It’s no secret that social media has taken over the world, and has increasingly become involved in the lives of our children. At Bettina Management, we provide full support and representation to our talent to increase their exposure. Although, there is nothing stopping you, as their parent, from taking control of a part of that exposure by running a social media page for them.
Platforms like Instagram, Facebook and YouTube can help young talent connect and engage with the industry. These spaces allow you to share extra content for peers and clients to view and possibly consider your child for potential jobs. We encourage parents to take a step into the digital world as it is a brand new way of ‘mingling’, in a way you might at an industry function or event.
Managing your child’s exposure is a great way to get started in the industry. But how do we manage this exposure and monitor what is appropriate and what is not when it comes to our children’s interactions on social media?
Keep it age appropriate
Let kids be kids! Overly styled images with a lot of make-up and mature posing are not what clients want to see. Clients are looking for kids who look like kids, so images of children playing, creating and having fun are what you want to showcase.
Heather Li On Wing is the mum of two beautiful young stars, Jayla and Levi, who have worked for on numerous commercial campaigns for big brands. She runs and manages an Instagram page for the siblings and says “ I cannot stress enough to treat their page as a business page, do not let the children run their own page.”
It is important to remember that while you as an adult understand what is appropriate and the potential repercussions of what you post online, children may not have an understanding of this yet. So it is important to take control of the content posted.
Managing a Crisis
As with any public online profile, things can wrong. If you find your child’s page the subject of inappropriate comments, it is important to remove the person and the comments from your child’s page, delete, block, ban and make sure they never return! You do have the luxury to control your audience, so make sure you exercise that block button.
“These pages are public and there are occasionally some indecent comments. Immediately delete any inappropriate comment and block and report the user right away. My daughter has her own private Instagram account which I check every day. She uses it to send messages to her school friends and only has family and actual friends, either way, you MUST still check their posts, comments and private messages to ensure they are using social media safely. Everyone has heard the horror stories of things that can go wrong. You HAVE to teach them and watch them at all times.” Heather tells us.
Educate your kids
As much as taking control and constant monitoring will keep your children safe online, it is also important to teach them about online safety and appropriate behaviour. So when an issue comes up, talk them through what the best response will be and demonstrate to them how you, as an adult, will deal with the situation. This way they will have all the tools they need for when they are a bit older and can manage their own accounts.
Ultimately, social media can be a great tool to use if your child is keen to be successful in the industry. Heather has used social media throughout her children’s careers and found it to be a great way to boost their profiles.
“We use social media to try to enhance Jayla and Levi’s profile by promoting their castings, jobs and various looks on Instagram, in hopes that this will encourage big and small brands, magazines, photographers and clothing lines to work with our children. We have been given good advice in terms of exposure; basically if there is a child that goes to a casting that does not have social media versus a child that has 1000’s of followers, chances are that the child with a large following has a better chance of securing that job because that child can promote that product, photographer, clothing line or magazine to their fan base.”
As much as it’s important to be safe, make sure you have fun with your content to get the most out of your experience! Social media is an ingrained part of the entertainment industry and beyond, so it is something that ultimately can’t be avoided.