Wednesday’s Parent: Making social media work for you

Alan Katzman Social Assurity LLC

Alan Katzman
Social Assurity LLC

Social media has become increasingly important for the college-bound and job seekers because colleges and employers have become more interested in applicants’ virtual selves. In last December’s Wednesday’s Parent, I described the who, what and why about a Social media makeover and Suzanne wrote about The good, the bad and the ugly.

We are taking it one step further by showing parents and students how to use their social media as a tool to work for them, not against them.

Follow my three C’s for social media: create, coordinate and control.

Create positive online content. Whether you are creating a blog or commenting on someone else’s material, do more than apply the Grandma rule before posting. Go beyond cleaning up your act and show yourself (abilities, accomplishments, interests, skills, talents) off.

Coordinate online information. Chances are you have a host of social media accounts. Take charge of them so they all have the common theme with no conflicting material of showing you (abilities, accomplishments, interests, skills, talents) in the best light.

Control your online reputation Whether you set up a Google alert for your name or hire a professional to check, stay informed about how you appear online and be ready for damage control.

Read Suzanne’s post: Teen Social Media Lifestyles and Outcomes.


Expert Alan Katzman, founder of Social Assurity LLC is our #CampusChat guest on Wednesday, May 28, 9pm ET/6pm PT. He will talk about digital footprints and explain how the college-bound and their parents may enhance their online presence for when colleges, coaches and employers take a look.

UPDATE The #CampusChat was so successful that it was trending! Get the Q &A Takeaway Tweets and full Recap on Storify.


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

The bonus is on the fourth Wednesday of each month when Suzanne and I will host Twitter chat #CampusChat at 9pm ET/6pm PT. We will feature an expert on a topic of interest for parents of the college-bound.

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from to and vice versa.

Wednesday’s Parent: Social media makeover

Social Media makeover. Photo by Kathleen Donovan

Social Media makeover. Photo by Kathleen Donovan

I’m beginning to think of the social media community as life in the fourth dimension. When time is added to our real three dimensional world, our past, present, and future social media virtual selves exist simultaneously. Everything that was and is posted and pictured can pop up in one fell swoop.

Whether you are a parent or student, it’s probably worth your time to take a look at yourself the way others can and be ready for a social media makeover.

Here are the who, what and why for a social media makeover:

Who needs a social media makeover

If you use social media, you should engage in some self-reflection by reviewing your information. Think of social media as the new calling card. Ask yourself if you like what you see, does it pass the Grandma test, and how to better portray your image.

What is a social media makeover

You can’t give your social media a new hairstyle and outfit but that doesn’t mean you can’t give it a makeover. After reviewing your postings, photos and profiles, remove, rewrite and self-censor going forward if they don’t enhance your personal brand.

Why social media makeover

Employers, teachers, college admission staff, relatives, friends, foes, and strangers may have access to your postings. If they can harm your future prospects, you need a social media makeover.

A poor social media impression can be devastating but a bit of self-monitoring can provide a fresh look and outlook for your social media makeover.

Read on for Suzanne’s social media suggestions.


Wednesday’s child may be full of woe but Wednesday’s Parent can substitute action for anxiety. Each Wednesday Suzanne Shaffer and I will provide parent tips to get and keep your student on the college track. It’s never too late or too early to start!

Wednesday’s Parent will give twice the info and double the blog posts on critical parenting issues by clicking on the link at the end of the article from to and vice versa.

The college prep threat

Multitasking as college prep threat.

Multitasking as college prep threat. Photo by Beezum (Benton Greene)

Recent studies show that multitasking is a major threat to learning. When it comes to homework, frequent social media use spreads student attention too thin. This is troubling news for parents of the college-bound.

College prep is homework that will determine college options from choosing the right schools to getting grants/scholarships to help pay the college bill. The choice impacts student lives from the friends they will make, the courses they will study, and the career path they will follow.

Studying for standardized college admission tests, researching colleges, applying for scholarships and preparing admission/financial aid applications require full strength concentration. Halfhearted efforts can lead to costly mistakes.

Read on for the studies and the college-bound tech plan solution.

7 cool ways Twitter helps parents of college-bound

twitter influence: Photo by mil8 Marc Levin

twitter influence: Photo by mil8 Marc Levin

Social media can help parents of the college-bound. Twitter, for instance, provides a wide selection of valuable resources. While students are often warned about how misuse of social media can harm their college and job prospects, savvy parents can explore and benefit from this new virtual frontier.

With short and snappy posts, Twitter users get their point across in 140 characters or less. It’s a great tool for uber-busy parents with little spare time. Tweets can be read on smart phones while standing in line at the market, in a waiting room or during T.V. commercials. Since Twitter is socially interactive, parents can follow a favorite Tweeter, comment and ask a question.

Here are 7 cool ways Twitter helps parents of the college-bound:

Read more

*POCSmom’s DIY College Prep Insight: College Students Love Affair With Social Media

Cliché: Stay in touch.    
POCS Reality: College students stay connected via the Internet.


What is the main focus of a college student’s attention?

  1. College classes
  2. Frat parties
  3. College football

 Actually none of the above-this was a trick question because a recent study found the Internet is the love of college students’ lives. The Cisco Connected World Technology Report dated September 11, 2011 conducted an online survey of over 1400 college students ages 18–24 and over 1,400 employees ages 21–29 between May 13 and June 8, 2011 in 14 countries including the U.S. What they found was-of college students and young professionals:

Roughly half of Students (49%) and End Users (47%) consider the Internet to be ‘close’ in importance to water, food, air, and shelter in their lives; and one-third of respondents in each subgroup consider the Internet to be as important as these critical needs.


About two-thirds (64%) of Students would prefer to have access to the Internet versus a car—driven by significantly large proportions of Students in China, Japan, India, and Germany.

Hear Tom Gillis, vice president at Cisco, talk about the next generation of workers and technology.

A cynic may think virtual reality is replacing reality but why not have the best of both worlds?

POCSmom’s DIY College Prep Insight: The internet is the way more and more people around the world are communicating, networking, and socializing. Soon, more folks than not will have lived their entire lives connected virtually to others, mixing business with pleasure. Consider it the next frontier and explore. Just maintain some balance and get up to smell the roses, do some exercise to stay fit, and stay engaged with those in closer proximity. Bonus: balance can help avoid the Freshmen 15.

College students and the rest of us can benefit by using social media responsibly.

*POCS: Parent Of a College Student

*POCSmom’s Insight: College and Social Media

Cliché: Spread the word.    
POCS Reality: Colleges and college students increasingly use social media.      


What’s spreading like wildfire throughout college campuses? If your answer is social media, you are right according to this cool Infographic with these stats:

For example, to get 50 million users, radio took 38 years but iPod made it in 3 years and Facebook got a whopping 200 million users in less than one year.

Colleges are also reporting great user gains with all colleges using at least one form of social media and almost half have a social media policy.

College students favorite social network is Facebook with YouTube and Twitter flying close behind.

POCSmom’s Insight: Increased use of technology through social media reaches students and parents before, during, and after college. They can be great networking tools for social, educational, and business relationships. Use it wisely for virtual enjoyment and don’t forget to find fun in the real world, too.

*POCS: Parent Of a College Student