As we age, one of the biggest things we need is social connections! This week on the BLBD podcast, social media tutor and trainer Joyce Feustel and I talk about how social media creates connections – with family, friends, past-times, careers, hobbies, and “kindred spirit groups”!
✅ How can social media platforms help?
✅ How do Facebook, Instagram and Linked In differ?
✅ What about http://meetup.com?
✅ How do we get started, if we don’t know how? (Hint: baby steps!)
Diane Hullet: Hi, I am Diane Hallett and welcome to the Best Life Best Death podcast. I’m excited today to have kind of a different sort of guest today my guest is Joyce Feustel and Joyce is a social media tutor. She goes by the handle boomer social media tutor, and I was totally intrigued by that. So we connected through LinkedIn and through some mutual friends, and we just thought we’d have kind of an interesting conversation about aging social media and how that all fits
Joyce Fuestel: in.
So welcome, Joyce. Well, it’s great to be on your program. This is exciting. I
Diane Hullet: think this is gonna be really fun because you know, both of us kind of shook up our lives midlife and started kind of different careers all of a sudden in the middle of things. And of course, careers right now require a certain amount of social media.
So, you know, just tell us a little, what’s your background and how did you get into this work of social media tutoring and training?
Joyce Feustel: I’m gonna start way back when and then skip a few decades. So I’m born in 1948. You think about girls just a little bit older than you when they were graduating high school in the sixties.
What did they do? They would be a teacher like my mom. They might be a nurse, might be a secretary. There was traditional role, so I thought I’d be a teacher. I got a couple degrees in teaching even from the University of Wisconsin, but teaching turned out wasn’t a fit for me, mostly ’cause of my temperament.
I’m just not that structured. I don’t do well with rules and bells and things that really are required, and I. Public school education for sure. So, at any rate, I tried different careers in my twenties. Nothing really panned out very well. I was a home mom for most of my thirties and into my early forties.
Worked for my church for a year. I was kind. Administrative assistant. Then, then, then we came out here in 95 from Wisconsin, I should say, out here to Denver, Colorado, Madison, Wisconsin to Denver, Colorado. And then after about a, actually even about a year of being here, I fell into sales. Then I worked in sales for the Chamber of Commerce.
But our business bureau university of Phoenix. And then where I’m gonna answer your question finally is I was working for a very niched. College professional training for people in financial planning, and it was 2010, I was there from oh six to 13, and in 2010 the college rolled out its social media.
So if we take ourselves back, You know, 13 years, 13 and a half years. To be specific, and think about it, it was before Instagram came out. So you just had LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. And our college got on all three. And we, and the inside sales team, a k a enrollment advisors were asked to help out the college and do the right thing and.
Talk up the social media. Well, so my manager at 35, he was listening to me, what, you know, just observing me at 61, 13 years ago, be quite proficient actually in, in this assignment. I was very excited. I explained the Facebook page in the LinkedIn group, in the Twitter account, and hey, why don’t you just.
Track along with us on these and they kept track. They would pay us even a $5 spiff, as they call it in sales, every time we got someone to engage with our social media or at least follow along with it, I should say. So my manager was so intrigued that he said to me about three months into this little rollout, Joyce, he said, since you are so clearly good, so, so, so good at getting the people from the college to engage in our social media.
Have you ever thought of helping other people, especially in your baby boomer generation, to understand. Social media like you, like you understand it, that I could help them to understand it. And I thought, what a compliment coming from this 35 year old to my 61 year old self on the age of his mom and dad.
So that’s how I got into it really is ’cause someone saw that I could have an aptitude for helping people understand social media. Right,
Diane Hullet: because I think there is this sort of attitude among people over 60 maybe, that that is kind of, you know, they’re, they’ve either followed along with it and kept up with it, or they’re just kind of overwhelmed.
They’re like, really? Why bother? How would I even get started? So, I mean, what’s your take on how. You know, let’s just go big picture for a second. Yeah. Like, how has social media in a mere 13 years like that astounds me that it’s only been that long in 13 years? How have you seen social media shape business and, and culture and people’s individual?
Joyce Feustel: Oh yeah. Well actually we could take it almost back 20 years, just to be specific. ’cause that’s when the, you know, the major ones rolled out the mid two thousands. I actually did a little Google search on that because I thought, I wanna see what, what they say. And one of the, some of the key things they say in my very informal search is that you have this ability for better, for worse, to communicate instantaneously.
Around the world, across cultures. So there is an equalizing in a sense of the playing field in in many different ways. So that is one way, just the style of communication and that people then can have a cause again, for better, for worse, and it can just generate all this momentum. That would be much more difficult to do pre prior to social media.
It’s hard to, even hard to even imagine at a time. And then even small businesses without a lot of resources can for no money or minimal money can really have a presence, can really stand out and, and people say, oh, who’s so-and-so? So I think it’s really given this, the micro businesses, solopreneurs, Small businesses, a lot of tools that really we didn’t have before from a marketing standpoint.
And also I think in a really sweet way, having family all over the world is it helps people stay connected. I’ll use Facebook. I mean, now I know when the babies are born and people get married and you know, I just am more in touch on a regular basis with nieces and nephews and people I went to high school with up there in Northern Wisconsin.
So it, it has this. Sort of feel good you know, sense, I mean, just came back from a trip to Norway. And all these people are like, oh my gosh, the pictures are beautiful. Post more. You know? And so what would I do before, you know, there’d be no way to let people know I’d been to Norway and I have cool pictures.
Right, right. You
Diane Hullet: might’ve sent a card sometime with a postcard. Postcard, a post or something, or a postcard. Yeah. Yeah, you’re right. It’s really, really changed. Everything and it’s got pros and cons, as you’ve said.
Joyce Feustel: It’s, it’s big. Well, one other thing I wanted to mention too is educate, like, especially with LinkedIn, may get more into that.
LinkedIn has so many opportunities to provide information, tips, links to really helpful articles. It’s a Mac, it’s it’s, I mean all of them do in a way. I think that’s one of the reasons as a former educator or aspiring educator, I identify so much with LinkedIn more than the other platforms actually.
Diane Hullet: Yeah, so let’s kind of just chat about those. So, you know, the three that we talked about kind of hitting on were Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you’re really a LinkedIn expert. Say a tiny bit about the other two first, just in terms
Joyce Feustel: of Yeah, let’s go to Instagram. Some of these are somewhat age driven.
I would say Instagram in particular, and then Facebook too to a degree. So Instagram is very, very visual. You go to Instagram, you’re gonna see pictures. You’re going to also see these reels, these short videos and very few words, some words, it’s okay, you can put words in there. Also, a lot of hashtags, a lot of the search terms, you know, with the pound sign loads of those.
So it’s very quick. It’s also usually very upbeat at least my feed. I don’t see a lot of complainers, I don’t see a lot of people expressing strong points of view on Instagram. Just again, my sense of it. Now, Facebook is kind of the. Of course it’s huge. It has both visuals and it has more opportunity for text and it has sadly, I think so much now of the negativity and the back and forth and all of that.
But it has a blend. Now, Facebook, we always have to remember there’s our personal Facebook and then ours, our business page. I looked at your business page and it’s really robust. You put a lot of time into it. You have posts on a regular basis. You’ve really leveraging your podcast. Then onto your Facebook.
So that’s a wonderful use of Facebook. Not that different really than LinkedIn from that standpoint. So that’s where I think the intersection is between Facebook and LinkedIn. Now, LinkedIn, in the past you didn’t see like that many sort of, I’d say personal type of post on it. I think you see more, you see more Points of view, say d e i, diversity, equity, inclusion, where SADS gotten controversial in some quarters.
But anyway, so people feel strongly about something like that, let’s say. So then you will see post along those lines where you’ll also see a post. And I shared it. I was so tickled to see all these people liked it. It was called 10 things You can Do, 10, 10 things or qualities you can be at that don’t cost you anything, like be on time.
Do your homework, you know, be prepared. I mean, things like that. This lady in England had put it up and somebody had reposted it. And I love these so much that I reposted it and now something like 1600 people have seen it or at least reached it, you know, not that. Yeah. And I’m like, what? So you get these inspirational, if you wanna call them kinds of posts, like kind of how to, how to be a good person, you know how to live right in the world.
You see those too. So, I mean, again, there is. A bit of overlap between Facebook and LinkedIn in some regard in those ways. Finish it out with LinkedIn. With LinkedIn you can really research people. Unless they turn some things off, you can not only learn about them in their profile, you can go nose around in their activity and see what they’ve been posting, what they’ve been commenting on, what they’ve liked.
Whereas Facebook that you really can’t do that unless you’re a friend of the person. Right? Think about it. You could go. Theoretically into their per, I’m talking personal now, personal side of Facebook and see what’s up. So therefore, it’s so interesting to learn about a personal, also, you’re notified unless they turn you, you turn off, you know the, or they turn off the.
The different notifications, but if someone gets a new job, gives a promotion, things like that. So then you can do a lot of, like I would call it at a girl, attaboy, that kind of community. Congratulations. So that’s a good way to really nurture your relationships with people that you have. Business life or personal too, really.
So those are things that I think are really interesting about LinkedIn and just a kind of a richness of the posts you see very, very educational. Very
Diane Hullet: educational. I, there’s, I think of LinkedIn as being like weaving this like tapestry of people. And so how do you kind of weave this tapestry through your interaction and their interaction back and sharing, and LinkedIn is the one I’m least tapped into, so I’m very intrigued by everything Joyce has to say about it because I think that’s the one that professionals go to as you said that that’s, mm-hmm.
Where there’s really this professional colleague to colleague sharing that I think is possible. Pretty amazing. I wonder, I wonder, so you know when people have a lot of fears around this, right? They say, they say, you know, just this is too complicated or, I can’t remember the steps or the, this all seems pointless.
What for you has been the point in your business and how did you overcome those kind of
Joyce Feustel: fears? Let’s go to like, I forget how to do this. You know, I still feel that way almost every month when I go to MailChimp to send out my newsletter. Like, where do I go again? Or where do I start? Where’s the template that I gotta update?
I like, look around. Look around. Well, there it is. I feel. Frankly, note to self, I could just type up a little handwritten thing or just put it somewhere on my computer in a file and say, steps for creating your newsletter, Joyce. So I think sometimes you get really basic and you list it out, boom, boom, boom, and you know where to find it.
’cause you better, it’s like cheat sheet folder or something like that. Right? Cheat sheet.
Diane Hullet: I could use a
Joyce Feustel: cheat sheet folder. I love that. Could really, really help. So part of it that is logistics kind of then, but then there’s this feeling like, what is the point now that depends on the person. Say you were still living your life in Michigan and you were fully retired and you’re all like cozy and your daughters are older and you got the grandchildren and you’re just doing this day-to-day life up there.
Would you have a need for LinkedIn? Maybe not. Really why? But let’s say conversely, you were always involved in Rotary, back in Boulder when you lived there. And again, we’ll just pretend you’ve just totally moved back to Michigan and you are like, oh, rotary. Hmm. I’m going I’m going to Norway. Like I just went to Norway.
Maybe I could catch a rotary meeting while I’m there. Well, why not be on LinkedIn with the Rotary people? Think about it. So there’s a lot of times as we age, we have the time, we have the money to give back to our communities, and sometimes the giving back can be in ways much bigger than just our little community.
And we like the idea of being in touch with other people who have that same what’s the word, kindred spirit. That same. Same kinship with that cause, or whatever it might be. So I think there can even be a place for the retired person on LinkedIn within, you know, for certain types of purposes.
Diane Hullet: I can see like you said, travel and connections and philanthropy and causes and things you care about. And also like alumni of whether it’s a career kind of alumni or Yeah. You know, a school alumni. I get an enormous amount of LinkedIn invitations from teachers. So people reach out, or LinkedIn sends me people and says, Hey, you’re probably gonna be interested in this teacher.
’cause I’ve got a big teaching background. So it’s interesting to see that come forward. And then of course, end of life people. So I think that, that this. This thing is to kind of create some enjoyable new connections mm-hmm. To create ways to have pastimes that are partly techie. Mm-hmm. But I think to encourage you know, colleagues and friends, not to be afraid of reaching out to these new things, which is what the tutor comes in.
Right. Because, yeah,
Joyce Feustel: I actually made a little list of why I have a tutor. Right. A tutor can help kind of cut through all the noise. Men, especially, I think, will go to YouTube and spend hours on YouTube to get the answer to whatever, you know, the little project they’re doing. Women, this is a big generalization of course, but like to ask for directions they may want, if someone else give them some feedback, like how does their profile look?
So there’s no one cookie cutter way to do a profile. So a person can, you know that dispassionate third party person, whatever you wanna call them, who comes to you without, you know, any preconceived ideas about you, and might say, oh, well look at this, this section is missing, or, You know what, that’s a great about section, but after we’ve already talked, there’s some cool things you could add to that, so be forthright.
Then the other part is with the user side. Let’s take settings. A lot of older people are concerned about privacy and Fair enough. ’cause certainly it’s, I’ve been like hacked on Instagram, for example. It’s. It’s terrible. So you go in and I help people understand where the privacy settings are, how to make sure that their information isn’t being used by the trusted third party, you know, partners and such.
And then how to reduce the number of notifications that come in because in about 10, maybe 15 minutes, I can help a person just ratchet those notifications down. So all they’re getting are the ones that really are relevant to them. Because they’re retired, they’re not looking for a job. You know, there’s several things that don’t apply to them.
So we go in there and just ratchet ’em down. Let’s say they’re searching for somebody so I can show them there’s really cool what they call filters. You can go, so say you’re up there in Michigan and you’re looking for people in the. Best life, best death space that you’re in and they’re, you know, just wanna kind of make some new associates up there.
So you go in and you can pick cities, maybe not a geographic zip code, then you’d have to pay money. But you can go by like larger communities, you could go by certain kind of industries. You’re looking for someone in healthcare and you can go and get what’s called second level, meaning people that. Are connected to at least one of the people you’re connected to.
And then you wanna meet that person. So hopefully your middle person, the one that you share the connection with, oh, I know Joyus here, let me introduce you. So it’s a wonderful way to expand it. So I show people how to use these tools and I show them simple things like, okay you’re going to. Post, or you’re going to engage with a post, you’re going to share that post.
You know what? You could go back to your own profile and you could actually feature that post on your profile. So when people come and look at you, they’ll go, oh, what’s that? Oh, that looks interesting. And you kind of keep changing it out a little bit. So those are things that the average person doesn’t necessarily think to do on their own.
Right. So that’s where I would come in as a tutor. I wonder if I left anything out. Those are the main things. Oh, then, oh, I type up notes. And I, and I put ’em in a Word document. The older people love this so much. I’ve had people make binders and keep them, and I sent them to the person with the email, with my invoice.
Now they have their little cheat sheet, right? I. Customized to them. That’s the other thing I was gonna say, customized to them. ’cause otherwise you’re just wandering around on the internet using your chat G P T or whatever AI tool you’ve maybe managed to figure out too. Go you. But really this is more efficient when you work with someone that has some experience with it and really is patient and listens and you know, just help gets very oriented toward you.
Diane Hullet: Well, that’s the thing that I’m struck by. I remember one time, you know, early on in the Mac Days, Macintosh computer days taking like a Mac class. So there were, you know, 10 of us and somebody teaching, and within five minutes I was like, oh dear, this is not gonna be relevant to me. Mm-hmm. It’s too. Broad.
It’s too generalized. It doesn’t really answer the questions I have. I already know what the person’s covering. So then I switched to someone who was much more of a, you know, specific to my questions. Mm-hmm. And the efficiency of it has been really helpful, and the specificity of it has been really helpful.
Good word. So that makes sense to me that that’s really what you can bring as a tutor. And you know what, I love Joyce. I love your enthusiasm because I feel like. Part of what you’re talking about is just this idea of how do we keep learning? How do we keep pushing ourselves and I, gosh, I have to hold my parents up as examples ’cause I feel like they’re both in their eighties and they have always kind of stayed on top of the next technology.
Wow. And the result. Here they are in their eighties, able to text easily with grandchildren and so on. And I just think that’s neat. ’cause I know other people in their eighties who kind of said, oh, I couldn’t figure out my iPhone. And I quit all that back when I was 72. I. Well, okay. That’s an option as well.
The public, not you losing out on no judgment, but it’s like you, you miss out a huge amount of connection, I think with younger generations when you back away from these things. That’s true. How do you, how do you step into it in a way that makes it manageable and comfortable for you. Mm-hmm. And, you know, get the benefit of it.
Joyce Feustel: Yeah, those, and, and one thing I was gonna say, sometimes that I feel people, they wear it like a bear, like a badge of honor. Sort of like I don’t gamble, like I don’t do social media, like, it’s like evil, right? And part of what I do, what is what I do, Diane, is I unpack it. So I’ll say, let’s just split things out here.
We have say Snapchat. I don’t have Snapchat, we have TikTok. You could try TikTok. Very cool. Looks like fun. You don’t have to. So if things move too fast or like, I dunno, I get in trouble. Just don’t do ’em or do it minimally. Then you have say like Instagram. Okay, let’s think of Instagram. So your granddaughter.
Your daughter. Let’s see, or maybe in case of your grand, your parents, the grandparents, those, their great-grandchildren, she, she has a private Instagram account where she’s putting up these pictures of these beautiful little children, and you’d kind of like to be in the loop with them. Okay? So we can get you a private Instagram account where you’re only gonna be on it with a handful of people, and that’s the way to do it.
Or say like Facebook, you could have a Facebook group. So then the daughter, the granddaughter has a Facebook group and all the pictures of the grandchildren come to the Facebook group. And so there’s a degree of protection of everybody, especially the children. You think about it. So those, so I would say to take a platform and use it in a very discreet is sort of the word I want, but in a very specific way and really, Be careful use, this sounds fancy, but it’s called two Factor authentication, which helps to protect other people from logging into whatever account it is.
So sometimes you say, oh, it’s such a pain when I have to text like your bank account. Like when I go into my bank account, trust me, there’s, I have to go to my text and there’s the number and I’ve gotta put it in, you know, go online. Same concept. So I think that’s, so I would just say, really think through.
Which sites might help you be in touch with those younger people or other people you used to work with. So say for example, you’re not much a Facebook person, but you always really liked those coworkers you had. And maybe they’re on LinkedIn, who knows? They could be and some do iteration of themselves.
So you could be on LinkedIn with them and still be kind of following along in their comings and goings. So that’s how I would think about it, is just kind of baby step your way into. Whatever sites really feel like you might wanna try.
Diane Hullet: I like that, like baby, step your way in and think about what it is you wanna get out of it.
But there, there are things to get out of social media. Mainly connection, I think is the big thing, right? Whether it’s connection with family, connection with friends. Or connection with interests and passions. Mm-hmm. And that’s a whole other angle, right? Oh,
Joyce Feustel: yeah. Oh yeah. Find people that like for me, I’ll take Toastmasters.
We were talking about what’s a hobby, what’s a, whatever, I’ll call that a pastime. So one of the ways I got integrated into gender, having moved from Madison, which is only what. Two 50,000 maybe with the suburbs. And I was on the elected official there, legal women voters, sort of a, somebody in a medium sized town.
And I come to the city of to Million, and I know zero people. Zero. Very, very hard. Well then once I got into Toastmasters, the Communication and Leadership Organization, skill Building Organization, my whole life changed. I met so many new people and I got better communicating. I got better leadership. It’s just such an incredible community.
So that would be an example like the Rotary or whatever, where you have this Kindra spirit group that you really resonate with.
Diane Hullet: I, that’s a, that’s a great spot to, I think end on what’s a kindred spirit group, whether it’s on social media or in person. And how do we find those, because one of the things I’ve talked about before is, you know, this aspect of aging.
One of the biggest things we need as we age is social connections. And that can look a lot of different ways, but we need them. And it can be in person and it can be, Simply having a smiling at the cashier at the grocery store. Or it can be this weaving of a tapestry on one of these social media platforms to create.
And I might just
Joyce Feustel: do a quick little, just a quick little inserts meetup. meetup.com is wonderful because people say they moved to a new town, they’d retire to wherever, and they’re looking for the bridge group, or they’re gonna learn Spanish or whatever it might be. Then they can find that on Meetup. So a lot of these are in person.
Some, some meetup groups are virtual. So that’s the other, that’s not really social media, but I think it kind of plays well with social media. Very much so.
Diane Hullet: Meetup, m e e t up.com.
Joyce Feustel: It started in New York City right after nine 11. Did you know that? I did not. That’s ing they felt, some people felt like we’ve gotta bring people together face-to-face ’cause we need each other.
Diane Hullet: that’s so neat. And again, connected around passions and interests and commonalities. That’s so neat. Joyce, you can find out more about Joyce at Boomer. There’s two S’s in there, boomers social media tutor.com and she’s got some great information there. She’s a lot of fun. I recommend if you’re interested in having an expert on LinkedIn, walk you through it.
Joyce would be a great person to reach out to and I just appreciate your time, Joyce. I love your enthusiasm and I love, like, you know, both of us kind of did this reinvention, midlife and have kind of jumped in with two feet to social media that I was never involved with before. So,
Joyce Feustel: It’s been great.
Thank you. Well, thank,
Diane Hullet: thanks so much for your time. You’ve been listening to the Best Life Best Death podcast, and you can find out more about the work I do at Best Life. Best death.com. Thanks again to my guest today, Joyce Foel.
Joyce Feustel: Thank you.