The number of moms using social media has taken off. A study by BabyCenter said "Since 2006, the number of moms using social media has skyrocketed more than 500 percent.” It’s been so popular that it’s drawn scrutiny from the FDA (you must disclose when you get free product or accept paid reviews). Moms have been called out for possibly ignoring their kids in this article from the New York Times.
I attended a conference called EVO recently, organized by Jyl Pattee of MomItForward and Rachel Herrsher of Today’s Mama. There were about 300 social media moms there—moms who have followings on Twitter, Facebook and their blogs. The swag is often sweet—and flowing—at these conferences.
I’m not talking pens and keychains with logos either. Pepperidge Farms was there with a new flavor of Vanilla GoldFish. Quaker Oatmeal sponsored breakfast. Mrs. Fields covered a snack at a break with cookies and milk (the packages touted their blog). Brands are hoping to reach new audiences online through working with power moms. One way they do that is through sponsoring Twitter parties.
A Twitter party is a group discussion on Twitter, with a twist. They are sponsored and have their own hashtag. They’re the rage right now. Some of the brands who’ve sponsored Pattee’s Twitter party #gno (Girls’ Night Out) include Lawry’s, Boca Burgers, and Royal Caribbean.
Here are a few of the partnerships between brands and moms I’ve seen this summer:
Midas Rock the Highway Campaign
I have a fondness for the roadtrip campaigns like the one Midas sponsored called Rock the Highway. Company experts and moms exchanged traded roadtrip tips and stories on a Twitter chat. Participants entered to win by actively participating (leaving a comment, becoming a fan, retweeting about the event, sharing roadtrip experiences during the chat, etc).
1-800-FLOWERS Summer of Smiles
1-800-FLOWERS just wrapped up the Summer of Smiles campaign. They let bloggers choose someone they want to send flowers to and 1-800-FLOWERS delivered them. The blogger then blogged, Facebooked, and/or tweeted about the experience. I couldn’t reach 1-800-FLOWERS for more details, but from what I saw on a few blogs, there were many ways to enter:
- Comment on the blog post about the campaign telling the blogger which flower arrangement they would choose.
- Get an additional 10 entries if they blog about the giveaway and include a link to it.
- Get more entries for actions like sending a tweet, subscribing to the blog or RSS feed, become a fan of 1-800-Flowers on Facebook, etc.
The appeal is that the entries benefit both the advertiser and the blogger.
Popsicles, kids and moms go together in the summer, and this is another example of a sweet partnership. The Popsicle brand has been doing giveaways and is using social media and blogs in their campaigns. They’ve given away coupons and sent samples. The Mom Bloggers club, a community that connects mom bloggers and brands, helped Popsicle connect with 11 women called “Popsicle Moms” (or brand ambassadors).
As Popsicle is getting moms to spread the word, the brand is also tapping into cause marketing. They teamed up with National Geographic to raise funds for research into global climate change, so working with Popsicle helps support their cause.
Here’s a tweet from Popsicle about the promotion:
Thinking of working with social media moms? Here are eight things you can learn from these campaigns:
1. Be creative. There are many ways to promote your products online. Though it has its own culture and norms to navigate, you don’t have to be a big brand to do this type of PR.
2. Name your campaign and give moms bragging rights for being a part the club (i.e. a name like Walmart Moms, Disney Social Media Moms, and a badge to go with it.)
3. Look for possible partnerships with local bloggers or others active on social media sites where there’s a good fit with your brand or style. Make sure both sides benefit.
4. You could sponsor a Twitter chat where you share expertise and get visibility with mom bloggers.
5. Ask for feedback by sending out samples of your product.
6. Hold contests and reward people for taking specific action to spread the word.
7. Tie your promotions into a good cause. It doesn’t have to be global—it could even be working with Make A Wish Foundation to help a local child fulfill their wish.
8. Create a branded web page just for the contest or promotion.
One thing about social media moms is they are opinionated (why else would we tweet, blog and Facebook our lives?) Ask for their input about your campaign and how they might work with you. If you’re not savvy online, you might want to work with an agency or PR firm with experience in working with social media moms to coordinate the effort.
Now for your input. Have you worked with social media moms—and if so, how did it go and what did you learn from the experience?
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Janet Meiners Thaeler is an Evangelist for OrangeSoda Inc. and the principal blogger for their corporate blog and Twitter account. She regularly advises clients on blogging and social media strategies. Her own blog is Newspapergrl.com (and Twitter account @newspapergrl). She is passionate about online marketing and is always looking for new insights, resources and trends to help her clients.