It used to be that if you needed instructions for something, you might grab a copy of the Dummies Guide to (insert issue here).
Today, folks turn to social media. And moms in particular are becoming social media savvy.
“Social media is crucial for moms these days,” says Kelby Carr, founder and CEO of Type-A-Parent. “It has become an integral part of our personal and business lives. It’s how we communicate and connect with other parents. It’s how we promote our businesses, blogs, and work. It’s how we manage our hectic lifestyles. Social media has made things possible for mothers that never would have been even a decade ago.”
In a recent blog post entitled “Social Media is a Motherhood Game Changer,” Carr (@typeamom) asked moms how social media has impacted motherhood. She got some great feedback.
Erin Lane (@erinlane), who writes the blog Tales from a Marketing Mama, told Carr that social media expanded her community.
“When I am at my lowest and highest – there is always someone out there who can commiserate and share in my sorrow/joy. That is truly an amazing thing,” said Lane, in Carr’s post. “There is nothing quite like writing a post and having dozens of people tell you their own similar story. Motherhood is an amazing, wonderful journey, but it can also be quite lonely at times — and social media has made it a little less so.”
There are 87.1 million women actively online on a weekly basis in social media (including blog interactions, Facebook, message boards, and other social networking sites), according to a blog post from marketing veteran Wendy Piersall.
Piersall lists some impressive stats in her post on 16 Market Research Facts Proving Social Media Moms’ Influence. Among them: One in four of moms purchased a children’s product because of a recommendation from a social networking site or blog.
Suz in Virginia said she always turns to Facebook to get advice from parents.
Recently, Suz sought advice for her son’s frequent ear infections.
Through her Facebook status, she posted his symptoms and within minutes had tons of good advice and accurate information.
Elevate one end of his crib mattress, they suggested. Press a warm wash cloth to his head.
“These folks had all been through this, and now they were helping me get through it,” Suz said. “Also of value was the context aspect. Was seven ear infections in five months a lot? It sounded like a lot to me, but I wasn’t sure. I asked and again got reams of information that helped me place my son’s situation in the proper context. Yes, it was a lot!”
Now that the ear infection odyssey is over, Suz said she plans next to ask about the best local school systems. She expects endless weigh-in on that one.
Parenting also is just one item that women seek advice about through social media.
Soon-to-be mom Brenda said she joined Cafemom.com once she learned she was pregnant. She joined a group of mothers who were due to give birth the same month as she.
“It was great to be able to ask questions of other women going through a very similar stage in their pregnancies. Also, every pregnant mom I have known uses pregnancy “tracking” websites that email you every week that explain how the fetus is developing,” she said.
Christine Cube is a freelance writer in San Diego, Calif. She also manages media relations for PR Newswire.