Remember when everyone complained that their parents were getting a Facebook account? I remember that my younger brother was just livid. To this day, he has not accepted my mom's friend request. Don't get me wrong, there were some rough patches there at the beginning. I remember when she found out my cousin broke up with her boyfriend, she "sent her a private message" consoling her ... only she posted it on her wall. Over the past five years, however, my mom has gotten really good at Facebook. She's better at social media than I am. One might say that we could look at my mom's social media interaction and learn a thing or two ... or five. Infact, here are five social media tips that you can learn from my mom.
I have a tendency to be a little cryptic when it comes to social media. I make a statement and really don't care if people engage with it or not. Not my mom. Take a look at this post she shared from my wife's blog. Note the question at the end. She's asking for engagement. My wife often complains that so many people read her blog but never comment. We could learn from my mom and be more engaging by asking questions. Even leading ones.
Feed the Momentum
If by chance I post something that actually compels someone to comment, it is rare that I will then comment back. I might "Like" the comment. If I strongly disagree with it, I might respond, but that's about all you'll get from me. My mom, however, is on top of it. The LEAST you will get from my mom is a like. Most of the time half of the comments on her posts will be her own responses to her viewers. This tends to fuel more conversation as the post gets placed toward the top of the feed with every comment.
Do Your Research
Mom had to learn her lesson the hard way here. She once reposed a status that claimed Mark Zuckerberg would exempt your account from ads if you shared this status stating you didn't want to see them. (Or something like that.) Well, mom still sees ads on Facebook, but she doesn't share or repost anything ridiculous any more. She's not afraid to share things, of course, but she considers the source and they are all (at very least) true.
Be Real—But Not Too Real
You've got to be you on social media, but don't be too much you. That's a tough line to walk. You do want to give people a peek into your life, but you don't want to show them the skeletons in your closet. My mom walks this line with grace and poise. Whether it is pictures of the family at a restaurant or a look inside her pantry at the new spice rack my dad built, there is always something to see. At the same time, however, it's never too much; it's never ... you know ... awkward.
That's right, my mom keeps up with the trends. OK, trends (plural) may be overstating it a bit, but that's kind of the point. It is impossible to keep up with all of the latest trends. Even if you could, it would be annoying to everyone else. So don't even try. However, if you can pick one or two trends that can be yours, it can go a long way. My mom demonstrates this perfectly. She absolutely dominates the #TBT as demonstrated here. She's throwing back to a time during which I didn't even exist! Truth be told, I really look forward to her throwbacks. They are like little digital time machines. I don't know anyone who does them better.
P.S. Doesn't my dad's hair rock!?
So, as you are approaching your social media endeavors, it may be best to not think too much like a marketer and think a little more like a mom.