Does writing about social media in a Mother’s Day blog mean I’ve completely surrendered to the digital age? Perhaps. But is that such a bad thing? These are the times in which we live, after all.
I was recently in a brainstorming session with my team. The topic of old school versus new school approaches to marketing and communications came up, specifically when to deploy more traditional methods (print ads, brick and mortar events, face-to-face selling) as compared to new methods, such as social media, email, and digital marketing.
In my mind, it’s not so much that the approaches change with the times, but rather the tools we use. Where in the past we would use print and broadcast TV and radio to reach our audiences, nowadays we use satellite and digital media to connect. It’s still communication, it’s still marketing, and the message still matters more than anything. Only the way we connect with our audiences has changed.
The same can be said in relation to how we conduct our personal lives. Twenty short years ago, it was rare to be in touch 24/7 with even our closest family members (parents, siblings, spouses). Sure, cell phones existed, but they were the exception to the rule, and they certainly weren’t smart (though you had to be to operate them). Texting wasn’t even a “thing” yet, nor was social media. These days, we think nothing of texting, tweeting, snapchatting, or whatever-ing to family and friends near and far-flung once, twice, thrice, or even more times a day.
This Mother’s Day, with any luck, you’ll be able to get together in person with your Mom, sharing a meal or a daytime outing in the flesh. If not, with the advent of the digital age, there’s really no excuse for you not to get in touch with your mother this Mother’s Day (unless of course she’s no longer with us, and who knows what might be possible in another twenty years!).
- Pick up the phone—any phone. Even a landline will do. But with more than 327 million cell phones in use in the United States alone, chances are you and she have one. Use it.
- If you can’t connect in real-time, why not have your kids (and you) leave your Mom individual voicemail messages to wish her a happy day? She’ll love to hear the sounds of all your voices.
- Make a mobile video call. Use Facetime, Skype, or Google Hangouts to connect. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. In my book, video (and audio) is worth even more!
- If you can’t make a video call, snapchat her a video message (yes, even parents can learn to use and enjoy snapchat) or record a short video with your smartphone and text it to her.
- Use your favorite social media platform to share images and anecdotes of your Mom and your family through the years. Ask her to "Remember when…" as you wish her a Happy Mother’s day on her wall or profile page.
- If you sent Mom a gift, ask her to share a picture or video of herself online enjoying it, wearing it, or eating it so you and others can share in the moment.
Too much is made of the digital age making things feel too cold, distant, and impersonal. True, I can see where that’s the case in some instances. But it’s really about how you choose to embrace the digital age, isn’t it? It’s about how you use the digital tools at your disposal. I say don’t use digital tools to avoid interpersonal connections, but to enhance them when otherwise making a connection would be nearly impossible.
Honoring all the Moms out there — You Are True Heroes!
So take the time this year to give your Mother’s Day celebration a digital boost if so warranted. You and your Mom will be glad you did!
Happy Mother’s Day to all . . . with a special note to Sara June; my mother-in-law, Anne Larkin; and to my mom, Noelline June (miss and love you always). God bless!
Paul June is King Monkey of BARREL O'MONKEYZ, a San Diego-based strategic marketing agency specializing in Sports and Active Lifestyle markets. We serve as a seasoned, outsourced marketing team for companies looking to ramp up sales and launch new products. Our barrel is full of talent and creative arms ready to prove we don’t just monkey around!