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.