Enagaging Moms with Social Media


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Enagaging Moms with Social Media

  1. 1. Engaging Moms with Social Media Prepared by: Lauren Candito, Social Media Solutions Engaging Moms with Social Media www.SocialMediaSolutionsLLC.com
  2. 2. Moms make up one of the largest online groups emerging on social media sites, just their presence on Facebook alone has boomed over the past six months. Learn how to connect with this valuable audience... The Presence of Moms Online Moms make up one of the largest online groups emerging on social media sites, just their presence on Facebook alone has boomed over the past six months. This massive audience is vocal, eager to learn about and try new products, and eager to share that product's review with all of their friends. According to comScore, year-over-year growth of women 25-54 with children in the household has gone up nearly 50 percent on Facebook since November of 2007. Café Mom, a social network specifically for moms, has seen equally impressive growth, albeit from a smaller base of 34 percent. Further, MySpace continues to gain strength among online moms, and while MySpace's 4 percent growth was slower than rival Facebook's, MySpace still attracts more moms on a monthly basis overall. There are also several smaller social nets dedicated to women and moms, like SisterWoman, that are likely to have experienced similar growth over the past year. A 2008 study from MindShare estimated the number of moms on social networks to be around 33 million, and that number has only gone up since then. In another important fact, discovered by John Gray of iMedia, we learn that as the sheer number of moms on social nets climbs, so does the amount of time spent on these sites overall. The average MySpace mom spends more than 12 hours on the site per week, according to a recent MySpace study. Interestingly, the same medium that women are spending more time with is the one that 75 percent of moms voted saved them time, according to the same MindShare study. And beyond saving them time, moms selected the internet as their second favorite pastime behind reading. In the "Digital Mom" report, co-written by Razorfish and CafeMom, purports to give marketers insights into the most effective ways to engage Web- and mobile-adept mothers. The first section of the report is based on surveys of 1,500 women with at least one child in their homes, who tried at least two "emerging technologies" and who researched or bought something online in the past 90 days. The second part focused on 1,740 active CafeMom members and included the site's behavioral and usage data. The study says women with children place high value on social media, mobile and other digital technologies "as a convenient means to stay connected, seek advice and information, shop and learn about products, meet others like themselves and simplify the many dimensions of their lives." The researchers found that 47 percent of the moms with children 12 and older use social networks to monitor their children. These mothers are much more likely to watch online video than mothers with kids under 12, says the study. It also says the age of the mothers plays a big part in the moms' level of comfort with "newer communication platforms," including social networks, SMS and Engaging Moms with Social Media www.SocialMediaSolutionsLLC.com
  3. 3. mobile browsing, with those under 35 being significantly more likely to use the latest technologies. Older mothers, those 45 and beyond, more often use the Web to access informational tools and sites, such as news sites and online consumer reviews, says the report. "Social media and text messaging, instant messaging and gaming, now used by the majority of digital moms, are no longer niche activities," says the report. "It will be necessary for marketers to embrace channels that engage more than 50 percent of all digital moms, particularly as mass marketing channels shrink." Right now, today's Mom Market holds the key to over $2.1 trillion dollars in annual US spending. What Marketers Are Saying Connecting with Moms in the online space can be tricky. These women's schedules are full, and their circles are tight, so to break in you must really prove your value to the group. MomWise, an marketing agency that specifically targets Moms expounds "Whether it’s about nutrition, starting school, or worrying about teenagers driving safely, Moms have a lot on their minds. Have you ever tried shopping with a long grocery list, an irritable 2-year-old and a need to be at kindergarten pick-up in an hour? We thought not. The way Moms shop is unique, both on-line and in-store." Here are some quick facts, from M2Moms and Marketing With Moms, about Moms to help you understand the way they think and shop: ‣ Moms buy for their children... they buy for the home...and they also buy for themselves. ‣ Moms buy everything from diapers to divans, lipstick to laptops, moisturizers to mini- vans, and soup to nuts... ‣ 60% of Moms feel that marketers are ignoring their needs. ‣ 73% of Moms feel that advertisers don't really understand what its like to be a Mom. ‣ 80% of moms have watched an online video in the last week ‣ 87% of moms read blogs ‣ 90% of mothers use the same products at home and the office ‣ 5 million moms own their own business ‣ 88% of mothers refer to themselves as household CFO ‣ For the first time in history, four generations of mothers comprise the Mom Market So How Do You Reach this Busy Audience? 1. Determine your Mommy Target Market: For the first time in history, we are now seeing four generations of Moms in today's market. Who are you looking to talk to? Is it Gen X moms with new babies or boomers with teens? Knowing how you need to deliver to your message will help you to shrink the universe of 83 million moms. Engaging Moms with Social Media www.SocialMediaSolutionsLLC.com
  4. 4. 2. Go where the Moms are. Look for social networks that specifically target Moms, such as CafeMom, ConnectingMoms, MothersClick, and Mayas Mom. 3. Don't be afraid of engaging using new technologies: Never before have so many moms researched a product or service online. Moms don't have time to go to stores to shop around, nor do they want to bring their kids to the store if they don't have to. 4. Begin by developing a relationship with online Moms: Marketing with Moms continues: "Today more than ever, taking the time to establish meaningful relationships is imperative, particularly with mommy bloggers. The backlash that can occur when public relations and marketing agencies don’t take the time to get to know their target consumers has been well chronicled online in blog posts, tweets and social networks. Nothing can ignite the fuse between bloggers and marketers faster than an irrelevant press release or pitch sent blindly to a mom blogger." 5. Find your Mom Mavens: "You've heard about the power of word of mouth and you've read the headlines about Mom Influencers. Also known as the "Go-To" moms, these women share information on products, services and retailers regularly with other moms. As you might guess, Mom Mavens earn their spot at the top of the pyramid of peers from their extensive breath of knowledge. We have identified that Mom Mavens share common behaviors and traits that make them an influencer." 6. Lastly, teach them something new: Moms use the internet to educate themselves. Offer valuable content that moms can reference as a way to bring them to your site. Listening to What Moms are Talking About Listening is the gathering of online information about your brand. Since Mom’s are one of the most prominent talkers online, it is critical that you listen to what they are saying about your brand. There are a variety of tools that help marketers “listen” to what Moms are saying about their brand but here are a few of my favorites: ‣ General Brand Monitoring • Google Alerts - Google alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results based on your choice of query or topic. You can subscribe to each alert through email and RSS. The alerts track blog posts, news articles, videos and even groups. Set a “comprehensive alert,” which will notify you of stories, as they happen, for your name, your topic, and even your company. • Yahoo! Pipes - This is also a good tool for aggregating and combining feeds into one central repository. ‣ Blog Monitoring • Technorati - Technorati tracks “blog reactions,” or blogs that link to yours. Search for your brand on Technorati, and subscribe to RSS alerts so that when someone blogs about you, you find out. • Backtype - Backtype is a tool for monitoring blog comments, by allowing you to find, follow, and share comments from across the web. Use it to remind yourself where you commented, discover influencers who are commenting on blogs that you should be reading, and continue conversations that you started previously. You can even subscribe to these comments using RSS. Engaging Moms with Social Media www.SocialMediaSolutionsLLC.com
  5. 5. ‣ Discussion Board Monitoring • BoardTracker - Along with blogs and traditional news stories, discussion boards are another channel where people can gather in a community and talk about you. Most people disregard discussion boards until they see other sites commenting on information viewed on them. Use boardtracker.com to get instant alerts from threads citing your name. ‣ Other Great Social Media Brand Management Tools • Yacktrack - This service lets you search for comments on your content from various sources, such as Blogger, Digg, FriendFeed, Stumbleupon, and Wordpress blogs. For instance, if you comment on a blog, you can locate other people who are commenting on that same blog post and rejoin the conversation. My favorite feature of this tool is the “Chatter” tab, which allows you to perform keyword searches on social media sites and then notifies you of instances of your brand name. Yacktrack’s search page results also gives you an RSS feed for the search term. • Twitter Monitoring - Using Twitter search, you can locate any instances of your name and decide whether you want to tweet back or ignore them. It really depends on the context and meaning of the tweet. Conduct a search for your name, your company’s name, or various topics you’re interested in and then subscribe via RSS. Twilert is another tool you can use to receive email alerts. • Social Mention is a social media search engine that searches user-generated content such as blogs, comments, bookmarks, events, news, videos, and microblogging services. It allows you to track mentions of your brand across all of these areas. The results are aggregated from the top social media sources, such as Flickr, YouTube, Digg, Delicious, Twitter and more. Like the other services, you can subscribe to your results by RSS or email. Other social search engines include Serph and Keotag It’s also a smart idea to listen to conversations about your competitors. For example, if the Marriott had a Google Alert setup for “Sheraton” they could listen online for customers who get frustrated with their Sheraton experience enough to blog about it, and they could engage those frustrated bloggers, and possibly gain new customers. Talking Back Once you have set up an effective monitoring plan, and you have listened to what the Mom community is saying, it is time to talk back. Here are some guidelines for communicating with online users about your brand. ‣ Respond quickly to criticism. If you don’t respond quickly to criticism, you can lose control of the conversation. ‣ Admit your mistakes. Why is this so difficult for brands? When you mess up, the only —and I mean ONLY—acceptable response is to take full ownership, explain what went wrong, and share your action plan for fixing the mistake. ‣ Empower your employees to become problem solvers. As a customer, there is nothing worse than having a full-on collision with bureaucracy. We’ve all been there. “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I’ll have to check with my supervisor.” Or worse, “I’d like to help, but we have a policy against that.” Tim Ferriss, author of the bestseller, “The 4-Hour Workweek”, tells his employees and contractors, Engaging Moms with Social Media www.SocialMediaSolutionsLLC.com
  6. 6. “Keep the customers happy. If it is a problem that takes less than $100 to fix, use your judgment and fix the problem yourself. This is official written permission and a request to fix all problems that cost under $100 without contacting me (p. 105).” ‣ Exceed your customers’ expectations. Every customer problem is an opportunity to create a new amazing experience. But it’s not enough to meet their expectations, you have to exceed them. Anything less is merely restitution. Conclusions Understanding how to communicate with Moms online is critical for building a successful business. Moms make up one of the largest online groups emerging on social media sites, just their presence on Facebook alone has boomed over the past six months. This massive audience is vocal, eager to learn about and try new products, and eager to share that product's review with all of their friends. If you would like additional information on Marketing to Moms Using Social Media, Interactive Marketing, or Social Media, please contact Lauren Candito at lauren@socialmediasolutionsllc.com Please visit http://www.SocialMediaSolutionsLLC.com for additional insights into the interactive realm. About the Author Lauren Candito is a interactive marketing & social media expert that utilizes her deep understanding of the interactive realm to develop results driven interactive campaigns & online marketing strategies for her clients. She understands the importance of engagement and interaction, and pushes companies to reach outside of traditional marketing barriers to develop their interactive/online strategies. Lauren is a skilled strategist who incorporates a variety of social media tools into her strategies, and tailors each strategic approach to her client’s needs & goals. Lauren has obtained her MBA degree in International Marketing & Business Strategy, and has numerous years of experience working for global corporations, intimate interactive agencies, and small business ventures. Lauren takes an ambitious, self- directing approach to the social media environment, developing measurable, long- term online strategies for her clients. Lauren has an amazingly high level of energy and enthusiasm that is balanced with a great understanding of business analytics and a detail-oriented management style. She has a proven passion for learning and naturally exceeds expectations. Her excitement about interactive marketing resonates in every campaign she develops & implements, resulting in successful implementation of client strategies, and the development of cutting-edge marketing techniques. Twitter: @LaurenCandito LinkedIn: Lauren Candito Skype: Lauren Candito Engaging Moms with Social Media www.SocialMediaSolutionsLLC.com