Social media ‘makes families feel connected’
For many teenagers, the thought of having parents as Facebook friends is simply a no-go area – giving them unprecedented access to your photos, friends' comments and status updates just doesn't appeal.
But what if allowing your parents to connect with you on Facebook had wider-reaching benefits?
Researchers based at Brigham Young University in the US seem to think this is the case, as they discovered that teens that interact with their parents online have better relationships with them in the real world.
Lead study author Sarah Coyne explained that there are plenty of opportunities to build parent-child bonds online – and Facebook provides the perfect platform for this.
She noted: "Your kid might post a picture, and you might show support by liking it or making a nice comment, or a status update that does the same kind of thing.
"It gives more opportunities to give positive feedback or show affection."
Parents can use social media to their advantage, as they can not only see what is going on in their kids' lives, but also keep track of what their friends think is cool or fun at the moment.
Apparently half of the teens questioned by the researchers were on social networking sites with their parents, 16 per cent of whom interacted with them every day.
There is no doubting the fact that the appeal of Facebook has widened over recent years – it was once the monopoly of university students, but has since gained followers of all ages.
This is something that those with a social media strategy need to bear in mind. The demographics of these sites are shifting all the time, which marketers need to be able to adapt to accordingly.
As parent-child interactions become more common, this is one area that marketers could capitalise on.
Posted by Emma Furze