On a regular basis, we marketers strive to reach these established Alpha Moms, build relationships with them and mine their wealth of knowledge about what influences their influencees. It's good PR. It's good marketing. We are all on the same page, brands and bloggers, providing information that entertains, informs and makes life a little easier for moms.
But every once in awhile an accidental infuencer comes along that changes the conversation. These past few weeks, that influencer has been Amy Chua. In case you're not a mom or have been hiding in a box, the blogosphere, social media sites and anywhere moms get together have been abuzz about Ms. Chua's book, Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother.
My point here is not to get into a discussion of parenting styles and whether or not Ms. Chua has an important point to make. (I do have an opinion, but save it to practice on my child and share with my mom friends.) Instead, a question that many children's brands will ask or should ask is, should they get in on the conversation?
Once a brand has an established presence on Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites; once a brand has a blog and once a good number of people following, the primary challenge is to find a voice for that brand. With an exciting product and engaged users, this can seem both easy and fun. But the challenge becomes staying true to the brand message while maintaining that "approachable" brand personality you worked so hard to build.
When a topic comes up that can be so relevant to so many moms, like that brought up by Amy Chua, it's tempting to join in the discussion, which if you are an educational product, may be occurring on your Facebook page. Should you? How should you? The short answer is ... cautiously. And your best resource for advice is your crisis expert. No it's not a crisis, but the challenges to stay on message while listening and addressing concerns are the same.
More and more situations come up that can throw your "voice" on social media for a loop -- are discussions of "mommy cocktails" acceptable ... what if those are our most popular posts? Should we discuss the situation in the Middle East or tie it to our brand -- great trending topic, but will it backfire on us?
No longer can we, as brand marketers, develop message copy and weave it into everything we do over a 12-month period. With social media, every day is a new day to interpret what your brand stands for!