Social Media Dads

Guest Post By Social Media Dad, Jeff Quipp, From Search Engine People

8 Comments 18 April 2008

This guest post comes from Jeff Quipp - Jeff is the President and CEO of Search Engine People Inc, and is the second in my series featuring the Top Social Media Dads.

Jeff’s 3 kids … and of course Sydney with dirt all over her face (true to form).

The 6 P’s of Social Media Parenting

As a father of three kids, and a self-professed social media addict, I was really excited when Kristen asked if I’d care to do a post on her site about social media dads. I thought about potential topics, and it occurred to me; I see a lot of similarities between parenting and good social media development. In fact, many of the skills and personality traits are very similar in nature … I like to consider them the 6 P’s:

1. Planning - the ability to look to the future, and assess what will be needed. This is very important in every aspect of raising a child or succeeding with social media. Consider, before a child is born, names must be considered, rooms painted, infant car seats installed, strollers bought, cribs purchased, and so forth. Before taking a trip with baby, bottles, diapers, toys, clothes, medicines … must all be packed.

The same is true of social media; a good deal of time goes into planning for success. I’ve heard it said “unless you know where you’re going, any road will get you there”, so plan for success.

2. Participating - being truly involved! Children need to know they’re important and loved, and truth be told, so too do friends on social networks (well maybe not loved, but at least supported). Since actions speak louder than words, only by getting truly involved in the site or with your children, will you truly get to know them, their interests, their fears, their intricateness. It is exactly this type of participation that results in confident, secure, children and young adults, and powerful profiles on social media sites.

3. Patience - is a virtue! You spend the first 6 months of parenting (and social media) doting on every little noise your precious baby (your profile) makes, with no expectation of reciprocation (a ‘hot’ submission). You change dirty bums (read … vote for crappy submissions when asked), forgo vacations (there’s no one to cover for you after all), miss playoff games (not really!), and go without sleep for days (just how it sounds), all without complaint. The baby’s innocence and the promise of that first smile (the traffic from a hot submission) is the reward. But it takes lots of patience. Babies don’t automatically become kind, responsible, successful adults without first having a lot of time and effort invested in them.

As your child grows (and social media algorithms evolve) and you encounter new types of issues, again you’ve got to be patient enough to work through the problems, and look for the silver lining. Problems are after all, opportunities in disguise.

4. Passion - parenting isn’t and shouldn’t be an “I’ll give it a whirl” type thing … and neither is social media. You’ve got to be passionate about it; eat, sleep, and dream it. Without passion, you can’t get fully into the necessary mind space to be exceptional, and exceptional should always be the goal where children or social media are concerned. Of course there’s a lot to be said about moderation too, but you’ve got to care, and care deeply. This caring and passion is what drives us to continually strive to be better … better parents, better social media marketers, better people!

5. Persistence - if at first you don’t succeed … try, try, again!. This is a truism in parenting, and in social media. We learn from our mistakes, and we should encourage our kids in that same fashion. Not making mistakes means we’re not trying … and if we’re not trying, we’re not learning. How can we be the best we can be at social media … how can our kids be the best they can be … if they’re not encouraged to make mistakes.

There are however, two caveats:
1. never make the same mistake twice
2. be persistent in finding a solution … don’t give up!

6. Perspective - is crucial to the long term sanity of parents and social media marketers. Problems will always surface. Some issues will be big, some small, and some are mere figments of our imagination. The key is to be level headed, to know the type of response each merits, and to not respond too harshly. In the end, the problem could almost always be worse, a perhaps the situation could even be viewed from a positive position. Is the glass half empty or half full? Maybe being cut from the hockey team was a good thing for your son … he’ll be inspired to try even harder going forward. Improved algorithms have only led to more searches being performed in the search industry, meaning more jobs for SEOs … not less. Perhaps the same will be true for social media?

In the end, those same skills that make many of us good parents, seem to also make us good at social media. I wonder if this means that all those who excel in the social media space but do not have kids …. will/would make wonderful parents? That’s the key to proving a good theory isn’t it … having the theory actually predict the future. If that’s the case, Neil Patel … I believe you’re gonna be a great parent one day!

You can find Jeff on Facebook here.

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Your Comments

8 Comments so far

  1. spostareduro says:

    Jeff, your kids are beautiful! They look just like their father. 😉

    It’s nice to hear this other side of you. I always picture you as having the balance between family and work that you seemed to have shared here. You’re kids are lucky to have you as you are to have them.

  2. socialmediamom says:

    I totally agree. I love when dads talk about their families. Jeff’s got it together.

  3. Jeff Quipp says:

    Thanks Kimberly and Kristen … they’re definitely a driving force for me, and add a lot of happiness and satisfaction to my life.

  4. Dave says:

    You know me Jeff, I work to live not live to work and my family supersedes all work stuff…. Once they’re teenagers and I am the devil incarnate? I should have plenty of time for work he he…. I have lost too many years pushing the envelope in my work, no more.

    Dave (hiya Kristen and Kimmy;0)

  5. socialmediamom says:

    Dave ~ Hey, thanks for stopping by. You have kids too? You know what that means…:)

  6. Snel Lenen says:

    I wished my mom and dad were as good with Internet and Social Media as you are. My dad doesn’t even know how to turn on a pc 😛

  7. spostareduro says:

    snel: i was raised by my grandparents. they aren’t with us anymore, but i can remember recently, when they were asking me how to rewind a vcr tape!

  8. Jeff Quipp says:

    @ Snel - my father still doesn’t use the internet, but I do believe he had a large impact on my fascination and love of it. He (along with my mother) were afterall the ones who gave me the foundation to have fun with social media … they’re basic skills, just practiced in a different forum.

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