Stop Taking Social Media Advice from Your Children

Dear small business owners,

Unless you are marketing a product for children, please stop taking social media advice from your children. Think about these things:

  1. Chances are they are NOT your target market. If you’re going to get advice from anyone at least ensure they are part of your target market. If your children are 10 and you’re selling to adults, well, do I really need to explain why this won’t work?
  2. Children and teens use social media in a very different way than your target market. They use Snap and Instagram to share funny photos with their friends, and to chat. To them, social media is like the telephone was to my generation. We used to get on the phone and talk for hours, much to my parents’ chagrin.
  3. Your children, unless they are managing social media for their own business, or are working in social media, only know about the user experience of social media. They only understand how to receive social media messages, if you will, not the strategy of putting your own social media marketing messages out there. They haven’t had to build a brand. They’ve likely never touched a business page. They probably have no experience in writing marketing messages or dealing with customer service issues.

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I hear from small business owners all the time who’s children (of all ages, including young adults) have said “Mom, nobody uses Facebook anymore. You need to be on Snapchat.” For some businesses, this may be true, but before you jump on this advice, you need to be sure your market is there.

Facebook currently has over 1.8 billion users. Instagram just hit the 700 million user milestone. Twitter is sitting around 320 million users. And Snapchat is around 150 million. It’s imperative you figure out where your audience is already hanging out and go to them. Don’t just jump on the bandwagon of the latest and greatest social platform your kids are raving about. Make the decision strategic. Be informed. Do the research and figure out where your business should be.

Maybe they’re right. Maybe they’re wrong. Before you take social media advice from your children, get a second opinion!


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