A new study confirms what moms and the brands that court them have known for some time now; that moms share a huge amount of information on social media, and they are a force to be reckoned with. But the study, conducted by online marketing firm ShareThis, surprised even the experts as it revealed the degree to which moms share information, and how much more sharing they do than any other segment of the population.
The survey looked at 200,000 moms between the ages of 25 and 54, with children in the household, and compared their online sharing behavior against 200 million “regular” social media users. The study found that moms share online three times more than the general online population. For brands, that means that gaining the trust and approval of moms is crucial to the success of their products.
PINNING ON PARENTING AND HOLLYWOOD?
One-third of all content shares by moms were related to parenting and entertainment—specifically movies and T.V. Interestingly, the information they share and that which they consume online do not directly correlate: while parenting composed 18 percent of information shared, it’s only 10 percent of the information consumed. (Does that mean moms are more interested in giving advice than taking it? Hmm…) Instead, they are more interested in consuming information about movies, T.V. and online games.
Read Related: The New American Mom: Tech-Savvy & Online
The study revealed another key difference between how mom-sharers and the general population share and consume media. While the majority of individuals consumes and shares their social content on Facebook, moms like Pinterest almost as much—they share 29 percent of content there and 34 percent on Facebook. Among the general users, Facebook grabs 56 percent of their activity and Pinterest just 12 percent. For social moms, the appeal of Pinterest might be in its capacity to post images and content that comprise a fuller picture of their lives, as well as seek out and pin content that appeals to them and that they aspire to, whether it’s an inspirational article or a photo of a dream kitchen, a great handbag or a fabulous vacation destination.
Weekday afternoons around 3 pm are a favorite time for most moms to share, presumably during that precious quiet hour or so before kids get home from school. East Coast and Midwest moms share more than West Coast moms, although the study didn’t delve into the forces behind this trend.
MOMS CAN’T BE BOUGHT!
For any marketers and brands who weren’t already convinced of the influence on online moms, the study should be a wake-up call. And for those brands already engaged in marketing to online moms, it’s a reminder that their influence can’t easily be bought—moms are aware of the power of their shares, and they’ll share negative opinions just as easily as they’ll share positive ones. As author Jill Smokler, who blogs as “Scary Mommy” tells ShareThis, “When I find something I love, I share it, when I find something I hate, I share it. Just like in everyday life.”
Remember “old school” television and print advertising, when brands and products—whether baby food or oven cleaner or minivans—sought to appeal to moms, because they made the majority of purchasing decisions in the household? In some ways, not much has changed. Moms still drive the market, but brands now have to reach them in different ways. The takeaway for brands, says Megan Calhoun, founder and CEO of SocialMoms.com, is that quality still matters. “The key to success still revolves around authentic and engaging content that begs to be shared and earns its way into conversation.”