Lessons in social media: do our teens know it’s marketing?

A few days ago, Daymond John posted a question on Facebook.

He wanted to know where most entrepreneurs were finding marketing success. As I scrolled through the answers, one common theme jumped out at me:


social media.


You may be saying, duh. We know advertising and promotion on social media is all the rage, but does everyone?

BIG business happens on social media. Facebook ads and boosted posts, #sponsored #ads on Twitter and promoted posts on Linked-In, Google, and Instagram—are just the beginning. Product placements on blogs, movies TV shows, you name it!


It’s all big time. Even when a post, tweet or picture is not a paid placement, it’s marketing. A blog talking up some product or travel spot, a sports blogger hyping a showcase, or a restaurant simply sharing a picture of this evening’s special. IT’S Marketing.


Sponsored posts are supposed to be labeled as are advertisements, but sharing opinions is like word of mouth. Think of Twitter like a giant hair salon or barber shop. Everything you see and hear in there is someone’s opinion.


This is where everything gets mucked. I use Twitter for business and helping others to disseminate information. Sometimes, once a day if I’m lucky, I have something profound to say and I share it. BUT at the end of the day, it’s still only my opinion based on my expertise and continued learning. Take it for what it’s worth. Or leave it.


But can people do that? Can they leave it? Especially teens? Do they see the Kardashians rapping some line of clothing hard and decide they must have it? Even further, do they decided they must live their lives like the Kardashians?


OR…do they mistake the time people spend on social media for marketing as shits and giggles. I mean, this vague tweeting and waxing poetic on their part could go on forever. And what’s the point?


Are they getting smarter by it?

Uh, no.


So, it’s such a delicate balance for me. I feel as though I need to walk around with my own personal hashtag #settingafacebookadrightnow or #tweetingareview so my kids don’t think that I am simply wasting valuable time on the freaking Internets. After all, I get paid to do a lot of my posting whether it’s directly or indirectly through sales of books.


I warn both my kids: people watch every move you make. Coaches, teachers, principals, schools all have ways of seeing the ins-and-outs of what you post EVEN WHEN IT’S PRIVATE. Yes, sir.


Moral of the story:

stay professional on social media, my friends.



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