It’s a no wonder, that after the recent IPO of the world’s largest and most viral social media giant, that children are now being targeted for support the revenue requirements by Wall Street. There is no doubt, that a marketer’s dream is a cradle to grave relationship, but there just may be a line about to be crossed.
As a child of the days of limited Saturday morning cartoons, on one of three channels, I remember the engaging commercials that had me running to the telly so early on a weekend morning. Walk with me down memory lane for a minute. The little blue creatures, three apples high, would be skipping along a forestry lane when a tall scary man dressed in black and an orange cat would pounce out at them – promising total doom. Then cut to a series of commercials offering tasty sugary goodness and a magical prize inside, if you could only catch that rabbit! This was the limit of my childhood electronic engagement and parental censorship was limited to simply saying no at the supermarket. And that was that.
Unfortunately, times have changed, and so too has the way advertisers can now encourage kids to buy that same box of sugary deliciousness (nowadays without the magical prize) and how kids actually buy. It has been reported that children, as young as 10, will be allowed to register and use a Facebook account with parental supervision (like that’s really going to happen!). With the allowance of children accessing the internet comes a great deal of responsibility about the tracking of their activity – for the sole use of advertising to those sweet little people.
So, here’s how to avoid a few pitfalls if your business interacts with minors in a social media environment.
Facebook, undoubtedly will put the responsibility of how its system is used onto the parents. This in turn will transfer the responsibility to the company where the child is happily engaging in activities and other fan engagements. Scripting and enforcing a morale code of conduct for both your site and your employee manual are highly important if your site attracts such sweet little people.
Don’t allow your reputation to fall victim to a possible finger pointing situation where a parent sees your company’s social media interaction as possible stalking or dare we say it – predatory. This is where hiring a social media company, who always includes a moderation clause as part of the boiler plate contract, can be of benefit.
Watch Your P’s and Q’s
Or should we say your F’s and B’s? Monitoring foul language should be at the top of the moderator’s list and is definitely part of most parental controls. Being alert for age-appropriate language is just as important as keeping your ears tuned to anything that smells like bullying.
Always Safety First
Be aware of fan photos being uploaded and anything that could identify the child’s current location or lack of supervision. There are so many child predators out there, you don’t want your site getting caught up in unfair play.