Momisms for a Digital & Social Age

Moms are wise.  Moms give good advice about using social media.

It is that time of year to celebrate our moms. momisms for a digital & social age

And, a time for remembering some of the odd utterances made by my mom to address my rambunctious childhood behaviors.

Insightfully, a lot of the things my mom used to say make a lot of sense when applied to my use of social media.

“Most mothers are instinctive philosophers.” ~ Harriet Beecher Stowe

Momisms Know Best.

Momism #1: Who do you think you are?

On the social web, others do want to know who you are.

If using social media for personal branding and job search, then others need to know who you are.

Therefore, your social media headlines/taglines, profiles/biographies should be complete, consistent, and career focused.

Don’t hide behind a cutesy Twitter handle.

Don’t consider anything other than a professional headshot for your profile photo.

Define and self-market your authentic professional self.

Momism #2: Don’t put that in your mouth; you don’t know where it has been.

Research shows that many people social share content without reading it.

“The title looks good, so I will go ahead and share it.”

“I trust that blogger, so I will go ahead and share it.”

“It is time for bed. I will just quickly fill my Buffer with enough social shares to cover tomorrow.”

Besides missing the heart of social media networking: to learn from the best of others. Such behavior is risky for your personal brand.

“You are what you social share.”

Always share the good stuff that strengthens your personal brand identity (or how you want others to see you).

And, always take control of your online reputation by vetting the content before you social share it.

Momism #3: Always wear clean underwear; you never know when you will have an accident.

Mom is right in that you only get one chance to make a digital first impression on the social web.

“Don’t hang out your digital dirty laundry for all to see.”

Always show your best public digital behavior.  You never know when someone important to your career is watching, Googling your name, and looking for more about you and your personal brand.

Hence, refrain from social sharing: profanity, negativity, questionable selfies, public check-ins, SMS acronyms, or anything too personal or unprofessional.

Accordingly, keep your personal and private behavior locked down to your friends and family in Facebook.

Momism #4: Be careful with that or you will put your eye out.

Okay mom, I will be careful.

Nonetheless, too much screen time does cause eye strain, health problems, and strange sleeping disorders.

Take an occasional break from your social media overload and do some physical social networking in real life (from URL to IRL).

Life is too short for another addiction.

Momism #5: If you can’t say anything nice, then don’t say anything.

If you walked into a party and quickly started criticizing everyone you meet, then soon everyone would move away to avoid you.

So goes this behavior on the social web.

Be nice. Be likeable. Voice your opinions but seek to build up rather than tear down. Be positive, not negative. Be helpful, not hurtful.

Momism #6: What part of NO don’t you understand?

While reciprocity was once a staple for online social behavior, the social web now requires a more selective style of reciprocity.

Say “no” to those that want to trick you into a follow-back, and then they unfollow you.

Say “no” to those that want to spam comment on your blog.

Say “no” to those that try to dominate the conversation with auto-posting, speed-posting, or copy-posting across multiple networks.

Say “no” to trolls, haters, tricksters, spammers, self-promoters, and lazy curators.

Learn to understand and recognize when to say “no.”

Momism #7: Serves you right.

On the social web, you get what you give.

When all you do is drop links, it serves you right that few will engage with you.

When you fail to comment on blogs, retweet, like, and +1 the good content shared by others, it serves you right that few will do the same for you.

To get engagement, you have to give engagement.

Momism #8: You’ll understand when you are older.

While many of us on social media are older than a millennial or digital native, our experiences on the social web are relatively young.

Experience is the best teacher.

Yes, you must read. Yes, you must learn from the best practices of others. Yes, you must learn from your own trials and errors.  Yes, you must continuously monitor, measure, and learn for improvement.

However, you don’t become a social media expert overnight (perhaps a ninja, but not an expert).

Be patient. Click throughs, retweets, likes, and +1s will come when you follow the right people.

Be persistent. Blog comments will come when you find the right voice for the right audience.

Social media success takes time.  Believe me now and understand me later.

Momism #9: It does not matter how you do, I will always be proud of you.

Thanks mom for your unwavering support.

Also, thanks for reminding me to not fret and frazzle about the vanity metrics. Just as an elevator will not go faster the more you press the button, neither will social media metrics grow the more times you check it.

Social shares will come. And, social shares will go. Many will fade without notice. However, if you keep on reading, learning, following, and sharing, your time may come.

Blog posts will come. And, blog posts will go. Many will fade with few social shares. However, if you keep on thinking, writing, editing, and writing some more, your time may come.

And, you will always have the learning.

Momism #10: Go ask your dad.

Well, if dad knew anything about modern day technology, then perhaps I would.

Instead, I guess I will just have to “google it.”

If you can’t get Twitter to upload that new photo or having difficulty embedding a YouTube video on your new WordPress blog, then just Google it.

If direct answers fail Google, then ask one of your networks, such as Quora, your Facebook friends, a Google+ Community, or a LinkedIn Group.

Using social media to crowdsource a perplexing question can provide the wisdom of a web full of dads.

The Take-Away.

Moms know best.

Their wisdom is never-ending, inspirational, insightful, and surprisingly applicable to the social web and this digital age.

Thanks mom.  I miss you.

What are your momisms for a digital & social age? Please comment.

Image credit: by Denny McCorkle


For more blog posts reflecting my attempt at humor and social media, try these (please share if they gave you a chuckle):
The Circus is Coming to Town: A Digital Marketing Update
Daddy, What is Social Media?
A Social Media Enthusiast Walked Into a Bar
A Personal Branding Strategist Walked Into That Same Bar

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Denny McCorkle @DennyMcCorkle

Professor of Marketing, Monfort College of Business at University of Northern Colorado
As a nationally recognized and award winning Marketing Professor in the Monfort College of Business at the University of Northern Colorado, I help students, professors, and professionals to gain a Digital Self Marketing Advantage through the use of social media marketing for personal branding, job search, skills development, career advancement, and life-long learning.
  • Fabulous analogies Denny. Will share (now that I vetted you). Well done. Thanks