Is it possible that our children are using social media to build a brand?
I had the oddest thought the other day when I sat down to write about social media as a powerful business communication tool. As I watched my son staring at his phone for what seemed like an hour I had to ask him what he was doing. He explained he was checking his Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram. It dawned on me that he in essence is creating his own brand using the very tools businesses use to market themselves and increase their brand awareness.
As with any business that uses social media to market to the masses our children unknowingly exhibit the same attributes.
Why would I say this?
Well, one day a college recruiter/scout or future employer may want to know who they’re bringing on board and one of the first things they’ll do is check their social media to get a good picture of their values and type of life they live. They want to know what this person is about just as a consumer wants to know about a product or service.
A survey commissioned by the online employment website CareerBuilder has found that 37 percent of hiring managers use social networking sites to research job applicants, with over 65 percent of that group using Facebook as their primary resource.
The data is based on a nationwide survey conducted by Harris Interactive in February and March, according to a press release from the company. Researchers asked more than 2,000 hiring managers and other human resources employees if they use social networking sites to inform hiring decisions and, if so, what kinds of information they looked for and whether or not those findings hurt candidates’ chances.
Researchers found that 37 percent of the companies surveyed used social networking sites to pre-screen candidates, and 11 percent said that they planned to start doing so in the future.
To maintain a positive brand, here are a few simple rules that should be considered when using social media:
1. Keep it Clean
In a world where big brother is always watching and information never goes away, the content should be free of bad words, thoughts and actions. The message has to be clean. If I went to a company’s social media site and saw they used bad language or it contained violent content I wouldn’t be interested in their product/service.
2. Be Diverse
I looked at all of my son’s social media accounts and wondered why he needed to have so many. As I looked at his friend lists I noticed he reaches a diverse target audience and gets a lot of information from different people. By having the various accounts he has created a huge network of followers and it continues to grow daily. I began to truly understand why companies use various social media tools to market to their customers. It’s almost key in increasing your social network and target audience.
3. Keep it Positive
I remember the first time my son signed up for Instagram. His dad told me to look at the page and pointed out it tells you his story and what he values most. As I scrolled through his pictures and posts I could see he’s into sports, family, friends, and having clean fun. I didn’t get the impression he was a bad boy, I could see he’s a good, well rounded kid. Anyone who uses social media is basically telling a story about themselves, they’re communicating a message to an audience. That is what branding is all about. Aim at building interactions that evoke positive emotions. You only get one first good impression and one shot at selling your story.
All in all, after watching my son I found it interesting that at the end of the day he uses social media just as a business uses it to communicate with their customers. The content he shares or the friends that he has are critical to his image/personal brand.
Anything negative can potentially have an adverse affect on his future. Doesn’t this hold true for businesses and the the content they communicate to the outside world?
I never thought of my son was using social media to build a brand until I saw him using social media. When I thought about how businesses use it to communicate I realized that’s truly what my son is doing.
He has access to free marketing, has a huge network of followers that he communicates with on a regular basis, and he’s telling a story that others will look at. Be responsible with how you use social media because if you’re not careful, it can come back to bite you!
Checkout this infographic: Reppler provided statistics from 300 professionals involved in hiring.
What they’ve found is companies are relying on Facebook and Twitter more and more to recruit people because they’re looking more into the person’s character opposed to just their work history. Recruiters are looking at social media early in the hiring process. Companies want to know what surprises might be lurking from new hires, Indeed profiles or stellar resumes simply doesn’t cut it anymore.