Why social media is like having a baby


Given my recent news that I am going to be a father my life has become a flurry of two things: work and baby stuff. This got me to thinking – aren’t they the same thing!? Well… no… not at all, that is ridiculous.

However, I did manage to find some similarities and began realising that the differences between caring for a baby and caring for your social media accounts may not be so different at all. I found 6 key similarities I thought I would share that will help you look after your social media channels more effectively and, if you’re in my position, your baby.

They need to be fed

It goes without saying that babies need feeding. We all do. It’s fundamental for life. Social is no different – however, its milk is CONTENT. Any social channel you manage needs to be constantly fed with good quality, informative content that keeps the channel alive. No one follows a channel that has scarce or rubbish content. There is, however, a need to “strike the balance between informative and annoying” with the frequency of your posts – check out this handy guide for some pointers.

They cry – A LOT

Babies cry… SHOCK! For a number of reasons, some valid, some not so valid. Either way you are gonna have to deal with it. Social also cries, in the form of notifications. Unlike the wailing and tears of a child, it comes in the form of a bing and a vibrate of a mobile (usually). I don’t know about you but between Whatsapp groups and a bunch of social channels my phone can make a baby’s scream seem peaceful. However, you can combine all notifications into a single place with a bunch of handy apps and solutions – like this one.

You have to clean up their ‘mess’

That was a nice way of saying what babies do in their nappies. This also happens in social media – it is called ‘crisis’ – it’s not pleasant, you can’t ignore it and it’s up to you to clean it up! Much like cleaning a nappy, the best way to deal with crisis is head on! You can’t beat around the bush, you can’t mess around – you just have to roll up your sleeves and get stuck in. Not all companies are as good at this as others – check out some good examples and how we can learn from them here.

You cannot leave them unattended

Leaving a baby alone is dangerous and irresponsible if you didn’t know. The same applies to social. We frequently tell clients, when completing social media audits, that if a page has not posted for 30 days then it is considered dead. I will avoid a baby analogy here. You need to keep these pages alive and active so they remain healthy (now it’s time for an analogy) – like a baby! It is important not to start social pages that you cannot keep up the management of – every time you open a new page (like when you have new baby) it requires the same level of love and attention as the first. If you cannot commit to this then you shouldn’t be having a lovely new bright and bubbly social page.

You can’t stop the grandparents getting involved

If you are anything like me then you are probably friends with your parents on Facebook. It is a sad day when you finally realise they there is no longer anything exciting enough going on that you need to shield them from, and you admit defeat. In the same way that every member of the older generation will start knitting sweaters and buying you all kinds of weird and wonderful baby things when they get wind of a little one – they also migrate onto social. We are increasingly seeing the age of Facebook users rise. With over 28 million Facebook user over 55 – you won’t be able to keep the grandparents away.

Ultimately they bring people together

Babies force you to grow, to mature and to take responsibility. Like at Christmas, the petty stuff dies away and there is an overwhelming feeling of happiness and love that fills the air. People want to come and visit the baby, to celebrate new life and it is a truly beautiful thing. Social media, also, has the power to bring people together, to demonstrate moments of true human spirit – whether it is laughing together, helping find a lost person, catching a criminal or uniting friends – there are many ways that social media unites the world and reinstalls faith in humanity. Most recently, a young soldier by the name of David Seath died just miles away from completing the London Marathon, the world united and his Just Giving page has now received in excess of £67k for Help for Heroes.

Social has a way of allowing people to connect through their most basic and primitive human emotions, in the same way that new life allows us all to share a common feeling of joy.


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