believe that society has rushed to embrace the next bright, shiny object with little thought or concern about issues such as: personal privacy, family stability, interpersonal communication, civility in public, and empathy, compassion and concern for others. That said, I do see the potential benefits associated with the use of social media in the areas of collective behavior, social movements, and social change. However, sole reliance on digital means of communication to achieve social change is ill-advised, in my view.

AD: From our mentoring talks I know that you think cell phones particularly are a problem. I’m guilty of some of the things you discussed in your essay about the ‘Digital Dustbowl’, and I do enjoy quick access to information, and quickly connecting with other people which can cause unintended consequences. Can you talk a little bit about what you see happening around you every day?

RP: I have become increasingly alarmed by excessive dependence (some would say addiction) to technology in general, but cell phones in particular. Teens have been known to refer to their iPhone as, “My Tiny God.” There is something wrong with a society that values a material, digital possession to that extent. I tell my students at the college that if their biggest concern when they wake up in the morning is whether their cell phone is charged, they have a serious problem. I ask them, have we reached the point where owning a smartphone is a requirement for acceptance into the public (and private) discourse?

I also tell them that they should not leave college without some level of commitment to help others. Much, if not all, of that caring and compassion for others is not going to take place through social media. I remind them that nearly a billion people on earth each day do not have access to clean drinking water and that nearly 30% of the American population does not have regular access to the Internet. Virtually none of my students understand the “Digital Divide” between rich and poor in America. They take this privilege for granted. I point out to them that they are living in a bubble here in the Washington, D.C. area, and that their awareness of issues and challenges others face has been minimized as a result of their addiction to social media and their smartphone.

AD: Have you found any data looking at our dependence on digital devices like our cell phones?

RP: A recent Bank of America study, “Trends in Consumer Mobility”, reported that 71% of all Americans (adults and teens) say they sleep with or next to their mobile phone; 3% of those people said they sleep with their device in their hand; 13% said they keep it on the bed, and 55% leave it on the nightstand. Incredibly, the survey revealed that Americans consider their smartphone more important than sex, and 20% of those 18-34 years of age admit to checking their phones DURING sex. The list goes on.

Suffice it to say that we have a problem with over-use and abuse of smart phones. We see it every day in restaurants, supermarkets, shopping malls, sporting events, and a myriad of other places. On the one hand, smart phones and, to some extent, social media, have connected us digitally, yet they have separated us emotionally. They have: strained our relationships with others, significantly reduced levels of empathy towards others, caused us to avoid face-to-face interpersonal contact, and damaged the ability of children and others to read facial gestures, body language, and subtle signs of human emotion. They further have the potential to alienate children from society, placing them in an unrealistic virtual world where problem solving can be accomplished with the press of a button.

Some questions I find myself pondering are:

• Is there a correlation between cell phone usage and the rise in rates of Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome?
• Is there a correlation between cell phone usage and the dramatic rise in school violence, digital alienation, mental health issues, teen suicide rates, and other social maladies?
• Is it affecting the stability of families?
• Is it resulting in miscommunication in the workplace?
• Is it affecting other institutions critical to societal stability?

Again, has it connected us digitally, but separated us emotionally? Much has been said here and elsewhere regarding the problem. The question in my mind is, what are the solutions? We might start with stronger parenting, and adults who model appropriate human interaction as their children are maturing and watching how their parents conduct their own lives. Children learn by modeling adult behavior. Their behavior is a reflection of our behavior.

AD: As an educator yourself, have you had to establish rules for your students in class?

RP: It has reached the point in my classes at the college where I teach that I have to ask my students to place their cell phones on a table at the front of the room at the beginning of the class. If I don’t do this, students simply cannot and will not stop using their phones. Their attention is distracted, and it is nearly impossible to generate a meaningful class discussion. I have had students as recently as last semester note in their course evaluations that, ‘Professor Perrino should continue to require no cell phone use during his class. It helped me to engage in class discussions more effectively.’

AD: Okay Ralph, you’ve given us quite a bit to think about and consider. Do you have any final comments, thoughts or stories on this topic?

RP: Each semester, I have guest speakers come to my class to speak to my students. These speakers include staff from a local homeless and substance abuse shelter; a speaker who works in the area of student nutrition in low-income, urban school districts, and other speakers who focus on sociological issues outside the parameters of a textbook.

The one speaker who rivets my students to their chairs is a 77 year-old woman who was a Freedom Rider in 1961 at the age of nineteen. Her story is compelling. She tells of being jailed in a Mississippi prison for three months with other Freedom Riders, as well as other injustices perpetrated on her and others during that time. When she completes her presentation, I always ask the questions: “Would you be brave enough at nineteen years of age to do what this person did? What story will you have to tell when you are 77 years of age?” The responses I get tell me much about how unengaged my students are from reality, even though they believe they are all connected and engaged through social media outlets.

AD: Okay, thank you, Ralph, for collaborating on this important discussion and sharing your thoughts. So many of us are walking around unaware of the larger implications of these technologies as our societal norms evolve with them. At the very least, hopefully we’ve gotten some of the readers to think and start discussions of their own, and you and I have to have similar discussions in the future.

Thank you for taking the time out to read this interview. Once again, please visit Dr. Perrino’s Blog for other insightful discussions like this. If you enjoyed this interview, you might also enjoy:

A look at STEM: Blockchain Technology, a new way of conducting business and record keeping
Who will have the skills to benefit from Apple’s $350 billion investment?
We should’ve bought Facebook and Bitcoin stock: An investing and technology story
A Cryptocurrency App Case Study
Why SEO really is the key to successful online business SEO
The best Apps for Crypto Investment
Tableau discusses educating in a data driven world revisited

If you’ve found value here and think it would benefit others, please share it and/or leave a comment. To receive all of the most up to date content from the Big Words Blog Site, subscribe using the subscription box in the right-hand column in this post and throughout the site. Please visit my YouTube channel entitled, Big Discussions76. You can follow me on the Big Words Blog Site Facebook page, and Twitter at @BWArePowerful. Lastly, you can follow me on Instagram at @anwaryusef76. While my main areas of focus are Education, STEM and Financial Literacy, there are other blogs/sites I endorse which can be found on that particular page of my site.