I love being a work-at-home Mom. Despite the challenges of business calls where my toddler makes loud crashing noises with his trucks and my newborn starts screaming to be fed, I am truly blessed to be able to spend precious time with my kids while I work on healthcare and social media projects for my clients … and I am so lucky to have the most wonderful and understanding clients 😉
The latest post by Tamar Weinberg, “6 Things Parenthood Taught Me About Social Media Marketing“, resonated with me both personally and professionally. Tamar is a Mom to a 1-year old. In her post, she drew parallels of things she learned as a new Mom and social media marketing; 1) You need to do it all the time, 2) You don’t get a vacation, 3) It’s going to be difficult at first, 4) The relationship grows stronger each day, 5) You need to nurture it, and 6) Sometimes there will be bumps.
Very soon, Tamar will be able to draw parallels between toddlerhood and social media. Here are a few suggestions that I would like to offer;
1) Listen and put into context: Toddlers sometimes understand things differently than what is meant by adults. One day, after seeing my 3-year old dramatically talk about how his toy broke, I was amused and told him that he was quite the little ‘actor’. He left with a confused look and then told his father that I called him a ‘tractor’. At least now we knew why he was confused, so we were ale to explain the meaning of the word to him. Organizations can learn a lot from social chat about consumers’ perceptions of their brands and organization itself. Listening gives the organization an opportunity to bring context to any misunderstandings or misperceptions.
2) Adapt to changes quickly: Toddlers have a very short attention span. One minute my son wants me to play cars with him, and the next he’s handing me crayons so that I can colour with him. Social media platforms can change quickly as well, and one needs to adapt to these changes as they occur. For example, a few months ago, FaceBook announced that contests could no longer take place on their platform. The folks at Afexa Life Sciences had to make quick changes to the implementation of their Cold-FX Olympics 2010 contest. You can read about that here.
3) Remain calm during a tantrum: When my son gets overwhelmed and has a tantrum, no matter how difficult it may be, I do my best to remain calm and help him regain composure. As a Mom, it is important to me that my children sense that my love for them is unconditional – even during moments of tension. Social network community managers also need to remain calm when faced with negative comments. It is not personal. It is an opportunity to engage with the audience to provide context to the situation in a calm and friendly manner. Knee-jerk reactions by the community manager could just make the situation worse – just ask Nestle about that. Read about Nestle’s recent mishandling of social media here and here.
Congratulations Tamar for surviving your first year of motherhood. It is truly a milestone for both baby and Mom. And enjoy the toddler years.