By Guest Blogger, Donna DeClemente, Donna's Promo Talk
A couple of weeks ago I wrote this post on Part 1 of the "Digital Mom" study conducted by Razorfish and CafeMom. They surveyed 1,500 online moms who are reported users of at least two Web 2.0 technologies and have actively researched or purchased online within the last three months. Part 1 told us about the ways moms are consuming media and the range of emerging technologies they have embraced. Most of the findings fortify what we already know, so it's great to have some third-party findings to back them up.
Now Part 2 deals mostly with Connecting with Moms through social networks and an overview of the five core segments of socially connected moms that they have profiled that represent a diverse mix of varied life experiences, values and motivations. For this part of the survey a random sample of CafeMom active users were asked to complete an in-depth survey in which these key findings are based on 1,740 members who completed it.
Moms today are spending more time on the Internet and dedicating an increasing share of that online time to social networks than ever before. The majority of moms indicated that their use of the Internet has increased over the last 24 months, and that this increase in web usage has come at the expense of traditional media. Moms reported spending 18.5 hours per week online, including an average of 8.1 hours on the social networking site CafeMom.
Four out of five moms said social networks have had a positive impact on their lives. Some of the most valuable benefits cited include staying in touch with people they know, connecting with others like themselves that they do not yet know, expressing themselves, having fun, as well as getting information and advice on a wide range of topics from parenting concerns to purchasing decisions.
Once on a social network these moms are not just passive consumers reading blogs and viewing others’ profile pages but are increasingly becoming active participants. They can be found blogging, photo sharing, designing personal profile pages, chatting with others, engaging in group discussions, and playing games, as well as initiating new online friendships and building communities based on interests.
The report then states that moms on social networks are not a homogeneous group. They of course represent a diverse range of demographic and social characteristics. Here are the five core segments and an abbreviated version of the profile descriptions that make up the socially networked moms of today. Can you pick which one you are? Perhaps a combination of some?
The Self Expressor - 40% of CafeMom Sample
Typically in her early thirties, a mom of a preschooler and considering expanding her family, the Self Expressor is outgoing and eager to chat with other moms—particularly about parenting and shopping related matters. She is the second most educated of the segments—most likely having attended some college—and equally likely to be a stay at home mom as be employed.
She is very social and has an above average number of online friends in her network already and continues to reach out to initiate new online friendships, more so than any other segment. She enjoys organizing and beautifying her personal profile page to reflect her own unique style and includes many photos, a personal audio playlist and widgets. She is also generous in responding to polls, and prefers the structured, efficient interaction these areas provide to completely free form conversation and blogging.
The Utility Mom - 25% of CafeMom Sample
Typically in her mid to late thirties and raising school age tweens, she has the most children at home of all the segments, yet spends more time online and on her mom social network each week than any other group. She uses her social network for both purposeful and recreational uses, to help her stay in touch with people and to also monitor her children who are spending more time online themselves.
She's more introverted and less inherently social. She likes to join online groups such as local school groups or other groups providing practical information, yet is not a frequent contributor to the conversation. She enjoys the widgets on her profile page, especially games and quizzes she can play on a regular basis whenever convenient. She will answer other moms’ poll questions, but won't create and post any poll questions of her own. She is reluctant to upload and share photos therefore has the lowest number of photos of any segment.
The Groupster - 12% of CafeMom Sample
This group has a friend base on par with the average, but she doesn't take the initiative to invite friends therefore she receives more online friend invitations than she sends. She does however interact with a fairly wide circle of online acquaintances. She also appreciates opportunities for 1:1 communication with those in her social sphere, and ranks the highest for sending private messages.
She is a very active member of the online mom community. She joins more groups than any other segment, and is the most likely to start a new group. She generously contributes to online forums, blogs often, and asks and answers questions. She is not inclined to share photos or respond to poll questions.
The Infoseeker - 12% of CafeMom Sample
Typically in her late twenties and often with a young baby, either her first or in addition to her toddler. She is among the best educated of the segments, and is most likely to be a stay at home mom. She is hungry for information on parenting-related topics and products since she has a newborn at home.
Friends are by far the most valued channel for parenting advice and next is from online parents in similar circumstances. While she has joined a mom social network, her number of online friends is not very extensive., and she's more interested in extending her personal sources of parenting advice and product information. She enjoys reading blogs, not writing or posting comment or taking polls. She likes to view others’ photos and is comfortable uploading photos and sharing images of her new baby online.
The Hyperconnector - 9% of CafeMom Sample
Typically in her 40's who is working while raising teens at home. She is no longer seeking parenting information and advice but is looking more to chat with others like her and hear the latest opinions on products. She uses social networks to keep tabs on her socially active teen through other social networks to help monitor their interests and behavior. Her friend network is a trusted resource for both advice and purchasing decisions, and she values this channel she more than expert reviews, articles or advertising.
She is highly social, has a large friend base, a strong network of existing mom friends and adds people as she encounters them on various social networks. She connects frequently with others through writing blogs she and private messages. She enjoys free flowing conversational areas and responds to open ended journal questions, commenting on others’ posts rather than responding to multiple choice polls or specific member questions. The more visual aspects of expressing herself online are not as important to her; she under indexes dramatically on sharing photos and customizing her profile page.