Social Skills Your Mother Never Taught You

Ground Zero Coffee, Madison, Wisconsin

The first Tuesday of the month is always a favorite because it’s the AIGA Morning Blend gathering. Bright and early, I head into Madison and interact with cool design people—a big plus for me after spending days working alone in my studio. Afterward, I stay and work out of Ground Zero Coffee, a Willy Street institution.

This morning’s topic was social media. I was definitely the “mother” figure in this discussion, not only in my media awareness but also in age. But that’s okay. I’m used to it. I like hanging with younger generations because it keeps me aware.

So, with not much to contribute and lots to learn, I quietly picked up on a lot of things—new medias I’ve never heard of like Zerply, a professional network; Dribble, a show and tell for creatives; or GoodReads, an online bookclub. Or the idea that maybe Google+ is a chance for Facebook users to start fresh and leave their more “vibrant” posts behind.

Here’s what else I became aware of (which, of course, I already knew): Social media is how this generation of 20-30 yr. olds communicates. They’ve grown up with social media and it continues to be part of their every moment. As one woman said, “Now with smartphones, online conversations (which essentially defines social media) only become more immediate, more constant, more informative.”

Obviously, social media is not going away.

So where does your business fit in? Do you have a social media presence?

Is your target audience the 20-30 yr. olds? If not, should you at least be thinking about them? After all, what this age group does now is what everyone else will also be doing—soon.

Coincidentally, today was also the start of Brazen U’s Executive Social Media Bootcamp. Here’s one of our assigned readings—an intersting article describing how nine companies are successfully using social media. Check it out.



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