Monday, April 16

Social Networking: Moms Know Best

If you have ever wondered why some companies cater to moms more than any other group online, a new study by Performics, a marketing firm owned by Publicis Groupe, recently shared its answer. After studying nearly 3,000 active U.S. social networkers, the firm concluded that mothers were "more versatile, present, active and engaged users of social networking sites, compared to other women."

Not only were mothers 61 percent more likely than other women to own a smart phone, they are also more likely to be active on social networking sites. Specifically, they were 16 percent more likely to visit Facebook and 46 percent more likely to visit Google+ on a daily basis.

But even outside of the study, there is ample evidence of how important moms can be to a social network. In fact, despite noted policy problems, moms are the catalysts behind the success of Pinterest, which reported 16.23 million unique users last February.

It is now one of the most active social networks online despite that 80 percent of its participants were female (March 2012). And, according to another study, almost all "mom bloggers" are actively engaged in Pinterest (as much as 98 percent) with  90 percent describing it as fun, 67 percent using it for organization, and 60 percent browsing beautiful things.

Do you know what other social network moms embraced? Right. A little app called Instagram that Facebook recently purchased for $1 billion. The irony? Facebook isn't among many moms' favorite social networks, despite them visiting it on a daily basis to connect and keep up.

Moms have a long history of engaging and organizing on social networks. 

When most people look back at some of the most spirited successes and failures online, most of them are linked to moms. They were the catalyst behind the Motrin headache, were part of the GAP logo retraction, continue to be part of McDonald's outreach efforts, prompted one of the largest recalls in Maytag history, and were among the first to express their distaste over the Tropicana logo change too.

In terms of the biggest disasters mentioned above, the reasons seem clear enough. Moms are reported to be 75 percent more likely than other women to trust information they receive from companies through social networking sites. And, as a result, they tend to react more aggressively when that trust is broken.

Marketing to moms might make marketers think twice about quick fixes. 

There have always been benefits to including moms in the online marketing mix. But there are some downsides for companies that are reckless with their messaging. Moms, unlike many other groups, have a greater awareness and more experience influencing, participating with, and promoting brands.

View more presentations from Performics

They are 45 percent more likely to make a purchase as a result of a recommendation on a social networking site than other women, including apparel (54 percent more likely), cars (64 percent more likely), and travel (46 percent more likely). They are also more likely to recommend companies/brands via social sites (34 percent), discuss companies/brands on social sites after seeing an ad elsewhere (48 percent), talk about companies/brands they follow on Facebook (24 percent), link to a company/brand ad (23 percent), post a company/brand ad (53 percent), and share interesting or relevant content about a company/brand (50 percent).

In other words, if your company isn't thinking about moms, then it isn't thinking. And if your company isn't thinking, these moms will be among the first to remind you who really knows best.
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