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To post or not to post?

There are many things a new or expecting mom is researching and making decisions about. She has new decisions to make around what foods to buy, cloth vs. disposable diapers, how to baby-proof the home, childcare vs. staying at home . . . and that’s barely scratching the surface.  

But there’s something else on her radar, and while its level of importance may be low on the totem pole, it’s not one that brand marketers should ignore.

Expecting moms are evaluating their decisions when it comes to social sharing. In a recent article on GeekWire, Mónica Guzmán, an expecting mother and community strategist, talks about her grapples with the decisions of what to share with her social networks and admits “I’m beyond excited, but when it comes to what I share, I’m self-conscious and cautious.”

Opinions on the subject vary too. Just Google “moms posting ultrasound pictures” and you’ll get a wealth of controversial blogs and sites dedicated to the topic. In late 2010, software maker AVG conducted an international survey to find out just how much sharing is taking place among new moms. The results show that new moms in Canada and the U.S. take the lead in sharing personal and private information about their yet-to-be born babies via social networks. The study revealed that 92% of moms in the U.S. with children under age two have uploaded pictures of their kids to online social networks. In addition, 34% of new moms in the U.S. and 37% of new moms in Canada have uploaded ultrasound images of their babies, compared to only 21% worldwide.

Taking into account that this study is over a year old, we can assume those numbers have likely increased since then. So how can a brand marketer assess the various levels of social sharing among new moms, and make smart decisions to inform and support her?

  • First and foremost, conduct research if you can. There are many customizable and cost-effective ways to learn more about your consumers today. Why not tap into the source and see how your new mom consumers are sharing? What are their thoughts, joys, and concerns?
  • If you are already connecting with moms via social networks, consider providing fun templates for sharing and personalizing images.
  • Another popular way to leverage your brand among new moms is to hold a baby photo contest. We know from our own experience with Fisher-Price, new moms love it when their baby is the star!
  • Most importantly, listen. Tune in to your consumers via social communities, and talk with new moms you know in “real life.” See how they are sharing, and think about how your brand can fit into those conversations. Check out Pinterest and see what is being pinned this week, is your brand in the mix? Type in a few keywords on Twitter, eavesdrop on the conversation, and follow a few key influencers.

While being present with new moms is great, if you’re not taking a step back to understand and observe her social sharing, you could be missing out on valuable opportunities for your brand.