Moms.com: Brands Want You

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If there were any doubts that moms online are a force to be reckoned with, watch how Disney courted “social media moms” earlier this year, or read about how McDonald’s is stepping up its outreach to digital mothers here. Or just take a moment to consider the powerhouse that is BabyCenter.

Calling itself “the voice of the 21st Century Mom,” the U.S.-based website is now the #1 pregnancy and parenting destination worldwide, with 8 million-plus moms just in the U.S. and 19 million moms in some 22 countries worldwide.

It also aims to shed light on what moms want from brands and marketers via its research panel, dubbed (of course) the 21st Century Mom Panel, the largest in the U.S. By tapping into some 85,000 social media- and digital-savvy mothers, it provides proprietary research and data to worldwide marketers.[more]

The site recently concluded a 2010 Mom Social Influencer study which divides the cohort into Influencers and Influenced and defines their attributes and user habits. Influence is defined as frequency of posting, commenting, and size of personal network. 94% of moms turn to online sites for information and community at pregnancy or birth.

“Since 2006, the number of moms using social media has skyrocketed more than 500%,” commented Tina Sharkey, Chairman and Global President, BabyCenter. “Marketers (can) shift their mindset from social media to social marketing by gaining a better understanding of who the mom influencers are.”

According to MediaPost, the site’s massive online mom-centric focus group can be divided into Influencers and Influenced, and further divided into five distinct segments: Field Experts; within Influencers, Lifecasters and Pros; and within Influenced, Butterflies and Audience.

Field Experts are stay-at-home moms who focus on parenting. They excel at “in-depth mom-to-mom advice, wisdom and support.” They also account for 8% of BabyCenter’s social moms, with a 33% share of overall influence and are most persuasive in parenting communities.

Lifecasters are Millennial moms with young kids who are consistently involved in social media. Actively posting on Facebook and Twitter, they’re busy ‘liking’ preferred brands, recommending products, identifying coupons and deals, and comfortable in the spotlight. They make up 8% of the site’s social moms and hold 34% percent influence overall.

Pros include professional mom bloggers, self-employed Gen Y’ers, generating advice and well-researched parenting tips, product reviews and often blogging about brands in return for compensation. Pros comprise 2% of moms and wield 11% share of influence. Although highly influential, Pros’ overall influence is less due to their small number.

Butterflies are typically young professionals who “put the social in social networking.” Often expecting for the first time, they socialize online for advice, and sharing personal posts on Facebook and Twitter. They make up 16% of social media moms but account for only 7% influence due to less participation.

Audience is the biggest cohort, a mix of moms at various life stages. They are less social online, rarely posting comments or friending other users. They are observers and comprise 66% social media moms but due to non-participation wield small influence at 15% overall.

So marketers, don’t ignore the power of mom. Of course, don’t forget dad.

By the way, we were surprised to find that moms.com is available …. marketers, your next big Web hub is waiting for a savvy idea!

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