Should You ‘Brand’ Your Baby On Social Media?
It’s not uncommon these days for new moms to post everything about their pregnancies – from pictures of that first ultrasound to Facebook updates and tweets from the delivery room. But there’s a new trend in social media that includes posts from a much younger generation – the babies themselves. Well, sort of.
Babies aren’t exactly sitting in their cribs tweeting from smart phones, but there is a growing trend among media-savvy moms who claim their newborn’s Twitter handle, Facebook and Instagram names within days – sometimes even hours – of giving birth, according to an article from New York Magazine.
For some parents, the posts on behalf of their children serve as a digital scrapbook of sorts, where events can be documented such as the switch from formula to cereal, the first time they rollover, or when they learn to crawl. It also gives parents a place to post pics of their little ones without cluttering up their own personal newsfeeds because, let’s face it, there will always be a few detractors out there who may get tired of seeing pics of the same baby every few hours. And truth be told, baby and toddler tweets can be pretty funny. One account that has gone viral recently with more than 263,500 followers is @HonestToddler. Some of the recent tweets go something like this: “Toilet won’t stop throwing up. I didn’t know it was Legos Intolerant. SEND HELP THIS IS NOT A DRILL.” And then there’s: “Santa, do you deduct points for premeditated yes or no?” If those didn’t make you chuckle, it’s probably time for your second cup of coffee!
But this trend goes beyond chronicling baby milestones and being witty. It’s an indication of how people outside the PR industry are using social media for personal branding. Securing a newborn’s first Twitter handle and Facebook identity is like locking down the child’s digital future. It’s not such a strange concept, when you consider how much time we, as a society, spend on social networking sites and how much we rely on them to obtain information about everything from products and services to individuals.
When you think about it, having an online presence is becoming increasingly important not just for companies, but individuals as well. Many employers rely heavily on social media sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook to recruit possible employees. How a person conducts herself online and how they appear on their profile can actually help determine whether or not they’ll get called for a job interview. Some – such as ESPN Sports Business Reporter Darren Rovell – see the establishment of social media accounts for newborns as a way to invest in their child’s online digital “brand.”
Now, before you add the creation of a Twitter handle to your to-do list, realize that this decision will initially impact the parents more than the kids. After all, you’ll be the one responsible for updating the accounts and establishing your kid’s online identity until he or she is old enough to take over. In essence, you’ll be marketing your child, and whether you keep it lighthearted and fun or serious and family-oriented, it’s something you should think about. Not to mention the issue of whether or not you want pictures of your child to appear online (which is a whole other topic itself).
So, are you stressing about your prodigy’s lack of an online presence yet? Relax! Being a new parent is stressful enough. Besides, your child probably won’t be the only infant in the nursery without a Twitter feed – maybe.