As the debates continue on the control of social media within organizations, as well as the ongoing legal issues regarding ownership of social profiles, networks and passwords, only one thing is certain:
Moms are the New Community Managers
They’re asking all of your departments to climb on board to own the experience that matters to them:
- Sales and Marketing for the information to make educated purchase decisions for their families.
- Customer Service to be there when something goes wrong, or applaud when things go right.
- HR to experience the people, family policies, and the tech aspects of your business when they seek career movement.
- PR and Communications to stay updated and reference in times of crisis.
- IT for tech support (or social customer support).
While I’m convinced that moms are the ultimate marketers of their domains, as more digital natives add parenthood to their job description, these tech-focused and social-savvy moms will become your customers, prospects, employees, and your competition.
Understanding the changing demands of this new generation of moms, and the diverse ways a business can serve them, can provide a sample case for social media as an organization-wide endeavor.
Moms Need the Information Now
There are a couple of great infographics that spell it out, including the PCMag.com “Moms Embrace Social Media, Smartphones (view below),” and Mashable’s, “This Is Your Mom on Social Media.”
Infographic source: PCMag
Media is Mum’s Domain
According to the Meredith’s Parents Network “Moms & Media 2” survey, “for moms born between 1977 and 1994, there is no part of their lives that is media free,” and 55% of moms have de-friended companies on Facebook because of too many messages and ads.
It’s not enough to lump moms as a single customer category, or [gasp] talk to marketing about a “mommy blogger” strategy. We’re past that.
Listen to Mom
If you’re B2C, moms have purchasing power, managing decisions for the home and business. If you’re a B2B company, you may be selling to mom-owned businesses, working with moms in the field, or your customers and distribution network may have opportunities.
You may not need to change your core brand to meet the new lifestyle demands and increased connectivity of modern moms. Use social media to communicate how you can simplify or enrich even a small piece of their lives, and provide access to support through online and mobile channels.
Moms Need Information
The truth is, moms need marketing, technology and online communities to help sort out the flood of content out there. But not the kind that interrupts precious family time, or even promises better leak protection (no leaks are best, thanks.)
Moms need information that builds knowledge and confidence, from brands that they don’t mind weaving into their memory book.
They will pay it forward, by recommending these products, services and businesses to others “in the field.”
Moms as Media Managers
The Nielsen and BabyCenter.com 2012 American Media Mom Report: “Always-On, In Control, and Changing the Rules for Marketers,” discusses moms’ emergence as the media managers of their families.
The report shares that moms are also early adopters of new media formats, users of multiple devices throughout the day and night, and leaders in digital media consumption compared to the general population.
Below is just a sample of community categories that I’ve found that moms are building and managing, and on their own time.
- Blogs and social media hubs for working, part-time or stay-at-home moms
- Mom-owned business networks (mompreneuers), personal branding and life coaching
- Special interest motherhood, such as organic lifestyle, health, fitness, food, fashion
- Geographic-based, community groups and education-focused
- Tech for moms
- Special needs and causes
Advice from Mom
As a marketing professional and newer mom, I was surprised how similar my business and personal lives have become, blurring into one 24-hour timesheet.
While the important social media ownership discussions will continue for businesses and marketing agencies, I’ll offer a bit of advice from a mom who is always on the clock.
Not everyone will be called to parenthood, but all areas of business will be called to the mothership to build better experiences through social media.
Christina Schmitz is vice president of PR 20/20, and founder of TheOnMom.com: “Your Marketing Guide to Motherhood” featuring ideas, projects and stories from the field, Connect on Twitter @christinacs and @theonmom, and LinkedIn.
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