When people talk about digital marketing and search engine optimization (SEO), they tend to think of website owners and businesses. However, anything that is done online is a form of digital marketing and SEO, including people’s personal behavior. And one thing that people seem to forget above all else, is that parents may accidentally damage their child’s reputation in so doing!
Parents and Social Media
Everybody now seems to use social media, regardless of age. Many parents share images and stories about their children. Nominet conducted a survey that showed that, by the time a child is five years old, their parents will have shared 1,498 photographs of them. Once those children become adults, however, they may not be too happy about those images.
A noted psychologist, Dr. Arthur Cassidy, has researched this in greater detail. What he determined was that parents, often unwittingly so, create a child’s online identity by posting all these pictures and stories. Often, this is something children don’t appreciate. They don’t want to enter the world of social media themselves in their teenage years, and find lots of embarrassing pictures of them as children are already there.
Children and Social Media
Today’s generation was born with social media. While someone has to be 13 before they can use social media channels, 75% of children aged between 10 and 12 already have accounts. Hence, children put their personal information in public arenas from an increasingly young age. Sometimes, this behavior is irresponsible. For instance, around 25% of 16 to 18 year olds will admit to having posted unkind or rude content at some point. This can come back to haunt them later, even impacting their career and education.
Building a Positive Reputation
So what can be done to make sure that children, and their parents, engage in positive digital marketing and SEO when it comes to children’s online reputation? Unfortunately, it is impossible to tell the future, and parents don’t know whether, once their child is 30, they will take on a job with the Secret Service where demonstrating confidentiality is of the utmost importance. At the same time, expecting parents – and children for that matter – not to use social media is not realistic either. But the reality is that 92% of search traffic comes from Google, and Google loves showing Facebook results when someone’s name is entered in the search box.
It is all about acting responsibly, therefore, which is true for businesses and individuals alike, in fact. Any information that is posted should be positive and safe. Parents should also educate their children on the appropriate use of social media, and that they shouldn’t do or say anything online that they wouldn’t say to a person’s face. Mainly, it is about having the right security settings and privacy settings in place. Again, this is true for businesses as well. Because everything is now online, humans and businesses have to think in the same way: privacy, security, positivity.