Tag Archives: strategies

My nieces are so over Facebook.

Facebook, some people are so not into you.

As a technology and social media evangelist, I regularly recommend that my clients explore using technology and social media platforms to reach niche audiences, by employing the medium used by these audiences. Invariably, services like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and their progeny feature prominently in my discussions.

With the ever-increasing number of users, and the development of widgets and other technologies, like Tweetdeck, which enable users to access platforms on-the-go, social media services are becoming inextricably intertwined in the way many of us live our lives.

Conventional wisdom dictates that the younger you are, the more familiar you are with advancements in technology, and the more readily you adopt them. Conversely, the older you are, the more out of touch you are when it comes to technology and social media platforms.

Take me, for example. I’m fairly adept at texting, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. But when compared to my 21 year old brother, I’m a sloth, groping blindly to grasp the nuances and intricacies these platforms have to offer. I figured that my little microcosm reflected the real world. However, as of recent, my assumption has been turned on it’s head.

You see, this weekend, I spent some time with my nieces, students at Spellman, and I was amazed to learn their perspective when it came to their use of, and familiarity with technology and social media platforms.

My older niece is a texting monster. Every few seconds, her Blackberry Curve is buzzing. She regularly engages in multiple conversations simultaneously. With many of her friends far away at their respective homes, texting became their main form of communication.

She loathes Facebook and Twitter, as unnecessary invasions of privacy. She sees no purpose in posting every intimate detail of one’s life online and believes that it gives strangers (i.e. friends of friends) access to information that they would otherwise not be privy to if they didn’t know you personally. Her younger sister, also an avid texter, is similarly Facebook and Twitter averse.

Both of them regaled me with stories of the various ‘beefs’ raging on Facebook, caused by one person posting a status update or picture that offended another. They narrated one instance in which the reputation of one Spellman student was put on full blast, because people she had friended, engaged in a smear campaign using the viral nature of the platform to spread misinformation about her.

This lack of privacy and ease for abuse has made many, like them, very Facebook averse. So while Facebook and Twitter are all the rage for some, for others, not so much.

As this little insight into social media from my nieces demonstrates, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. And while brands may have different concerns from college students, many of the issues they face will be similar.

Knowing which nodes to tweak to reach which person becomes invaluable as user preferences differ widely. The digital and social media marketing mix employed by brands should be designed to tap into the digital spaces in which folks naturally congregate.

At the end of the day, I encourage my clients to jump, feet first, into the technological/social media fray, because you can’t have a dialogue with folks, if you don’t speak the language.

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Stephen Chukumba says: “I know how Homer Simpson feels”

What No Parent Should Do To Their Child (Unless Adequately Provoked)

What No Parent Should Do To Their Child (Unless Adequately Provoked)

I just came from a 7:45 a.m. appointment with my daughter’s second grade teacher, Mrs. Caldwell, and I can truly say that I know how Homer Simpson feels when he’s trying to choke out his son, Bart.

Last week, we received a note in our daughter’s backpack, requesting a conference with her teacher, and we feared the worst.

For those of you unfamiliar with the ways of the Asha Ming, our eldest daughter is no joke. From the moment she arrived in the world, she let it be known that it was her way or the highway.

We’ve been trying (with limited success) to acclimate her to the ways of civilized society. For example, we’ve tried to teach her that when she’s bored, yelling ‘I’m bored!’ in the middle of class, is not acceptable behavior.

Similarly, if she see’s someone with any type of physical impairment, we’ve tried to teach her that saying ‘What’s wrong with his hand?’ or ‘Why is she walking funny?’ aloud, is also inappropriate.

So it was with great trepidation that we entered Mrs. Caldwell’s class to learn the motivation for the invitation.

Mrs. Caldwell informed us, that (true to form) Asha had shown her ass (figuratively, thank God) in class, and Mrs. Caldwell wanted to know what strategies we employed in the home to address Asha’s extra behavior.

I didn’t feel comfortable telling her that I’ve beaten her like a slave (not really, but I want to), so Chanel and I offered the PC solutions of applying consequences to Asha’s actions, to clearly express our dissatisfaction (when Asha behaved out of line with our expectations).

We told Mrs. C that Asha had to get used to the new environment (of 2nd grade) and that she’ have it together within a few weeks. (My fingers were crossed behind my back when I offered this assurance, and I think Chanel’s were too).

We talked about last year (and in kindergarten, and in pre-school) when we had a similar conference with Asha’s teacher. We came up with strategies that did, in fact, work out well, and Asha excelled, both socially and academically.

We shared some of these strategies with Mrs. C., who took it all in stride.

Ultimately, her teacher wanted us to know that she was looking for effective strategies so that Asha would not have to spend the entire academic year in the principal’s office. I’d be glad if she only spent half of it there. But I dare to dream.

At least everyone says she’s brilliant.  I know that one day Asha Ming will get it together

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