Safety is the biggest issue in today’s smartphone and social media era.
Kids are a tough audience to reach and also the most vulnerable. If your program is intended to be used by kids you must cater to its purchasers –their parents. Do remember that even if kids do not care about their safety online, their parents are nevertheless concerned.
The biggest drawback of kids going online is that you cannot stop them from talking to strangers. To help give a safer online environment for kids, marketers, and parents must work together.
Interestingly, there are several ways that businesses can help make smartphones and the internet a safer place for kids. While the entities from content creators to product manufacturers must adhere to federal, state and international laws related to child safety, the legal rules are still not strong enough.
Here are 3 ways in which you can help kids using smartphones and the internet.
1. Ask for minimum details
Suppose you have a customer loyalty app, you may be interested in collecting all the information you can- full name, age, home address, social media handles, etc. However, you need to be aware that the more information you collect, the greater risk you are as the penalties for companies that misuse minor’s data are strict.
To avoid unnecessary hassles, you can collect only the data you really need. You could use points attached to a username and tether it to a phone number. This will ensure the user has all the information they require and at the same time ensure that you have the needed information to verify the user in your database.
However, while doing so, make sure that you are transparent and explain (at point of download) to users what and why you collect the information. Avoid hiding this information in the ‘Terms and Conditions’ instead place it at a prominent place that a user is able to see upon opening the app.
2. Make the parents aware
While most parents would love to keep their children away from social media and the internet, it may not be easy to do so.
Most kids are inquisitive in nature and if not guided properly, they can steer towards inappropriate content under sheer peer pressure. Although it is difficult to keep kids away from downloading the inappropriate apps on their smartphones, you can encourage parents to look for device-level solutions.
For instance, Gabb Wireless is a child-friendly smartphone that is Android-based without internet that can help kids learn about mobile technology without being exposed to inherent risks.
Alternatively, you can develop educational content for parents to download.
Additionally, you can educate parents not just about your website and app but also about other practices to keep kids safe online. By helping parents know about how predators and scammers target kids can prevent unnecessary situations before they happen.
3. Encourage good social media habits
Social media are very popular and most people love spending their time browsing it.
Although they have great tools and help build connections with people, too much social media can be harmful to mental health.
Studies reveal that people who spend more than two hours on social media are twice likely to develop social anxiety.
You can make use of this opportunity for a CSR campaign and encourage healthy social media use through your compelling content.
While kids may not value safety online, their parents surely do. As a marketer, you can encourage parents to get information about online safety and you can win fans that will stay loyal to you well beyond the next software update.