Takeaways from Chicago’s Social Media Strategies Summit

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Last week, The Motherhood attended the Social Media Strategies Summit in Chicago, where industry leaders shared strategies, trends and great examples of social media at work.

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Read on for some of our top takeaways from the event:

Start by Listening

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One of the most prevalent themes of the summit was listening. As Dan Soschin, Vice President of Marketing at The Ultimate Medical Academy, said during his session on effective customer service: “Every good conversation starts with listening.”

Whether you’re building your corporate or personal brand, looking for the next great campaign idea or trying to resolve a customer dispute, active listening via social can help you understand your industry’s landscape and develop the right strategy for engaging in a conversation (or knowing when to keep quiet).

Some helpful (and free) social listening tools include IceRocketHootSuite and TweetDeck, and even good, old-fashioned Google search and alerts.

Not sure what to listen for? Put yourself in the mindset of your customer by taking the time to create a journey map (check out this article for more). This exercise can uncover listening terms, new opportunities and avenues for engaging with your audience and insights on how your audience interacts–or how they want to interact–with you and your competitors.

Shape Your Content

The Clorox Company shared a shining example of how listening can effectively shape content strategy during the Summit. Wanting to engage millennials, the company keyed in to that audience’s online behaviors, and also the white space where their company could fill the void. Their insights led them to build Gather, a destination for millennials to get and share ideas for social gatherings, inspired by life stages and what’s trending. In six weeks alone, the site generated more than 428,000 impressions.

Laura Wilson, Director of Digital Engagement & Social Media at Georgetown University, also shared some helpful tips on sharing stories that stick:

  • Always stay authentic to your brand and voice.
  • Keep it simple.
  • Ensure it has structure. If something doesn’t add to your story, it detracts from it.
  • Focus on making a connection and a memory.
  • Create stories with the intention of involving others, so that their interaction becomes part of the overall story (and results in sharing).

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 10.15.34 AMTwitter’s own Gina Ballenger said to “create repeatable brilliance.” If you’ve found a format or a theme that resonates with your audience, build on that by repeating it and turning it into an episodic series.

“Content is King, but Distribution is Queen and She Wears the Pants.”

With so many social media platforms, and more inevitably emerging, it can be overwhelming to know where to communicate what. It’s true that the right distribution is integral to any social strategy, but as many speakers affirmed, you don’t need to be all things to all people.

So what works?

Leveraging the power of social stars (like The Motherhood’s network of incredible online influencers!) is key. When it comes to working with ideal influencers to carry your message, Ballenger made a great point that our team passionately agrees with: instead of looking solely at their reach, choose target-right stars who resonate with your audience.

Andrea Leitch, National Geographic Travel’s Digital Director, also shared what platforms work best for their content, including Instagram and Facebook. With the largest number of Instagram followers in the world for a non-celebrity account, National Geographic is clearly doing something right.

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For more takeaways from the Chicago Social Media Strategies Summit, and to stay on top of future events, follow the #SMSSummit hashtag.

 

The Motherhood Selects: LÄRABAR

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Throughout this week, The Motherhood is sharing details on products our team loves and uses as part of our first The Motherhood Selects program, where a select group of bloggers receives a #TMSelects package containing four favorite products as chosen by our team. You can read more about the new program in Monday’s blog post.

One of the brands chosen for the first #TMSelects package was LÄRABAR, the Original Fruit & Nut Bars, and we included an assortment of flavors for the recipients to sample.

When The Motherhood team member Nicole began following a gluten-free diet, she purchased different snack bars from the grocery store to try every week. As soon as she took her first bite of LÄRABAR, she was hooked! You’ll almost always find a Blueberry Muffin LÄRABAR in her purse or on her desk. She recently discovered that a few other members of The Motherhood are LÄRABAR fans, which is why we just had to include the brand in this line-up of our favorite products.

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Because of the minimally processed raw ingredients, LÄRABAR Original Fruit & Nut Bars cater to many people with special diets, even beyond gluten-free, including soy-free, raw and vegan diets (make sure to read the nutrition label, as some of the other LÄRABAR line products don’t fall in these categories). Anyone who follows a special diet knows how difficult it can be to find snacks you actually enjoy and can take with you wherever you go. If that’s you, LÄRABAR products could be the perfect solution.

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Each of the LÄRABAR Original Fruit & Nut Bars contains no more than nine natural ingredients! Take a look at the Banana Bread flavor, for example; it’s made with almonds, dates and unsweetened bananas. That’s it!

Speaking of flavors, you must check out their variety of flavors! Some of our team’s favorites include Cherry Pie, Key Lime Pie and Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough.

Have you tried LÄRABAR products? What’s your favorite bar?

The Motherhood Selects: EOS Lip Balm

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The Motherhood introduced The Motherhood Selects Program (#TMSelects) yesterday, an exclusive program featuring products that The Motherhood team members personally love and use. Through this program, The Motherhood will share a few of our favorite things with a select group of influential bloggers during special moments throughout the year.

It’s all about sharing our love for brands, products and services we can’t get enough of, and passing that love along to fantastic bloggers in our network!

The #TMSelects package each blogger has received contains four products selected by folks on our team. One that was a crowd favorite, with a simultaneous nomination from many of us, was EOS lip balm!

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We all noticed our mutual love for the uniquely packaged lip balm when we looked around on a Monday morning during our team meeting and noticed so many of us had carried our lip balm into the meeting and plopped it onto the table next to our coffee mugs, notebooks and cell phones. Immediately, we laughed and started talking about our obsession over the lip balm and each of our favorite flavors.

We were quick to agree on nominating EOS for #TMSelects, as our entire team shares the love for this recognizable lip balm. Look in our purses, our cars, on our night stands, on our desks… just about anywhere you look, you’ll find a stash of EOS. We can’t get enough of the stuff!

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From our desks and cars, to our purses and gym bags, The Motherhood carries our love for EOS lip balm nearly everywhere!

EOS lip balm is paraben-free, petrolatum-free and phthalate-free, so there’s a lot to love about the sphere-shaped balm.

Right now, we’re excited about the limited-edition spring two-pack, and we’re also pumped about the Lemon Drop variety with SPF 15.

Are you an EOS lip balm lover? What’s your favorite kind?

The Motherhood Introduces “The Motherhood Selects” Program! #TMSelects

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In the fall of 2014, The Motherhood team gathered at our headquarters in Pittsburgh, PA to discuss our successes of the year, as well as what we wanted to achieve in the new year to continue to grow our strong community.

During that discussion, we started a sidebar conversation about how fortunate we are to be introduced to so many great products and brands through our work, and we tossed around the idea of sharing our personal favorites with valued friends in our network.

The idea of connecting our community with some of our favorite brands – the ones we personally use and love, outside of specific client programming and for the sole reason of sharing the love – fueled every one of us to think bigger about how we could make this happen.

It was then that The Motherhood Selects was born.

We’re elated to bring you the first-ever #TMSelects Program, introducing four beloved brands that our team internally nominated for recognition. Receiving our inaugural #TMSelects packages, filled with these favorite products, are ten bloggers we nominated from among our many respected, professional and loyal influencers.

From start to finish, this project has been hand crafted by our team. From our handmade boxes (check out our screen printing skills!) and custom designed packaging, we’ve truly personalized every part of this project.

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The Motherhood team screen printed every box for #TMSelects and customized each package that was sent out as part of this program!

Alongside the hand-selected products, we’ve also included a few things from our team, including a hand-drawn, one-of-a-kind piece of artwork by The Motherhood’s Art Director.There were only ten of these created, and each of the 10 recipients of #TMSelects will receive one, which is inspired by the custom artwork that was created just for our office. We wanted to share a piece of us with each of our #TMSelects recipients, and we thought this was the perfect way to do so!

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Stretch, The Motherhood’s Art Director, created hand-drawn artwork for each of our #TMSelects Recipients, inspired by the very canvases he created for our office.

Brands and products awarded a spot in the May 2015 #TMSelects program include:

EOS Lip Balm – When Brittney and Brittnee simultaneously nominated EOS, the entire staff at The Motherhood quickly jumped in to agree (while pulling their favorite flavors of EOS out of purses and work bags). Each #TMSelects package includes a sample of one of the newest EOS Lip Balm flavors! Check The Motherhood’s blog on May 5 to learn more about the entire team’s admitted obsession with the lip balm known for the evolution of smooth.

S’well Bottle – It was during our fall meeting that Emily gifted our entire team with S’well bottles in The Motherhood’s signature blue color! She shared how much she loved this brand, not only because they offer a great product, but because they also give back every step of the way. Each #TMSelects package includes a S’well bottle, which keeps drinks cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours. Check The Motherhood’s blog on May 9 to learn more about S’well and why they were Emily’s top choice for #TMSelects, and now a favorite of everyone at The Motherhood.

Wild Explorers – Shortly after discovering an old high school friend’s new endeavor – handmade kids’ moccasins – Brittnee was eager to learn more (especially with her little one on the way) and introduce the brand and soft-soled moccasins to friends and co-workers. After making the recommendation to Brittney, who quickly checked out a pair of the handmade shoes for her daughter Emmy, we all swooned at the quality of craftsmanship and super smooth, quality leather. Check The Motherhood’s blog on May 7 to learn more about Wild Explorers!

LÄRABAR – When we talked about products we simply can’t live without, Nicole’s immediate response was, “LÄRABAR!” With both gluten and dairy intolerances, Nicole is always thrilled to find a product she’s not only able to eat, but also tastes great. She introduced many members of our team to LÄRABAR, touting their variety of flavors and clean ingredients.  Check The Motherhood’s blog on May 6 to learn more!

We’re so excited to recognize these outstanding brands and bloggers, and thrilled to be able to do it in such a personal, authentic way! We look forward to the next #TMSelects announcement in late 2015!

How to Reach Influential Moms Online

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Moms rule social media. It’s that simple.

So, how do brands reach moms on these various platforms? Through other moms, of course!

According to a study conducted by The Motherhood, in partnership with University of Pittsburgh Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence and the University of Pittsburgh Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business, more than half (56 percent) of moms view social networks as a good source of information, and 42 percent make purchases based on recommendations from social networks.

With that in mind, it’s never been more critical for brands to connect directly with influential moms in order to tap this broad consumer audience of fellow moms who are making the majority of household purchases.

A few tips to get you started:

1. Focus on a personalized pitch

Bloggers are always being contacted by brands and agencies looking to work with them. As we recently reported, bloggers also dislike being referred to by marketers as mommy bloggers, so your pitch should be careful not to pigeonhole moms with this term. It’s also important to know about a blogger’s lifestyle, interests and preferences before you ask them to write content for your brand. Bloggers are often turned off by generic, impersonal pitches that don’t speak to their blog’s overarching theme, topic or tone. Before you reach out to an influential mom online, take some time to get to know her blog to see if your brand and/or similar brands have been discussed previously. Take note of the writing style and language a blogger uses and make sure it is aligned with your product or brand messaging. Finding a personal connection between your brand and a blogger is a great way to cultivate a new relationship, and in turn, can create authentic, meaningful dialogue for your brand among moms online.

2.  Pay attention to social media

Moms are an active and savvy group on social media. It’s important to know what is being said on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram before you approach a blogger to represent your brand or organization. See if the blogger has mentioned your brand on social and don’t be afraid to engage with them in a genuine, two-way conversation. You can also use social media to understand what type of brand work a blogger is comfortable with, because many may specialize in a particular social channel. Do they regularly participate as co-hosts in Twitter parties for brands? Do they host Facebook or Pinterest contests and giveaways? Do they have experience as brand ambassadors? Navigating through social media activity is a great way to find influential moms online who are the right bloggers for your brand.

3. Contact a blogger network

Social media marketing companies with strong blogger networks like The Motherhood provide a huge advantage for brands and companies looking to find influential moms online to represent them and reach their target audiences. The Motherhood has created hundreds of meaningful opportunities for brands, organizations and influencers to develop relationships and exceptional online content that make a difference. High-touch, strategic blogger campaigns can help drive engagement, increase sales, build reputations, provide insights, generate rich, searchable online content that lives on and spark deep loyalty among your most important constituency – moms. The Motherhood’s proprietary database is filled with top bloggers in all areas of expertise – moms, food, fashion, tech, DIY, millennials, you name it – and we have the ability to narrow in and customize the most influential and meaningful campaign for your brand.

Interested in learning more? Check out TheMotherhood.com or contact us here.

Join Us for a Twitter Chat Series on the Journey to Parenthood

The journey to parenthood can be difficult, particularly if you’re one of the 7.3 million couples in the U.S. having trouble conceiving. If you’re not experiencing difficulty yourself, you likely know someone who is. Fertility troubles are an all-too-common issue–one that we are honored to discuss in partnership with The Stork OTC, an at-home option that could bring hope to many who are wishing to start or add to their families.

The Stork OTC is a drug-free conception aid that offers a relaxed and private way of conceiving at home using new technology based on cervical cap insemination. It’s a sensible option that puts you in control, and is FDA-cleared for home-use without a prescription, optimizing your chances of conceiving this month.

Everyone experiences a unique path to parenthood, and different approaches work for different people. We warmly invite you to join us to share your story, support others and hear more about how you can take charge of planning your family in the privacy of your own home.

In partnership with The Stork OTC, The Motherhood is hosting a series of mini chats held on Twitter throughout 2015. We’ll use the hashtag #TheStorkOTC to exchange ideas, information and support for all those on the journey to parenthood. Check out the list of topics below and be sure to mark your calendar so you can join us! You can also bookmark http://vite.io/thestorkOTC and share the link with others who may benefit from these informative and supportive conversations.

 

Journey to Parenthood

 

Blogger Spotlight Series: Trey, Daddy Mojo

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The Motherhood is made up of some of the country’s smartest, most influential and inspirational moms… and dads!

This month, we’re excited to feature one of our favorite dads, Trey of Daddy Mojo. Check out his Blogger Spotlight below and give Trey a shout out at @DaddyMojo!

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The Motherhood and The Stork OTC Reach 57 Million with New, At-Home Option for Those Trying to Conceive

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Today, approximately 7.3 million pairs of would-be parents (1 in 6 couples) in the U.S. have difficulty conceiving, and most treatments are slow, invasive and costly. To help address this widespread issue, Rinovum Women’s Health, approached The Motherhood about a partnership to bring attention to the new over-the-counter availability of a product called The Stork OTC conception aid, a less invasive, less expensive treatment option for those trying to conceive (previously only available via prescription).
We engaged a team of 30 bloggers comprised of moms who experienced difficulty conceiving and could offer a personal perspective or had a special interest in writing about fertility and sharing options with their readers. In partnership with the team of talented bloggers, The Motherhood executed a three-phased blog tour that generated a collection of meaningful blog posts and created a robust dialogue about infertility.
The Motherhood also produced and hosted two one-hour Twitter chats: one to help build awareness as soon as The Stork OTC appeared on store shelves and online, and one later in the program to continue momentum.
The program resulted in more than 57 million impressions from 34 blog posts and more than 8,000 social media posts. The final month of the campaign alone generated more than 5,000 unique website visits from one single blogger, with more than 16% of those visitors prompting online retailers to sellout of the devices within 24 hours.

The Motherhood is at Mom 2.0 Summit this week!

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The Motherhood is off to the (sold-out!) Mom 2.0 Summit this week in Scottsdale, AZ! If you’ll be there, connect with our on-site team members Cooper, Erin and Brittney on Twitter:

The Motherhood (@theMotherhood)

Cooper (@CooperMunroe)

Erin (@eolson426)

Brittney (@brittney_coburn)

Mom 2.0 Summit is an annual conference for bloggers and entrepreneurs to discover and chat about the latest trends online, as well as gain the skills that will help take them to the next level of their careers. Sessions throughout cover topics like partnering with brands, design skills, storytelling and much more! We’ll be absorbing it all and sharing a recap of our key learnings following the conference.

This year’s summit is hosted by Dove, and they’re inviting Mom 2.0 2015 participants to tell their own #beautystory to inspire the next generation of storytellers. Whether you’re attending the conference or not, we encourage you to watch for online conversations from the summit as women use the hashtags #Mom2Summit and #BeautyStory on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to connect throughout the conference and honor those who have taught them beautiful life lessons.

In addition to keeping our ears to the ground for good storytelling practices and new marketing trends, we are excited to meet old – and new – friends! If you’ll be on hand, use the above handles to tweet at us. We’d love to meet up with you.

The Motherhood and The March of Dimes Ask: What Were You & Your Children Born to Do?

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Did you know that every minute in the United States, a baby is born prematurely? Worldwide, 15 million babies are born too soon each year. Even if babies are born just a few weeks early, they are at risk for developmental delays and medical problems.

These are just a few of the reasons why The Motherhood is honored to be working with the March of Dimes and their imbornto initiative, which supports the organization’s mission of saving babies and helping all moms have healthy, full-term pregnancies.

The Motherhood has assembled a team of fantastic bloggers – 39 mom bloggers (representing the length of a healthy full-term pregnancy) and 12 dad bloggers – to get the word out on the March of Dimes #imbornto program this April, May and June. The team will share the program’s important successes and messages and their own pregnancy stories during a series of Twitter chats, in-home parties and posts on their blogs and across social media.

Thank you to the March of Dimes and the #imbornto campaign for your tremendous work to keep our little ones healthy and safe, before and after birth. With you, we are thrilled to celebrate the wonderful things all babies are born to do.

Here’s how you can support imbornto and the March of Dimes!

  • Shop for a Mother’s Day or Father’s Day gift through any of the special imbornto partners, including: A&E Jewelers, ALEX AND ANI, Bon-Ton, Blue Rhino, eBay Giving Works, Kmart, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc. and Chef Emeril Lagasse and MudPie. Each purchase will save lives. More information on each of these special partner offers is at the end of this post!
  • Join the #imbornto conversation during our Twitter chats on May 7 at 1pm ET and June 10 at 1pm ET, and tell us what you were born to do!
  • Consider making a donation to the March of Dimes to help continue the research, education and breakthroughs that help all babies and families.

Stay tuned for more updates on this wonderful initiative, and visit www.imbornto.com for more details!

The March of Dimes imbornto Partners and Special Offers

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