Social Media Conversations with Mom

As one might imagine, I have a lot of conversations about social media with my mother. She has embraced a lot of technology advancements within the past few years. She has her iPhone. She has a Facebook account. She has a Twitter account but I believe that it is a little dusty. When I retweet her, I tell her in person because I do not know if she knows to check for mentions. She has a MacBook Pro, an iPod, an iPad and even knows how to download apps.

I think that one of Mom’s best advancements in the digital world has been her use of a Facebook fan page for business. My Mom is an entrepreneur and works for herself. She needs to be on top of her game and, in today’s world, that means developing a social media strategy as part of her marketing program. Then something happened a few weeks ago that really got me thinking.

I found my Mom addressing envelope after envelope inviting businesses to some kind of event. I actually do not recall the details of the event but I could not figure out why the invites were all going out via snail mail as the businesses could just as easily be found online via Facebook or Twitter. I asked my Mom about this and she said that the world has not gone completely digital and not everyone is embracing social media. Naturally, I agree with parts of this and I disagree with parts of this.

We explored the topic in detail and what my Mom told me was surprising. For those of you who do not know, my Mom is a master at networking. Most of her networking is done offline and she must know thousands of people from her various groups and meetings. The level of quantity in her offline network is fabulous. I do wonder about the quality, though. When I say “quality,” I am not suggesting that the people with whom my Mom networks offline are not of a high caliber but I am wondering about the quality of these people in the business arena. Can one work to the highest possible potential without engaging in social media?

My Mom also said that she was picking up on a trend from her peers. She said that people in the age range of 50-65 do not use Facebook as much as they once had been. I thought that most people who have a business and a Facebook account tend to login every day but my Mom’s perception was different. She explained that she knows many business owners who only check Facebook once a week. There was no use in getting into a debate with my Mom about this because she happens to check Facebook a few times per day but I had a hard time believing this and I also struggled to understand why this group of people isn’t encouraging social media to work more.

What are your thoughts here? Do you think that you can professionally succeed as an entrepreneur without embracing social media? Do you notice differences in social media use based upon age? If you are in the 50-65 age group, do you find that you check your social networks about once a week or are you more active online? I would love to hear feedback about this.

  • FB is not ideal to interface with people between 50 and 70; it seems to be revert back to more use over 70.
    LinkedIn is superior to FB for business types between the ages of 40 and 65 (as far as I can tell).  

  • ImtheMOM

    I am in your MOM’s age group and reading your introduction it could have been that my son was talking about. I check my FB account several times because it is on my Iphone , my ipad and of course the computer. I don’t have a biz page on my FB page but I do quite a bit of networking on there. I constantly update people with our products etc. I believe more poeple of this age group are on FB more than once a week, they may not talk but they read.
    When I went to my class reunion a couple of years ago there were only maybe 5 people on FB. Now there are over 60. I don’t see all the posts but I check in periodically to see what the class is doing.

    I know that there are many of this age and even younger who find the social media abhorrent. Why? I don’t know.

    I am taking College classes and a conversation came about with one of the ladies who is in one of my English classes. She said she had almost taken
    a composition class and she was so glad that she did not. They were using
    blogs and twitter and who knew what else?  i just stared at her. I was taking
    that class and after my first night I went home and told my son:” Guess what we get to use twitter and use a blog and who knows what else?”  It is all a matter of
    perspective and if you want to branch out to “modify” what you are used to.

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