Building a brand is a lot like raising a child. As a parent, you make sure your child has a solid foundation from which to grow, so that everyone in your family can have the best experience possible in life while creating a positive impact on the world.
Now, that’s the big picture.
On a day to day basis, raising a child is about making sure basic needs are met, helping your child to feel important and competent, overcoming challenges together, being a good role model and teaching your child to make good choices (among other things).
When your child is old enough to interact on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or YouTube, a whole new set of rules comes into play. In fact, these are the same rules that apply to building a brand on social media!
As children are jumping into social media, parents are having to get educated about parental controls, monitoring services, user terms and conditions and privacy settings while laying down ground rules for online activities. It’s a lot more involved than many parents have the time for, so as a result, a lot of kids are getting in trouble with bullying, sexting, predators and a whole host of other problems that any generation before now would never have imagined. Is there a way to stop the madness before it gets out of control?
Yes. Aside from building systems and processes into both your life as a parent and your life as a business owner/brand builder…
The impact that social media has on your brand and your children can be boiled down to one word: ENGAGEMENT.
If children (and businesses) are taught how to engage on social media in a productive way, they can use Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms to connect with friends, make professional connections, reach goals and build a powerful online brand that allows them to be positive contributors to society.
The same is true for businesses/brands.
If your social media engagement style involves participating in informative conversations, empowering your friends and followers, curating a variety of useful content and supporting others to achieve positive goals in life, then your brand impact will be seen as a major asset to your company.
On the flip side, if your social engagement activities involve complaining about customer service from big brands, putting down supporters of certain political parties, snark, or forceful conversations that may look like bullying, your social engagement style may be a liability for your brand and could inhibit the growth of your business.
Social media is a powerful vehicle that can create or destroy a reputation in seconds.
It is critical that anyone who engages on social platforms leads with awareness and intention as the impact that your social engagement style has on your reputation is permanent in the digital world.
If you are a parent, this means that you must stay actively aware of your child’s social space so you can see if your child needs help. And if you are a brand (and these days we all are), this means that any and all messaging that you put out into the digital realm must be delivered in a productive, positive and non-judgmental way if your goal is to use social media as a way to have a positive impact on your brand story.