June 24th, 2010

Social Moms: One size does not fit all

Dina Freeman , Social Media and Communications Consultant , BabyCenter

When my son was 18 months old, he decided it would be fun to jump out of his crib head first one night at around 3 am. He was totally fine, but I wasn’t. I was freaked out and needed advice. I immediately reached for my phone and instead of calling my mom like I would have done 5 years ago, I tweeted “Ugh. 18mo just fell out of crib. Not ready for big boy bed. Help!”  Within minutes I received about 20 suggestions, one of which worked like a charm. Crisis averted.

To many of you, solving personal problems using something as public as Twitter sounds ridiculous. For others, crowdsourcing answers from strangers is on par with calling a friend. Although there has been a massive increase in the number of moms using social media since 2006 (591%), it would be wrong to assume all moms use social media in the same way or that they all wield the same amount of influence.

Last week, we released our “BabyCenter 2010 Mom Social Influencer Report” based on a recent study we did of moms in the BabyCenter Community. The report reveals that there are two different categories of moms who use social media – the influencers and the influenced. Although the influencers make up a much smaller group at only 18%, they wield 78% of the overall influence.

So, who are these mom social influencers? We identified three types:

  • Field Experts – Young but experienced stay-at-home moms who use social media to share parenting advice, usually focused on a specific topic such as raising twins, breastfeeding, or caring for a special needs child. Because of their specialized knowledge, large networks of moms depend on them for expertise and support.
  • LifeCasters – Millennial moms who are always connected and communicating. They share anything and everything via social media, mixing posts about the “yummy donut” they ate for breakfast with useful tips about where to find the “perfect pair of black pants on sale.” Although they produce tons of seemingly lighter content, their extensive networks of friends depend on them for relevant advice and product recommendations on a wide variety of topics, not just parenting. 
  • Pros – Mom bloggers who have turned their passion for social into a career. They consistently push out entertaining and informational content to their enormous networks of fans, posting opinions and advice on a wide variety of topics including parenting tips, and product reviews and giveaways. Because they operate like mini-publishers, they are often compensated when writing about or integrating brands into their blogs.

This is just a tiny glimpse of the insights we gained from our study. To find out more, email us at socmedia at babycenter dot com. We’d be happy to tell you more!

So, I ask you — are you a Lifecaster or a Field expert? Maybe part of the audience? Tell us what rings true.


3 Responses to “Social Moms: One size does not fit all”

  1. TheChattyMomma says

    Hmmmmm, that’s a tough one. Great article to get me thinking about it, Dina. Since I am on baby #2, I’d like to upgrade to “Field Expert”, although I don’t stay at home, but I still think “Lifecaster” definitely fits what I do all day on Twitter/Facebook/Blogger.

    It all falls under the category of “chatter” so I feel right at home!

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