Facebook IQ: Expecting and New Parents Flock to Online Communities

Buy-and-sell groups are particularly popular when babies exit the newborn stage

59 percent of newly pregnant parents use Facebook daily
Anna Draganova/iStock

New parents—particularly mothers—will likely turn to online groups or communities for advice and connections, according to an Ignite 360 survey of 1,620 expecting or new parents in the U.S., ages 18 and older, commissioned by Facebook IQ.

The study’s findings included:

  • Three out of four expecting or new parents belonged to online groups or communities.
  • Mothers were 1.7 times more likely than fathers to say they joined online parenting groups and 1.5 times more likely to belong to online buy-and-sell groups.
  • The average U.S. millennial who is in a parent group is in more than three times as many Facebook groups as the average U.S. millennial user who is not in a parent group.
  • 28 percent of newly pregnant parents say they belong to online buy-and-sell groups, with that figure rising to 32 percent during mid to late pregnancy, 38 percent while their babies are newborns and 42 percent when they exit the newborn stage.
  • Those percentages for online parenting groups are 28, 38, 36 and 39, respectively.
  • 59 percent of newly pregnant parents use Facebook daily, with that figure rising to 71 percent during mid to late pregnancy, 74 percent while their babies are newborns and 79 percent when they exit the newborn stage.
  • 50 percent of newly pregnant parents are likely to use Facebook to get recommendations on products or services from family and friends, with that figure rising to 63 percent during mid to late pregnancy, 65 percent while their babies are newborns and 73 percent when they exit the newborn stage.
  • 68 percent of newly pregnant parents say social media helps them learn about parenting-related topics and products, but that figure drops to 64 percent during mid to late pregnancy and 52 percent while their babies are newborns before climbing slightly to 55 percent when they exit the newborn stage.
  • 37 percent of newly pregnant parents say social media is a preferred source of information on the latest baby-related products and services, edging up to 42 percent during mid to late pregnancy, 45 percent while their babies are newborns and 46 percent when they exit the newborn stage.

Facebook IQ said in a blog post revealing the results of its study, “Shopping interests and patterns around online research evolve throughout the four stages of early parenthood, our survey showed. Early on, expecting and new parents tend to turn to social media for information on parenting-related topics and products. This could mean information on Lamaze classes or the most effective nausea remedies. Later, after the pregnancy passes certain milestones, they go into nesting mode and turn to social media for information on baby-related products and services such as toys and diaper delivery.”

The social network’s research arm also shared these takeaways for marketers:

  • Be where expecting and new parents spend their time: Research shows that during early parenthood, people increasingly spend time with online communities such as Facebook and Instagram to find social connection, support, intellectual stimulation, practical advice and product recommendations. Offer value by addressing their needs with helpful, thought-provoking or empathetic content.
  • Partner with parenting groups and influencers: Consider how your brand might communicate your message to parenting groups by sharing product demos, supplying trial products, sponsoring events and partnering with mommy bloggers and other parenting influencers.