Figuring Out Social Media

By: Deanna Shoss

If you’re 30 and you say you are not that into social media (that would never happen) people would probably think you were really cool and hip or even an artist. But if you’re over 50 and you say you’re not into social media, that’s a red flag that you’re just plain old.

The truth is that the need (not fun, desire, but actual functional NEED) for social media is not necessarily for everyone. Take my husband…please! (Raise your hand if you get that reference). He tells me all the time he doesn’t have time for that stuff and that he sees social media for business as a complete waste of time. And in my husband’s case, for his specific work in global commodities, he is right.

And there’s the kicker—realizing that real-life needs and strategy should be the driver, and that social media platforms (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) are simply the tools or vehicles to get there.

So for those feeling like ‘I’m not on social media’ (or not yet at a level of comfort to drive business objectives) ‘but I know I need to go in that direction to keep my pipeline of clients flowing’, here are some ways to phrase it to others so that you still sound in the know, while figuring things out. (Note these tips can also help those like my husband, too—never going there but still can sound relevant when interacting with younger colleagues.)

Reframe your fear with ready to use substitute language.

Instead of “aggghhh…I don’t get it,” try “I’m a digital immigrant in the midst of acculturation.”

Instead of “I have a Linkedin account but I never look at it,” try “I’m taking a multi-channel approach I’m still reviewing my mix.”

Instead of “isn’t that teenagers telling you what they had for lunch?” try, "(Instagram, etc.) is a viable platform but it doesn’t align with my target market."

And if your 14 year old asks…“I’m turnin’ it up and I’m on fleek, bae.”, He didn’t really want details anyway.

You are now prepared to “fake it until you make it.” Go forth and prosper.

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DEANNA SHOSS - GENERATIONS

Deanna Shoss is founder and president of Intercultural Talk, Inc. a marketing, social-media and intercultural communications firm in Chicago, IL. Learn more on her website

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Deanna Shoss

President Intercultural Talk, Inc. Recognized in 2005 “Who’s Who in Chicago Business by Crain’s Chicago Business, Shoss brings over 25 years of communications, marketing, social media and intercultural experience to her work for you. A certified Inbound Marketing Specialist, Shoss has led workshops and training on social media for individuals, businesses, not-for-profits and international associations. “I can do it for you or train you how to do it,” says Shoss, about serving clients who want to have a vibrant web presence and connect to everyone from the people they serve to industry leaders using tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, email and more. Shoss has worked with City government, with McDonald’s Owner/Operators, is past President of the League of Chicago Theatres and provided brand management, social media and marketing strategy to serve 31,000 people across 40 programs and two agencies as Director of Marketing, Communications & Business Development for Jewish Child & Family Services and JVS Chicago. With a Masters in Anthropology and Marketing, Shoss founded Intercultural Talk, Inc. in 2006, a marketing consulting firm providing marketing strategy through delivery with clear, succinct messages that resonate with people of all backgrounds.