Here’s a question for you: Is social media only for the young? This is what I asked Robert C. Stern, my guest on my weekly Little White Lie FB Live show. Robert is a social media strategist and founder of The Social Leader, working one-to-one with people in business to help them understand and profit from social media and content marketing. The perfect person to ask!
You can catch the entire show here
But before I dive into our conversation, I’d like to share with you what I do with all my guests. The Little White Lie movement started with my life-changing decision to grow out my hair to its natural color after coloring it for over 30 years. My “little white lie” is that I felt I wasn’t living authentically when I was hiding behind my natural (and beautiful!) white hair, my natural look, and my ‘real’ age. Our “little white lie” (we ALL have at least one) gives us an opportunity to explore the deeper meaning of embracing and loving exactly who we are. Mine has quite frankly launched me into a whole new direction in life!
So…I ask each of my weekly guests, “What is YOUR Little White Lie?”
Here’s what Robert shared – something I totally get and you might too …
Robert: “You know what my Little White Lie is? I teach social media. In addition, I teach live streaming and all these great things with video and everything else. I get so, so nervous … I get butterflies and anxious right before I hit the “start” button. It takes a couple of minutes until I get to an easier level. But the great thing is that I’m looking at it differently now — more like it’s not nerves, it’s excitement. And I’m using it as fuel to get me to keep going.”
I love that! This is the beauty of discovering things about ourselves that we might not like so much: we can then shift how we look at those things so they serve us in a positive way.
OK, back to our topic question: Is social media only for the young? Robert responds with an emphatic “no!” and adds, “I have so many ways personally and in business that show it’s not.”
Facebook use has definitely caught on with an older generation, studies show.
36% of adults who use Facebook are 65 and older. Internet use in general for this age group grew 150% between 2009 and 2011 (and steadily increasing since). Of those who go online, 76% do so daily and 34% use social media. Source: Pew Research Center. As Robert observes, many of us were introduced to Facebook from a younger person. He says, “But then I got sucked in! Well, I’m in here, let me see what this Facebook is all about.”
The rest is history for many of us — but not all!
It’s true that many people have this idea that you have to be young to really use social media. One reason why this is so, Robert points out, is that technology moves so fast. “We’re live-streaming like this [the LWL show] right now. Artificial intelligence is coming into play. People in general don’t like change. When things change drastically, that’s when the wall goes up.” The “upper generations” can be reluctant to adapt to the new technology and use it in their daily lives because it’s something new that they have to learn — and soon yet another technology appears on the scene.
Robert offers some tips for those of us who might be feeling reluctant to use social media or may need some convincing of its benefits:
Think about relationships and networking.
It’s like networking and socializing before social media. You might have gone to a club, event, activity, whatever, where you talked to people. Or at dinner with friends or at a party. When you look at it this way, that’s all you’re doing — the socializing just has been digitized onto your computer. You build relationships this way, and of course, you can also connect “live” as well — the two can go hand-in-hand.
Just get started. Take that step and get online, whether it’s Facebook or Twitter or Instagram — it doesn’t matter which one. And start socializing. You have to just talk, like you would offline. Robert: “It’s like the way we met, Caren. We met on a thread, both in a live-stream at the same time. We kept in contact, every couple of days, sending little messages to each other.” You get to know each other and build relationships.
It opens up your world.
“When I started doing live-streaming [on social media], all of a sudden I was getting coaching clients in London, Canada, Australia! I would not have gotten these people if I weren’t doing these types of things,” says Robert. On a personal level, you’re able to reach out to family members and old friends no matter how far away. Many older people retire, move away from their hometown or spend more time traveling, and don’t live near their kids. Social media is a great way to stay in touch.
Get over the fear. “Saying you can’t get on social media because it’s for young people is probably the biggest Little White Lie there is! Because nothing is just for the young anymore. Anybody can try to do anything as long as you believe.” And if you don’t know anything about it, ask for help.
Here’s an extra tip for you about using social media: hashtags (I’ve been asked about this a lot).
Make sure you use hashtags, for example, #LittleWhiteLie. When you put a hashtag in front of something, it crosses all social media platforms. So, if you go into Google and search for #LittleWhiteLie, everywhere that people have started to put that hashtag is going to show up, whether it’s Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and now LinkedIn. As a user of the Internet, it’s really helpful to know this because you can start searching for things that are in your interest. Whatever your age!
You can follow Robert C Stern here:
How do you feel now about social media — is it still only for the young? Share your thoughts and stories with the Little White Lie Movement community, and get in on the conversation that’s happening all over the country and beyond via — guess what? — social media!
How to do it:
1) Answer the question or comment below.
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3) Share your thoughts on Facebook and of course, don’t forget to use the hashtag #LittleWhiteLie.
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