Monday, July 1, 2013

10 Things My Mother Taught Me About Social Media

10 Things My Mother Taught Me About Social Media

1. Quit Whining

Mama says, "It is not very lady-like to whine."
I think, "Who wants to be a lady anyway?"
Mama reads my teenage mind, "You will be a lady and like it."
I think, "WOW, she must be psychic."

Whether you want to be lady-like or not, the point is: QUIT WHINING! No one wants to read posts where all you do is complain. My sister always replied to my childish whining, "Get over it!" In fact, I am 38 and she still tells me that. (Even in a tornado!) I guess Texas girls are tough and we don't like to hear it, say it, or cater to whining. So, ladies and gents, "Get over it!"

2. Fix Your Face

At dinner Mama says, "Wipe your face, sweetie," as she hands me another napkin.
I mistakenly say, "But I am saving it for later."
Mama gives me the evil, twitching eye and smiles, "Darling, fix your face."
I take the napkin and wipe furiously before I turn into a frog. Mama's have magical powers you know?!

A lot of online participants need to "Fix your face!" You are not portraying the persona you desire. You are saving for later what needs to be fixed NOW. Update your profiles, add new pictures, keep your contact information current. How in the world do you expect anyone to befriend you or make a professional connection with ketchup running down your cheek?

3. Do Unto Others As You Would Have Them Do Unto You

Mama says, "Now, Jana, you wouldn't want your sister to take your clothes without asking, would you?"
I think, "She can't fit my clothes! Ha!"
Mama reads my mind, "Or your little brother?"
I relinquish to her powerful mind reading and ability to always be right.

When I was a teen, I would steal my sisters clothes. She would scream at me but the really scary times were when she didn't scream because I would find all of my clothes thrown out the upstairs window across the roof and yard. Not fun! (for me) A lot of online users are stealing their sisters clothes. This is called plagiarism. Ask BEFORE you steal it and then make sure you give credit to the author. Otherwise, you might find your stuff spread out everywhere!

4. Eat Your Vegetables

Mama says, "You cannot leave the table until you have eaten all of your green beans."
I smile thinking, "That is why I have pockets!"
Mama starts washing dishes and watches me from the sink. I put a nasty green bean in my mouth and gag as I try to chew. While dramatically chewing, I slip green beans in my pocket. In a few minutes, I hop up and take Mama my empty plate and rush upstairs. Advice: don't put warm gooey green beans in blue jean pockets. It is not easily removed.

The online moral of this; you have to do tasks that you don't want to. Otherwise your pocket is full of a gooey mess. If you don't take the time to create a professional blog, FB page, website, etc, then you will spend a lot of time fixing your mess to recreate a strong influence. Do it right the first time. Research, ask for help, pay someone to help, etc. In the end, you will have ingested what is good for you and avoided a mess.

5. Never Call A Boy; Wait For Them To Call You

Mama picks up the other end of the phone and says sweetly, "Jana, please hang up and come see me."
I reply, "Okay," with a little too much sarcasm.
Mama explains, "Jana, you never call a boy. You make them call you. Then you know they are interested and you don't appear desperate."
I roll my eyes; big mistake. GROUNDED!

Online use needs to practice this moral! Quit calling the boys. You appear desperate and it's annoying. (Gender is neutral in this moral) You will lose followers because they do not want a sales pitch every time they interact with you. How do you like telemarketers? If I see 1-800 starting a phone number, I don't answer. Why? They are annoying! If I want to purchase something, then I will go shopping. Same thing online. Let them find you, quit chasing people and begging them to buy your product. Your job is to be discoverable online by using strong keywords, keeping your information up to date, and occasionally sending out a message linking to your product. Amazing how many get this wrong and actually turn away potential customers.

6. Well Bless Your Socks Off! - Have Faith

Mama laughs, "Well, bless your socks off!"
I think, "That is so stupid."

Upon reflection, Mama is very wise in her silly statement. First, bless people. Make them feel cared about and supported. Isn't that what friends are for? Second, have faith. Once you put your self and your message out there, have faith that people will flock to it. If it is a current, interesting, original piece, then people will care about it and share it. Third, socks stink. Bless people so much the stink come off. They forget about the bad in their life and find something or someone to give them joy and fun! That, my friends, is wise!

7. Make Them SMILE

My Mama loves to make everyone smile (and I mean EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE strangers included) She will talk to a brick wall and have it laughing. In fact, my Mama is quite the comedian and loves to dress up in different characters to spread her message of joy. At times, I laugh and other times, i duck my head in embarrassment because we are in the doctor's office and she starts singing.

Quit being so serious! It is okay to sing in the doctor's office. You might actually make someone SMILE! Have fun and so will others.

8. Wait Your Turn

Mama takes my little hand and pulls me away from the slide, "Jana, you must wait your turn. See the line of little children waiting?"
I look up at my Mama and nod my head.
"After they go, then you can go. Okay?"
I nod again but think, "I don't want to wait."

Online platform building is a lot of waiting. If you start today, do not expect profound results for at least six months or longer. Word of mouth in the online world is powerful but SLOW! We are ready to slide but there are others in front of us who have been waiting too. If we all help each other and take turns, then we can all enjoy the rush of wind in our hair when it is our turn!

9. Don't Steal - Give the Bubble Gum Back

Mama stops the car and turns around, "Where did you get that bubblegum?" Her eye is doing the twitching thing again!
I freeze with eyebrows up and a bubble ready to pop on my face. What do I say? My brother and sister stare back at me. I am caught red handed with huge, delicious bubble staring back at me. Mama turns the car around and drags me and my Watermelon Bubbalicious Gum back into the grocery store. She asked for a manager and made me hand it back, pay, and apologize.

Humiliating, but I learned a life lesson. I can't even take a paper-clip from work without feeling Mama's twitching eye staring at me. And I promise she would drag me back and make me apologize. Social Media is hard work. When you find something interesting, quote them and give them a back link. Every link from your site to someone else's helps with their online status. You are actually helping to promote them. Likewise, they will probably return the favor.

10. Play Your Music

My Mama plays the piano and writes music. She does not fit into any genre that I know. She mixes a little Elvis with old country and sings with a twang but she loves it. Everything she produces is to make others smile and happy. She even writes hilarious and cute children's musicals that have been performed with standing ovations. (I wish she would send them off for publishing!) My Mama is unique, beautiful, and makes everyone smile.

You need to remember one last thing that my Mama always says, "You are so beautiful!" Don't let anyone change you or try to make you conform to a specific genre. Be who you want to be. Hold your head up with pride and show the world who you are. The world has plenty of conformist. What we need, what we want is something fresh, new, and fun that is beautiful! Just like MY Mama!

Next week I will be posting 10 Truths About Teens From Teens. Remember to share this post with your friends!

If you want another real friend, find me on:
Twitter @janagrissom

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