10 Social Media Lessons Mom Taught Me

Moms play a special role in our lives. While I didn’t realize it at the time, my mother helped me prepare to participate in the social media ecosphere. As I’ve learned, some of Mom’s teachings are universal.

In honor of Mother’s Day, here are ten social media lessons that I learned from my mother.

  1. Do your homework. On social media platforms, homework translates to doing your research. Know which networks relate to your business, customers and competitors. Check it out by lurking or using brand monitoring. Also, consider how to portray your brand for your audience.
  2. Be nice to others. Understand that the person on the other end of your social media interactions might not have the same background or life experiences. Further they may not speak English as a first language so offer them the benefit of the doubt. That said, if someone is being argumentative, let it go and move on. Since they may be looking for a fight, don’t provoke them. Therefore consider your social responsibility when using social media.
  3. Get your hair out of your eyes. For mothers this applies more to their daughters rather than their sons but, on social media, it’s universal. Don’t be self-involved. Look around to see what’s out there and where you’re going.
  4. Eat your vegetables. What mother hasn’t fought with her kids to eat the green stuff on their plates? When it comes to social media, it’s important to have fresh content on a regular basis (not just when the spirit moves you!) Further, like the green vegetables that mother served, your content must supply value.
  5. Don’t slouch. Whose mom didn’t bug them about their posture? On social media, this translates to not taking the easy way out. For example, don’t just retweet something without reading it or only follow popular celebrities and  trending topics. (Here’s ten other Twitter guidelines.)
  6. Watch your language. No mother wants to hear her child use foul language. On social media platforms, it’s even more important to skip the four letter expletives. You never know who may be reading, it could be a child, a customer or someone whose opinion you value. Even worse, they may take this comment out of context.
  7. Pick up after yourself. The subtext here is to keep your room neat and provide a good impression. On social media presentation counts. While an occasional typo is acceptable, think about the impression you want other participants to have about you. This is particularly important for users representing businesses.
  8. Make new friends. Just as mom suggested, go out and interact with people on social media platforms. Even if you’re introverted, try to put yourself out there and find your social media tribe.
  9. Don’t be late. As with other types of appointments you need to show up. While most social networks don’t have set times, some do, such as Meetups  (social media events) and Twitter chats. It’s a good idea to let people know that you’ll be showing up in advance.
  10. Don’t forget to call. Social media isn’t about one-way promotions to drive traffic to your website or other entity. Rather take time to participate in social media conversations via real time and asynchronous options. Make it personal so that customers know that you really care about them.

On this day we celebrate Moms. Can we ever thank them enough for the lessons they taught us that continue to find new applications like social media?

What other suggestions do you have for social media participants that were inspired by your mother? Please add your recommendations in the comment section below.

Happy marketing,
Heidi Cohen


Big hug to my mother Elaine who has always been an inspiration and a very special person.

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Photo credit: Clever Cupcakes via Flickr

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  • http://tobeydeys.wordpress.com/ Tobey Deys

    Heidi – this is fantastic! I love how you’ve related back to what Mothers have been saying since … hmmm … ;-)

    Absolutely inspired! :-) Thank you

    • http://riversidemarketingstrategies.com/ Heidi Cohen

      Tobey– Some of the things we learned from our mothers is universal to all mothers (although we don’t realize it as children). A lot of what mothers teach us is how to relate to other people, which is at the center of social media. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

  • http://www.thatgirlshelley.com/blog That Girl Shelley

    Heidi these are awesome tips!