We're moving into an era where the line between companies and consumers is becoming more and more blurred. Social media sites like FB and Twitter allow companies to connect with the consumer quickly and on a familiar platform; review sites like Yelp and C-Net pit consumers against or with companies in order to keep companies on track with good business practices and good products; and of course, bloggers are able to reach the masses and over time become trusted resources for news and reviews.
Bloggers are all the rage lately. Anyone can have a blog with an internet connection. You can blog about ANYTHING (hell, I even have a blog about cookies!). And lots of people love to talk — they just need listeners. There are varying degrees of bloggers, too; each topic will have a few bloggers that rise to the top due to their expertise on the subject, their social network and their ability to communicate to the masses. Bloggers are like middlemen between the consumer and/or customer and the company, but they're usually on the consumer / customers' side.
If people were cities on a map, bloggers with a following would be a big dot with bold names. It is for this reason exactly that in my time here I reach out to bloggers. Recently we sent out a bunch of stuff to women with children who we thought would be interested in the Lovin' Scoopful brand — a light gourmet ice cream brand with less fat and fewer calories and they donate to the Special Olympics — to have an ice cream party. They blogged about it (examples can be found here and here) of course, and the positive reviews helped. Some important things to keep in mind when you're looking to reach out to bloggers:
Ideally it's a win-win-win situation: the blogger gets free stuff and popularity, the company gets information out to a targeted audience with very little cost, and readers get helpful tips and news from a trusted resource. There are still skeptics out there who don't see the utility in blogging or the importance of these online journals; however, incorporating bloggers into your media plan might surprise you.
Ok, so I never made that my Facebook status. If you are in the dark about all the “I like it” Facebook statuses that started happening this month, women are writing about where they like it. Their purses, I mean. Where they like to put their purses. (Duh.) It's for Breast Cancer Awareness month. Supposedly.
Well, now I have some questions:
You probably remember earlier this year when women were writing the color of their bras also supposedly to raise awareness for breast cancer. I highly doubt that these two viral Facebook status updates actually started off as trying to raise awareness for breast cancer. I cannot find a single credible source on the internet that shows me where either of these two started. Would this same thing work for men? For men, prostate cancer is the second biggest killer out of all cancers. What if men wrote the color of their boxers or where they like to put their wallets or satchels or murses (man purses)? First, would it spread, and second, would that raise awareness about prostate cancer?
Ok, end of rant. Sorry for being a Debbie Downer. I just don't see the point. On the other hand, maybe this would remind women to do their monthly checks for lumps or get that mammo they've been putting off.
The question bigger than, “How did this start?” is “how did this spread?” The answers might help you try to apply this free and viral strategy to your brand.
Obviously, this isn't easy. It has to be something sassy and something that makes other people wonder enough to do some research to find out what it's about (or at least question publicly). Efforts will be hit-or-miss, but since it's all free, there's very little monetary loss.
There are over 82 million mothers in the U.S., according to the U.S. Census Bureau, and 35 million of them have children under 18 and access the Internet regularly, based on a 2009 research report by eMarketer. Of this number a good percentage of moms are well connected power users in the social media space. The Internet is an integral part of the lives of 34 million mothers in the US. They not only go online to plan a trip or pay bills, they also use the Web to communicate with friends, share advice, blog and socialize. Moms are the ultimate Internet networkers, as they seek out other moms’ advice for what they’re looking for, with a large percentage of them using the Internet at least twice a day.
Since women do the majority of product research and household purchasing, savvy mommy blogs include product reviews and recommendations on items ranging from infant clothing to packaged food to new cars, brands have been taking noticed on the this trend and are now reaching out to these influencers to maximize their reach and presence online.
Moms visit parenting and family websites and blogs where regularly view news, weather and political content online, among them among the most current and savvy of all online users. They search for shopping deals for their kids, want to learn about cooking recipes, want to be involved in charitable causes, want to be up-to-date with the latest trends, among many other relevant conversational topics that would deal with home and the family. And when they find something great for their family, they talk about it, not only with their family and friends, but often with a much broader online audience. They are among the most technically savvy online power users who use social media channels such as blogs, social networks and Twitter as platforms to extend their influence in the space.
This group has been classified as Mommie bloggers, and they occupy a special place in the space that separates them from other groups online; as they have become the hottest and most influential target demographic that every brand wants to focus on these days. Like moms there are many other groups that are surging in online influence too, and how brands can take notice of them is by paying attention to the latest social trends and by listening to what they are saying and learning about their behaviors when it comes to selecting and buying products that best fits them.
Here is graph showing a growing trend of how much mommy bloggers numbers have increased over the years and what these numbers are estimated to be by 2013.
Written by Reese Ramos – Digital Marking Director
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