Social Media

Introducing the 100 Moms Project

October 29, 2012

Earlier this year, we set out to explore the behaviors, moods and attitudes of moms by listening to conversations occurring organically (and publicly) on Twitter. The idea of the 100 Moms Project is to use online listening to track and observe the conversations of 100 moms for an entire year. The moms selected for the study were hand-picked to align with census data reflecting current U.S. demographics.

We’ve already uncovered some interesting findings – so, we’re giving you all a preview of the first six months our study. The findings below reflect data from our 100 moms’ conversations on Twitter, distilled to paint a fuller picture about moms’ behaviors, moods and attitudes over time.

Behaviors

Moms might be busy, but they still make time for social media. In fact, according to a recent Nielsen study, 14 percent of all moms are on Twitter – that’s 5.4 million moms. The purpose of the 100 Moms Project is to understand when and why moms spend time on Twitter.

To better understand when Mom makes time for social media, we tracked her specific activities while posting (see activities above). We’ve broken the data up by season so we can track discrepancies in her Twitter activity across winter and spring months.

In the first six months of the study, we’ve found that Mom uses mobile more in the spring (64 percent update via mobile) than during the winter (48 percent update via mobile). Her increased use of mobile and on-the-go in the spring could imply that she’s more active, as compared to higher occurrence of tweeting while watching TV in the winter.

We also found that Mom is more likely to talk about celebrities and sports stars than her family. Nearly half of the 100 moms we tracked use Twitter to chat with their friends. This seems to indicate that Mom often uses Twitter as an escape – rather than a utility.

Moods

An important part of online listening is tracking sentiment, but for the 100 Moms Project we thought it would be more interesting to track Mom’s mood. We created our own five-point mood scale – excited & curious being the most positive, thoughtful as the neutral, and stressed/frustrated & angry as the most negative mood on the scale.

The first finding here is that Mom’s mood actually elevated as the weather got warmer. Her conversation tone shifted from negative and neutral moods to more positive ones in springtime. While this is intuitive, it’s interesting to see that assumption backed by hard, social data.

Some of the excitement generated in the springtime came from talking about planned vacations or just generally getting out of the house. We can also see how this relates to Mom’s increased mobile use and on-the-go activity in the spring.

Attitudes

We know how important the relationship is between moms and brands, and we know moms are more likely to interact with brands online than the general population. Given this, we wanted to understand how Mom talks about brands on Twitter.

We found that 14 percent of all conversations we tracked were branded. More than 84 individual brands were mentioned, but only four were repeated – Disney, Apple, Target and Nutella. While there is volume of many, there is frequency of few.

We also learned that all brand categories – with the exception of Food & Beverage – saw an increase in conversations as we moved into spring.

What’s most surprising is that a majority of branded conversations related back to Mom and her interests as the individual shopper, rather than the interests of her family. This type of information can help us shape how we talk to moms, while brands that don’t always talk to moms should consider doing so based on the potential interests of mom as an individual, not just as a mom.

Marketer Implications

Here are a few insights marketers can use based on the findings of this report.

  • For Mom, social media is an escape, not a utility. She talks about and with people that are interesting to them as individuals, not just as Moms. When talking to Mom, brands should be more relevant and mindful of her interests as an individual, rather than just about being a mom.
  • Positive moods increase as the weather gets warmer. During the spring, Mom gets excited about vacations and feels more inspired and motivated to get out of the house. Brands can help grow excitement through the winter by giving her ideas to get out of the house, or ways to create inspiration in the home.
  • Mom interacts with brands on Twitter, but only a handful stand out.  Moreover, the brands that Mom interacts with often pertain to her interests more than those of her kids and/or her family. For brands that don’t always talk with Mom (for example, entertainment brands), consider paying attention because Mom wants to talk about what she likes — not just her family.

Moms are an attractive group for many brands (e.g. CPG), but this type of online listening can be replicated for a number of coveted target groups, such as teens and Millennials. For more insights into social listening, read “6 Ways the Social Web is Revolutionizing Market Research.”

We look forward to sharing the rest of our findings from the 100 Moms Project with you in the coming months.