4 Ways to Reach Mothers With Social Media
Articles in this e-letter already have broached the subject of how to reach moms online, pointing out that moms are using some of the newest Web 2.0 technologies, such as social networking. This research has inspired my company, RainSoft Water Treatment Systems, to take a closer look at our own online strategy, since moms are our target market.
But how can online marketers interact with moms using social media to generate measurable sales results? Here are four things you can do today to get the process started:
1. Get to know the mommy bloggers. Mommy bloggers are mothers who write and maintain blogs, either as a hobby or, in some cases, as a way to make money. Some mommy bloggers accept products for trial and then post reviews on their blogs. Large corporations have taken note. Johnson & Johnson, for example, has a wide-ranging mommy blogger strategy that includes sending product samples to mommy bloggers for review.
2. Engage mothers on social networking sites. In early 2009, Nielsen Online reported that new mothers are drawn to social networking sites more than any other group. Some of moms’ favorite online communities are Facebook, MySpace and Twitter. To reach these women, baby care and juvenile products manufacturer Evenflo started a Facebook page to promote safe use of child car seats.
3. Let the cameras roll. Just like the rest of the online community, moms like to share their own videos and view others’ clips, ranging from kids' cute antics to how-to videos. There are several ways to use online video to reach out to moms. First, post instructional, inspirational or entertaining video clips. Another option is to get moms involved in contests that require them to submit their own videos. For example, Johnson & Johnson recently hosted a YouTube contest, "Big Bubblin' Stars!", which solicited funny bath-time videos from mothers.
4. Offer an experience. Consider whether there's a unique experience you can offer moms. Maybe send influential mommy bloggers gift certificates to use on your products or services. Several companies, including Johnson & Johnson, have started inviting small groups of mommy bloggers to their main headquarters for personal tours and events. Dodge gave moms a one-of-a-kind experience by inviting them to test-drive a new, fully-loaded Dodge Caravan for a week.
Tracking mommy bloggers
There are several ways to measure sales generated from your marketing efforts via social networking. The most obvious is to use Web site analytics to track where online purchasers come from — did they come to your site directly from your Facebook page or from a mommy blog?
If for some reason you don't use a sophisticated Web analytics system, you can: 1.) insert a drop-down menu in the shopping cart area of your Web site that allows customers to select the Web site that referred them, or 2.) have a coupon code or answer to a secret question that's only available on your social networking page.
You also can use a different code for each social media site or strategy (e.g., one for your Facebook page, one for your MySpace page, one for your mommy blogger outreach). Finally, if your product is downloadable, you may be able to embed a download link directly into your social media platform.
These are four of the most important tactics to consider when crafting your online social networking strategy. For more information on marketing to moms, I also recommend the book “Mom 3.0: Marketing WITH Today's Mothers by Leveraging New Media & Technology,” by Maria Bailey.
Mark Vance is the chief marketing officer of RainSoft Water Treatment Systems, a home water treatment and air purification systems provider. Reach Mark at firstname.lastname@example.org.