Mothers may not have invented social media, but the 26 million moms who use social media suggests this demographic dominates it. From mommy blogs to Facebook and Twitter accounts, social media provides a limitless platform for savvy “social media moms” to share pictures and videos, keep in contact with friends and family, and post reviews about products.
Social media has empowered women by giving them a platform to effect change. Moms trust the opinions of other moms more than they do advertising. Blogs that offer product reviews, coupons, links to deals and specials, and information about the hottest products on the market have become the most reliable go-to source for the mom consumer.
No longer is it enough for retailers to make great products and expect push media to attract consumers to their product. There is a delicate balance in finding a healthy medium between content and brand messaging, while figuring out the right tone and approach to building a solid relationship with moms. Trust and reputation are all-important, with the trust factor becoming one of the main differentiators among successful and not-so-successful brands. Moms, in growing numbers, are embracing brands and companies they trust.
The biggest mistake a brand can make is to underestimate the power of moms. Their domination of social media has even encouraged companies to embrace social responsibility.
When today’s mom is faced with a problem, she’ll find a way to come up with a solution. By sourcing and creating applications, launching blogs that provide platforms for discussions with other moms, and even starting their own businesses, today’s tech-savvy moms are constantly finding innovative ways to solve everyday problems. As a result, business models, product development techniques, technology and marketing are changing dynamically.
Social media experts like consultant Sugar Jones say that moms, social beings by nature, are also some of the smartest and savviest businesspeople around. And Erica Diamond, author of 99 Things Women Wish They Knew Before Starting Their Own Business, has said that women are multitasking to a whole new level, and that social media is the reason she herself has had such blogging success.
Many moms use social media to start their own businesses. They take their excellent networking skills and the strong relationships they have built with their social graphs to leverage businesses that ultimately produce revenue. Even amid a roaring recession, moms are actively seeking ways to monetize their blogs and generate additional income through consulting, speaking appearances, filling out surveys, attending meetings and becoming voices for brands. More and more moms are crowdsourcing issues and joining forces to help teach business relationship-building skills.
Here are some rules of engagement for nurturing relationships with social media moms:
1. Provide something of value. This means great content. Help them increase their social currency.
2. Involve them upfront in the marketing idea whenever possible. They know their social graphs.
3. Keep it honest and transparent. Be real.
4. Be clear about what’s in it for her. In this economy, she’s looking for ways to supplement her family’s income—she’s not just in it just for the name recognition.
5. Remember once you start a dialogue, she’s going to want to hear from you. Establish this communication up front.
6. Be respectful of her time. She’s busy.
7. Understand she is looking for a long-term relationship.
8. Be clear up front about disclosure policies.
And remember, you also need a cross-platform strategy. Moms don’t just live on blogs. Brands need to look at their efforts on Facebook and Twitter. How do you tie the conversation together?
And please don’t call her a mommy blogger. She is the social media mom, and is a force to be reckoned with. She’s been given the tools and she’s making the most of them. Brands can learn a lot from her.
Holly Pavlika is managing director for Big Fuel Communications. She can be reached at