It's no secret that moms are among the most desired online groups for marketers. According to BlogHer
, there were 36 million U.S. mothers online in 2008 and eMarketer estimates that number to reach almost 40 million by 2012.
Marketers have their hands full with tens of thousands of mommy blogs to monitor and the thousands of moms actively using social media sites like Twitter, MySpace and Facebook. But, as marketing budgets are being slashed, there's no better time than now to jump on the social media train to reach your marketing goals cost-effectively and with a greater upside than traditional tactics.
So, where do you start?
1. Do your research.
- Invest time in reading blogs. Start with BlogHer and Alltop to find the top blogs and sites for women and read up on what moms are most concerned about, what excites them, the kinds of products and services they like and those that they don't ... and why.
- Observe moms on Twitter and social networks like CafeMom.com. The conversations taking place can clue marketers in on what the current hot topics are and how other brands are injecting themselves into those conversations. For example, on Tuesday night Frito-Lay hosted a premiere event for its new series of Webisodes. Celebrities and many active Twitter moms were invited. The result? All-day exposure for the company and its newest products, not to mention follow-up coverage on attendee blogs, sites and traditional news outlets.
- Understand the topics that are top-of-mind for moms by keeping up with social bookmarking sites tailored for women, like Kirtsy (dubbed "Digg for chicks"), where members can share the articles and blogs they find most interesting.
2. Look at brands that are using social media successfully.
- Samsung recently launched a social network for moms -- Moms Like Us -- where members share household tips and experiences alongside expert articles and advice. With nearly 30,000 members connecting on a regular basis, Samsung has created a relevant and effective forum and is empowering its potential customers to be a part of its strategy.
- Yes To Carrots, Method and Disney have successfully created panels of moms who advocate in natural ways among their circles both online and offline.
3. Define your goals and approach.
- Like any campaign, develop a strategy.
- If you're looking to launch a new or revamped product, consider first sampling products out to "tastemaker" (i.e. trendsetting) moms for feedback and then to help spread the word.
- If your goal is ongoing communication and advice, create a panel of women that serves as an advisory board and brand advocates.
No matter what you do, jump in and join the conversation. Just remember: moms online are savvy and know their power. Talking at them in a condescending or pushy tone will only alienate them. Social media is about conversation and connection -- no one wants a one-way relationship that ends up spammy or in which they feel they're being taken advantage of. Listen, learn and share.
Editor's note: If you'd like to contribute to this newsletter, contact Nina Lentini.