Millions of moms use social media. In a recent study by Our 365 (The Social Media Behavior of Young Moms study, November 2010), we polled 1,200 moms and discovered that 90 percent of them used some form of social media over a 30-day period; six out of 10 moms used social media to make a purchase. This begs the question: What is the value of a mom blogger or Twitter user? Is engaging with a big community like Circle of Moms with more than 1,403,303 active moms and 3,000+ sub communities of more value to a brand? Or is it better to engage with a mom in Virginia with 2,500 followers?
There are hundreds of moms who have homegrown blogs and know many of their subscribers personally. Every brand is clamoring to have to have millions of followers or fans, but the point isn't the numbers -- it's the relationships. The power is in the advocates and evangelists, not in the numbers. Sure numbers look good on paper, but in the end do they really mean anything other than numbers?
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There are many who have become very particular about who they like or follow. If a mom's social graph is small on paper, she is often dismissed for potential outreach. On the other hand, those with large followings are courted by many brands and often have multiple relationships like many of today's athletes.
A friend of mine, who happens to be a social media mom, likens it to a pool of water. Would you rather drop one big stone in or create thousands of ripples by throwing many pebbles?
The many pebbles are going to have tighter relationships with their community. By their very nature of being smaller, they talk more, interact more, and are more apt to really know each other. It's those relationships that lead to influence, and influence leads to action and engagement. Engagement is the holy grail of social media.
Just ask a social media mom. Every single mom I speak to holds the same opinion. It is all about the relationships -- and isn't that what social media is all about? It's about her relationships with her own social graph, and it's about the relationship you build with her. Asking a mom to take part in blogger outreach in exchange for a gift card is not a relationship. Calling on her four months later to see if she wants to create a video for your brand is not a relationship. Relationships are built on trust, community, and commonalities.
Moms want to talk to the brand and have the brand talk to them. This means the brand needs to have a community and engage with bloggers regularly. Yes, a two-way dialogue. This is a commitment on the part of the brand in the effort to build up that community. Moms want valuable content information, entertainment, and ideas that will engage their community. And, sometimes, they want just want a little advice. The Momentum community sends me suggestions for articles, asks me for advice on their own personal brands, introduces me to new members, and more. All of this takes time, but it is necessary for building relationships. I recently conducted a survey with a small part of the Momentum community that yielded a 100 percent response. It's all about the relationships. It's your voice, your transparency, and your humanness.
Moms hate finding out about their favorite brands from someone else, particularly from another mom. Go back to the many pebbles creating many ripples theory. What happens in one mom's community doesn't stay in that mom's community -- communities overlap. That's the interweb.
Moms want and like feedback; if you've enlisted their help, tell them how they did. Make them feel valued. What impact did they have? When you go back to ask mommy bloggers for their help again, they will remember this. It's all a part of building the relationship.
So what is the value of a social media mom? She is very valuable if your brand is truly engaged. It doesn't matter how large or small the community, it is all in the relationship you've built. And if you engage with her in a meaningful way, she's invaluable.
Holly Pavlika is the managing director for Big Fuel Communication.
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