Social media: A new mom’s new best friend

http://www.kansascity.com/2012/05/16/3613853/social-media-a-new-moms-new-best.html

The virtual mommy network is growing at a staggering pace. Fourteen percent of American women with at least one child blog about parenting or turn to blogs for advice, according to a recent study by Scarborough Research. And about 3.9 million U.S. moms identify themselves as bloggers.

Young mothers, who checks in with her online mommy group daily, spend twice as much time online as women who are not moms, according to the 2012 American Media Mom report, a joint study between Nielsen and BabyCenter.com. The number of visits to the BabyCenter’s “community” page, where parents can find existing support groups or create their own, grew 259 percent from 2008 to 2011.

But these moms aren’t just showing off their babies’ latest photos. From postpartum depression to mother-in-law and marriage issues, no topic is off limits. What starts as an online exchange of ideas is often just the beginning of real-life friendships.

New moms aren’t replacing the advice from their own mothers, existing friends and doctors, experts say, but are using social media to enhance their circles of support. They continue to forge relationships at day-care dropoff or through Early Childhood Family Education classes, but also connect online – often creating Facebook groups – to deepen their friendships.

If you are a mom, will you go to check the iphone or face book after feeding the baby at mid-night or go back to sleep?

What is the future of these social media? The data and the information will be used in a good way (like developing the product)? Or it will be abused to a marketing method? How to avoid that?

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3 thoughts on “Social media: A new mom’s new best friend

  1. As a father of two, I’m living this article. Last night we had dinner with a woman and her son that my wife met in a yoga class and participates with on an online mommy community. Needless to say, I’m friend with the son’s dad too because of this. My wife and I are talking about refurbishing our deck and when discussing contractors, my gut reaction was, ask about one of “Mothers and More,” her primary online mothers group. She checks the boards at least daily, if not more frequently, and it has been a wealth of information for our kids, house, and our community. Not to mention, my wife has received quite a bit of her clients for her interior design business through that particular community and other mommy communities.

    What I find interesting about this communities, at least in the ones that my wife participates in, is that they’re entirely local and supported without sponsors or a company. They are true online communities that have a very real physical manifestation. There is no commercial interests or needs, and as a result, business sometimes come out of it (like my wife getting business or her using a publicist from the group).

  2. My wife and I as parents of 2 little girls use parenting blogs a lot to find information and to get people’s opinions etc. I believe parenting blogs are only going to increase over the next number of years. I’ve noticed there are more niche blogs starting up. I have a friend who runs a site aimed at Jewish mothers which includes all the usual parenting stories in addition to things that are pertinent to Jewish parents.
    I think blogs are definitely a marketers paradise and advertising is likely to increase as they attempt to entice parents especially new parents to buy their wares.

  3. While I am not surprised that mommy bloggers are taking off, I was surprised by how many different topics the mom blog targets. For example, Popular Mechanics magazine is currently traveling to three cities for the Home Safety Prep Show, which is preparing families for a disaster in a family friendly environment. There are a few “celebrities” that travel with the show including Mykel Hawke (from Discovery Channel’s Man Woman Wild) and Cobly Donaldson (from Survivor and History’s Top Shot). However, another individual who is drawing attention at the show is the Survival Mom. Basically she is a mom who has formed a career for herself blogging and providing tips to other mothers about how to keep your kids and family safe if a natural disaster should strike. Because natural disasters are a real threat in areas of the country she has been able to form a community of moms who share not only the tie of having kids but a very specific subject that a handful of moms want to be informed about, share their experiences and have a support network if a disaster should strike. This example has showed me the power of a blog–both with a forum for sharing information but also for creating a brand for an individual.

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