Mother’s Day is that one single day a year that we take a little extra time (and a little extra money) to thank our moms for everything they did and sacrificed for us. I have to admit that my mom is pretty freakin’ awesome! She’s one of those incredibly creative and artsy mom’s who used to make all my Halloween costumes from scratch, and made us puppets for our own theater shows, and always had some unique craft to entertain us on rainy days. She also made my prom dress and wedding dress for me. She’s also the reason I have an unusual obsession with making cookies for every holiday and season.
She, like many moms, also gave me her fair share of advice over the years. This advice ranged from “don’t make that face, your face will look like that permanently” to “don’t sit too close to the TV, you’ll go blind” to “just because you’re taller than me doesn’t mean I can’t still tell you what to do” to “no matter what, I will always love you.” (You can see from the photo that I have some significant height on her!)
We all know that as we get older, all those things mom used to say actually have some relevant application in life (maybe not the face freezing advice). I started thinking about some of the things moms always tell us when we’re kids and I came up with this post. Here are 10 pieces of motherly advice that you can actually use to strengthen your social media strategy.
1. Treat Others the Way You Want to be Treated
This was always the scolding you got when you were mean to someone else. It was usually followed up with something like “how would you feel if they treated you that way?” Social media is much the same way. If you appreciate it when brands respond to you directly, shouldn’t your brand respond to your audience as well? Think about how you like to interact and engage on social media and incorporate that into your brand.
2. If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say, Don’t Say Anything At All
Yes, mom… How many times have we all heard this as kids? But this couldn’t be more true for social media. Your online conversations are a direct reflection of your brand. Do not breed negativity and do not speak negatively of anyone. Even trolls – don’t give in to their attempts to paint you in a negative light. Address everyone in a respectful manner.
3. Mind Your Manners
Mind your “p’s and q’s” was one I heard a lot. Make sure you say “thank you” and “please” and “you’re welcome.” We all had this more or less beat into our heads as children and yet as adults we often forget this simple act. Make sure that you take the time to thank your audience on your social media sites. If someone leaves a compliment or shares your posts, send them a quick thank you. If you’re asking them to share or comment, start the request with this simple word: PLEASE.
4. I Don’t Know – Is NOT an Answer
This was that answer you gave with a shrug of the shoulders. Who cares, right? Well, your mom was probably trying to broaden your horizons and make you learn something. Dang! Don’t you hate when they were right? If you have any size following on social media, people expect you to be an industry leader. Don’t ever dismiss a question or not provide an answer. If you don’t know the answer, go find it. If you can’t provide the answer right away, let them know that you are still trying to fully grasp this concept yourself and that you look forward to solving it with them.
5. Don’t Pretend to Be Someone Else
If people don’t like you for you, then you don’t want to be their friend anyways. While this may have been hard to do in younger school years, I think most of us learn this to be very true later in life. You are who you are for a reason and you have lots to offer just as you are. When people meet you in person after getting to know you (or your brand) online, they shouldn’t be surprised that you’re nothing like what they thought. Be yourself and be true to your brand. You don’t need to please everyone. Your true personality will always gain more loyal fans and customers than anything you could pretend to be.
6. Clean Up Your Room!
I have never met a kid with a clean room. So why do parents make such a big deal about clean rooms? One reason is probably for appearances (I heard this command most frequently before guests showed up…) but another reason is clean and organized makes it easier to function. You know the response you got when you couldn’t find your favorite shoe: “Well, if your room was clean, you wouldn’t lose your shoe!” So keep your sites clean and organized. Make it easy for people to find information on your website. Make your sites easy to navigate using tabs and landing pages. Also, keep your Social Media Strategy organized so that you always stay prepared and make it easy to execute!
7. Work Comes Before Play
Chores, ugh! But I couldn’t go play until the chores were done. As much as I may have hated this as a kid, it taught me some great life lessons. Social media is a great “play” tool for many of us. It’s easy to get lost in the conversations and reading all the posts (there’s a reason people call it a major time-waster). Don’t get so caught up in the fun time that you have to rush to complete your scheduled tasks online. Review your daily posts every morning and check what you have scheduled throughout the day. Focusing on the chores early leaves you plenty of time to “play” (and engage with your audience) across the sites throughout the day.
8. Money Doesn’t Grow On Trees
This was usually accompanied by a lesson on hard work = more money. If I wanted new shoes or clothes, I had to find a way to earn the money. I think it’s important for everyone in business to realize that social media is not a money tree. If it was that easy, everyone would be making tons of money and wouldn’t still use other marketing and customer service strategies. Social media takes time and hard work to be fruitful.
9. Dress For the Job You Want, Not the Job You Have
Personally, this is advice I adhere to every day. Some may say it’s outdated but I live by it. And it goes beyond just how you dress, it’s about how you act. If you want to be a CEO, you can’t act like an intern – you need to take initiative and you need to look like you can fill that role with confidence. Your social media should be handled similarly. If you want to be on the first page of Google, you need to provide 1st page quality information. If you want to be thought of as an expert, you’d better provide expert-level posts. If you want to have the best engagement, engage with your audience.
10. Don’t Put All Your Eggs In One Basket
Because what happens when that one basket is dropped – you lose all your eggs! Please, please, please make sure that you have more than one Social Media administrator. If you only have one person managing your social media sites, you run a lot of risk if that person is gone (illness, vacation, termination, etc.). You can read more about my thoughts on this topic in this previous blog post.
I hope all these tips help you to reflect not only on your mom and her advice, but also on your social media strategy. Taking a healthy look at your strategy can help you to make a couple corrective actions and get things running smoothly in the direction you have planned.
Make sure you take the time this weekend to remind your mom that you love her and thank her for all the advice she’s given you over the years.
If you have any fun advice that you mom gave you growing up, please leave it here in the comments. It’ll be fun to reminisce about all the different things we’ve been told!