Social Media at the Dinner Table

By Nicole Mastrangelo As the holiday season quickly approaches (yes, it is already December 8th) what also comes along is the inevitable “table talk” that we will be forced to have with all of our family and friends. “Table talk” is really just a collection of light conversation that you share with relatives who you probably don’t know very well. Usually the topics refer to the recent weather changes, some very light political topics, and then of course straying into the details of career choices and what exactly everyone “does.” Around this time is when my conversation always becomes slightly difficult, because explaining social media marketing in one or two sentences is not easy. Though I do try, instead of trying to quickly change the topic, to teach everyone a little bit about social media and the importance that it holds in our society today. So after countless hours spent talking about what I “do,” I’ve come up with a few easy ways to introduce a social media discussion. Here’s how my table talk goes:

Social Media is Not Just for Friends and Family Anymore

I would be rich (even after Christmas shopping) if I had a dime for every time someone told me that they didn’t want to join social media because they didn’t “need it to communicate with friends.” The truth is clear with the growing agencies around the world that work everyday to market their clients online – social media is so much more than what it once was. Even if you don’t work in the social media field, why not explain to your listener why you’ve decided to get your brand/product online and what you’ve noticed so far. Sure enough you’ve had some success and grown a great community within your market which is something you should try to share. There will always be people who never knew something like that could happen through a social media platform!

You’re Not Late to the Party

“I don’t want to join, I don’t know how to work it!” Even if people aren’t on at least one type of social media platform, they at least know that it exists. Unfortunately it’s typically these people who think that they’ve missed the boat when it comes to social media. No one wants to be late the party and then not know what they’re doing, but it’s up to us to explain that just because you haven’t joined yet doesn’t mean that you’re not welcome. Over one million people join Facebook and Twitter everyday. Encourage your friends and family to try out social media if they haven’t yet, maybe even grab a smart phone and get them signed up (I know you’ve been texting with it under the table the whole time anyway…)

There’s Something for Everyone

My father always insists that he doesn’t even want to be on “that Facebox thing anyway,” and it is this comment that I am also constantly met with over my holiday table talk. With social media making its way into pop-culture more and more, it is inevitable for people to come up with their own notions about what they don’t want to be a part of. The great part about social media though, is that Facebook is certainly not the only platform! If someone is insistent about their resistance to Facebook and Twitter, why not introduce them to the more professional LinkedIn? If someone spoke about their interest in blogging and imaging, why not let them know about the community on Tumblr? One of my favorite parts about social media is that there really is something for everyone!

So after your third discussion about how cold it is that day or whether or not the food tastes great, why not try and slip a little social media in. If you’ve had any type of experience with the vast range of online platforms, I’m sure that your discussion will be informative and really give you a chance to show your passion!

Does your “table talk” ever lead to the online world? How do you introduce social media to those who don’t know much about the topic?