Seventy nine percent of all moms with children under the age of 18 are currently active in social media, according to a recent study conducted by Child’s Play Communications and the NPD Group. Clearly, social media is moms’ forum of choice for communication and information. Of those who are active in social media on a daily basis, 44% said that it has influenced their purchasing decisions. Bloggers, in particular, have an impact on how moms spend their time and money.
Influence to Initiate Change
While many brands have reached out to mom bloggers to engage their support for a cause, what’s new is that blogger-brand cause partnerships now go both ways: The women who are heavily involved in social media are increasingly recognizing that they themselves can use their influence to initiate change to help others.
Bloganthropy.org, run by blogger moms Debbie Bookstaber and Candace Lindemann, is leading the way in bringing together influential social media moms with corporations and causes. The organization, launched in 2009, is dedicated to connecting bloggers with corporate giving and PR departments, to encourage and facilitate charitable donations. It also empowers bloggers to become philanthropic leaders in their communities. Some of the top names in “mom social media” are on its board.
A Meaningful Reason for Companies to Connect With Bloggers
“We knew many bloggers who were committed to charity and to using the influence and power of social media to improve their local communities. We also understood how eager companies were to connect with bloggers, but bloggers weren’t necessarily going to write about cleaning products and new soups. In many cases, these pitches just weren’t a fit for the blog’s format or readers,” said Bookstaber.
At the same time, “Many companies have charitable programs and request blogger support, but they struggle to get their corporate giving programs mentioned on blogs.” Bloganthropy.org hoped to bring the two sides together in an effective way, in which blogger, brand and cause alike would all benefit.
Proctor and Gamble Jumps in to Sponsor Bloganthropy Award
On June 24th, 2011, Child’s Play Communications and Bloganthropy.org will present the second annual Bloganthropy Awards, a program the two organizations created together and launched last year to honor those who have raised awareness for a good cause through blogging. Procter & Gamble will sponsor the Bloganthropy Award itself – including a cash prize for the winner as well as a donation to her cause — for the second consecutive year. Other leading companies will have a presence at the Awards presentation — an official event of the Type-A Parent Conference, a popular blogger event taking place in Asheville, NC, and drawing attendees from around the country.
Katherine Stone, the blogger behind Postpartum Progress, received the first Bloganthropy Award, which was announced in August, 2010. Hers is the most widely read blog in the United States on postpartum depression and other mental illnesses related to pregnancy and childbirth. In the last year or two alone, other important bloggers, such asMommy Niri, have launched cause-focused programs. Kristine McCormick of Cora’s Story and Maggie Ginsberg-Schultz of Violence Unsilenced have used their blogs, respectively, to advocate universal screening for congenital heart defects and to shed light on domestic violence.
How Companies and Causes Can Benefit from Connecting with Mom Bloggers
I see an important trend here. Mom bloggers who have focused to date on reviewing products or talking about their personal experiences are now looking to make a greater contribution – to have real impact. Companies and causes can benefit from this movement by identifying bloggers who support a cause and contacting them directly, working through a “clearing house” such as Bloganthropy.org, or participating in events such as the Bloganthropy Awards. Once a connection is made, bloggers may simply post information one time, or work with organizations in a broader way, by hosting events to which they invite their loyal audiences or serving as ongoing spokespersons for the cause in social media.
What do you think about connecting with mom bloggers as a tool in your cause marketing arsenal? Do you have any experience, positive or negative in connecting in this way? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
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