As the popularity of social media rises, it’s not just college students, businesses or special interests groups that utilize social networking sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. Studies have shown that some of the busiest people in the world – mothers – have baby-boomed into these sites and are using them in a variety of ways. In fact, “The 21st Century Mom Report” found that “today’s mom” social media usage has increased from 11% to 63% since 2006. Wow. But let’s be fair. Being a mom is a full-time job so I’d like to go one step further and provide a list of ways a “career-oriented” mom, like myself, is able to balance motherhood and the workplace by using social media as a time-efficient, professional/parenting tool.
Clip coupons!?! I have no time to read magazines or newspapers so over the past few months I have “become a fan” of Pampers, Gerber, Babies R Us and the Baby Center, LLC on Facebook, which have all proven to be monumental in the time and money saving category of this working mom’s life! I receive updates on new product releases, product recalls, coupons and other money savers. After all, I want my hard-earned dollar to go as far as possible. After a day in the office, my trips to Wal-Mart and Babies R Us no longer threaten to suck years off my life or burn a whole in my pocket. And best of all, I have the knowledge to make educated decisions when caring for my son.
All moms need “adult conversation.” Outside the realm of motherhood is my desire to connect and communicate with other individuals on non baby-related subjects. Therefore, I joined LinkedIn because I like to stay involved in my industry and follow changes in marketing trends. Now I’m connected to past and present colleagues and other industry-related professionals. I’m a member of several groups, my university’s alumni group and many industry-sponsored associations such as eMarketing Association Network and Visual Artist & Their Advocates. Facebook and Twitter are also great tools for connecting to professionals in your industry. I follow my employer, Callis & Associates, on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn and it’s been a great way to stay connected to colleagues and learn about current events.
Believe it or not there is time for a social life. I can’t always be all business and no pleasure. I originally joined Facebook to stay connected with my family and friends. Then after my son was born, it became a great way to share pictures and videos of my son as he grows. However, there still is the occasional page or two that I fan that has nothing to do with work or family. These are pages that are just for me: Twilight, Daily Devotions, Las Vegas Travel, Lowe’s, Buckle and InStyle, just to name a few of my 40 pages. And when it’s time for some of that “me” time on the weekend, I can jump onto my Twitter account and check out my tweep, Rotten Tomatoes, to find out what the “must see” movie is that I will be watching once my son goes to bed.
Rock the blogs. Got to love those RSS feeds. I probably read, on average, 2 good blogs a day discussing anything from “what to do when your child has an ear infection” to “what’s the newest gadget from Apple.” Ironically, here I am writing my own about the working moms out there that can do the same. Social media, in my opinion, is the best thing to happen to sleep-deprived, career- oriented mothers. And dads. Let’s not be exclusive. There are dads out there that write blogs about their industry one day and the next, they are reviewing car seats. I know because I read them!
Last but not least I give u the “career mom’s cookie”. It’s so sweet and rewarding. If efficiency wasn’t efficient enough, I now use hootsuite.com to manage all my social networks! It’s like having a list of 50 “mom” things to do and being able to get them done in one place on my lunch break even if I only have time to eat a cookie!
Lunch break! Time to log on to hootsuite, get more formula, Old English for the hardwoods and new furnace filters, drop off the electric bill, update my Mac’s operating system and send a few ads to some publications. If time permits, I’ll get to eat that cookie.