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What We Learned Listening to 100 Moms on Twitter for a Year

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For many marketers, moms present a unique and powerful audience. They are often the decision-makers when it comes to family purchases, and they also happen to be very active in social media, particularly on Twitter. Our insights team tapped into Mom’s penchant to better explore what makes Mom tick – so brands can better understand how to reach her on Twitter.

Through social listening, we analyzed the public Twitter conversations of 100 hand-picked moms—aligned with census data reflecting current U.S. demographics—to learn about Mom’s behaviors throughout the course of a year. By taking a seasonal approach to the data, we were able to paint a broader picture about moms’ shifting social habits, hobbies and emotions over time. The analysis below is part II of our findings, you can read more about this research in our first blog post.

Seasonal Overview

Our findings showed that moms’ activities and moods shift with the seasons. Winter (January through March) is a time of hibernation with her family. Many of the activities Mom talks about on Twitter require less activity and her mood is a bit more negative, as well.

Overall Categories of Conversation By Season (360i Analysis of 100 Moms, Data: Jan. 2012 – Dec. 2012, N=1300)

The arrival of spring season (April through June) brings more time for Mom to enjoy personal hobbies, and her mood was more positive across the board. There is a significant increase in social chatter as well. Not surprisingly, there was also an uptick in conversations around spring cleaning activities around the house.

For moms, Summer (July through September) means more time spent with the kids and more family activities.  As the weather gets cooler and fall (October through December) sets in, Mom has more time for herself again. And as winter approaches, holiday celebrations rise up as prominent topics for discussion in social media.

Interaction Volume By Season (360i Analysis of 100 Moms, Data: Jan. 2012 – Dec. 2012)

Social Activity

Posting Time By Season (360i Analysis of 100 Moms, Data: Jan. 2012 – Dec. 2012, N=376)

Moms are most likely to post to social networks while on-the-go (especially during the warmer months), proving the importance of mobile to her everyday life.

’On The Go’ Conversations By Season (360i Analysis of 100 Moms, Data: Jan. 2012 – Dec. 2012, N=108)

As evidenced by the chart above, vacation – with or without the family – is Mom’s time to brag, and she’ll often show that she’s enjoying her time away by sharing pictures in social media. And with less personal time in the summer, Mom escapes through exercise.

In the fall, Back-to-School and Black Friday shopping excursions are good excuses for Mom to discuss shopping in crowds on social. But as the year winds down, Mom finds more time for herself and for the parties she wishes to attend.

The second-most popular place moms share from is their own home, though often times they will be multi-tasking while they do so. These tasks most often involve cooking dinner or posting pictures of her kids in the moment. The takeaway: moms’ activities within the house are sometimes just as hectic as those that take place while on-the-go.

Our research also unearthed seasonal trends with regards to moms’ choice activities throughout the year. For example, movies are most popular in winter, whereas scripted TV programs are more popular in the spring and reality TV dominates chatter during the summer.

Branded Conversation

While there did not appear to be any brands particularly reoccurring throughout the research, there were certain types of brands that dominated conversation. On family vacations, moms were most likely to talk about entertainment, including movies, theme parks, etc. and food & beverages. Also found was that overall branded conversations are higher in the winter, while brand specific mentions were highest in the summer.

Branded Conversation By Season (360i Analysis of 100 Moms, Data: Jan. 2012 – Dec. 2012, N=176)

Hobbies & Family Fun

Hobbies & Family Fun By Season (360i Analysis of 100 Moms, Data: Jan. 2012 – Dec. 2012, N=300)

As mentioned, Mom’s time with the family takes priority, but in the spring, and especially in the fall, Mom finds more time for herself and the things she loves. As the winter and summer seasons include more school breaks for her kids, Mom’s focus turns to entertaining them. But when the kids aren’t around as much, Mom finds opportunities to make more time for herself. Emotion Drivers

Conversation By Emotion (360i Analysis of 100 Moms, Data: Jan. 2012 – Dec. 2012)

In our research, we noticed that emotions did not vary too drastically throughout the seasons, so instead we took a closer look into what drove the positive and negative emotions during the course of the year. We found that positive emotions were overwhelmingly driven by family activities and food & drink, namely cooking or sharing meals with the family. Negative emotions stemmed from the lack of quiet, or ‘me time,’ that Mom was able to experience as well as around the subject of politics or sharing her reaction to social issues.

Marketer Implications

Personalize your content to what Mom’s needs are. When creating content in the social space, especially Twitter, think about what Mom’s attitude is focused on that season. If all her energy is focused on her kids, as it is in the winter and summer, then tailoring content to empathizing with her schedule may help brands better connect with Mom.  When her energy is back to being focused on her, in the spring and fall, be there to help her celebrate her ‘me time.’  When marketers align with Mom’s priorities they are more likely to be casting a message with which she’ll want to connect.

Know how your consumer uses Twitter. If we were to take this same group of moms and examine their conversations on Facebook we would most likely get completely different results. Marketers should be mindful of how consumers use social platforms differently and cater their content to how the user interacts on that specific platform. For Mom, Twitter is an outlet for her personal interests and activity logging, but her Facebook personality may be very different.

*****

Mom is busy year round, and even though she puts her family first, she finds ways to make time for herself as well. The thing to remember is that Mom’s Twitter personality is all her own. She may be a  mom, but she is also someone who loves girls’ nights out and a glass or two of wine. She posts a lot pictures of her kids, but also of things that she loves to do.

Mom always has relevancy for brands in her life, but she doesn’t always have the time to converse with them on Twitter. Knowing what is important to her—and when it is important—can help create better, more meaningful interactions to which Mom is more likely to pay attention.

Cover photo via Fine Art America