Each demographic of travelers is different in how they prepare for a trip, where they go, and how they decide to get there. The online world is greatly affecting the way we reach these demographics. We recently posted about how to engage your senior travelers who have started using social media. Now let’s talk about moms. Moms are significant in the social media scene, and many are either using blogs as a source or blogging themselves. Looking for some insight? Wondering how this is influencing the travel industry? Interesting in possible approaches to reach them? Then read on, because that is the topic of this post.
THE SOCIAL STATS
Here are some statistics* on how moms are accessing social media:
- In the U.S., nearly 28 million moms are on social networks. This represents over 80% of all women with children under 18 in their household.
- Over seven in 10 moms have a profile on Facebook.
- On average, moms check their Facebook page 4.7 times a day, which is more than overall Facebook users and over twice as much as dads.
- Over 1/3 of moms have over 300 Facebook friends, with the average being 255.
- Six in 10 moms “like” brands on Facebook, which is 13% higher than the TOTAL online population.
So we understand that moms are using social media. But why is that important for you as a travel company? It is because of the types of tasks moms typically take care of, the way they are using social media to do them, and the way they are influencing OTHERS in their tasks.
MOM THE INFLUENCER
Moms are huge influencers of consumer purchasing and their opinions hold a lot of weight with other moms. Statistics support that, commonly, moms are the ones who do the buying and planning for the family. Moms on social networks make up 60% of adults who plan to buy a home in the next year, over 50% of the market’s planned furniture buyers, and nearly 50% of all adults who plan to buy a vehicle in the next year. They also control over 2 trillion in consumer spending each year.
Additionally, moms are not just huge influencers in the buying and planning of home purchases for the family, but also travel decisions. Mother always knows best, right? Visit Orlando has highlighted that moms commonly pick where the family vacations – planning where the money is best spent for the family’s enjoyment. For somewhere such as Orlando, a city FILLED with family-oriented travel experiences, it makes sense that Visit Orlando has reported on this, and that moms compose a huge market segment for Central Florida tourism and travel companies. But this is not just relevant in Central Florida; this is an important market segment for travel and tourism companies everywhere.
REVIEWS HOLD POWER
While mothers are a huge influence on the family decisions, reviews and user comments about a place, product, or brand are a big influence on them as well! Other research has proven that moms on social media pay attention to reviews and user comments (especially from other moms) when making decisions for the family. Half of online moms say that product reviews are a top social influencer of what they buy, and over 20% say online opinions from friends ALSO influence their decisions. Moms take care in analyzing what is good for their family and what is not, so positive or negative reviews can significantly impact their interaction with your product or service. This is where reviews sites like Yelp and Angie’s List are creating a huge sway in customer decisions.
It is even bigger than just how moms use social media to evaluate their planning and purchasing decisions. It is also how they influence others. Blogging is everywhere; you can find a blog on almost any topic on the internet. Moms are no exception from those that blog, and many are pretty darn good at it! While originally just a web diary of events, blogs have evolved to extremely detailed and informative sources. Nearly 40% of moms say that blogs and online opinions are chief social influencers.
Typically, mom bloggers write about their experiences with things and situations that they encounter. Here are some of the statistics:
- Mom bloggers are those who have an average of $84,000 household income.
- 81% update their blogs once a week.
- 75% use Twitter to promote and share their blogs.
- 92% blog from smartphones or other mobile devices.
Mom blogs have also grown in influence. Today, 72% of them are being taken much more seriously than a year back, and because of this more than half of them have been reached by brands and asked to blog about the brand. It is now more than just a chance to share an opinion; it is an income source. The content amount and quality has now increased. Take momsguidetotravel.com for example. This is a mother that blogs all about travel with kids. She creates in depth posts, in different mediums, and with quality content, making her a significant influence on other moms when deciding where and how to travel.
With the social media and online evolution, there are new rules emerging in how to reach this high power audience – moms. Here are some general approaches for companies on ways to possibly engage them.
Consider the Details
When targeting to social or blogging moms, make sure you think about WHICH mom you are trying to reach. Mom’s habits change with the age of her children. There is also a difference between moms from different generations – Gen Y versus Gen X versus Baby Boomers. This is something to keep in mind; consider her age, her education, her lifestyle, and the age of her children. All of these influence the type of travel activities the family engages in. Decipher which moms you are trying to reach FIRST, and then strategize from there.
According to a SOAM report, 44% of moms are significantly utilizing their smartphones. On their smartphones 61% look up locations and hours, 49% keep their family schedule, 49% text family and friends while shopping for input, 31% use online coupons from the phone, and 18% use QR codes. This creates a lot of opportunities for marketers in travel to tap into mobile uses and connect to busy moms. From this insight, what mobile techniques would efficiently connect you to your target “mom” audience? Having information at her fingertips, a mom’s smartphone easily becomes like another appendage, so strongly consider ways to reach your company or brand out through this medium.
The stats showed it: moms are social, there is nothing new about it, and they are using it to its best efficiency. Make sure you are there on those social networks. Facebook is a good source for people to get an inside look at your brand. If moms “like” companies more than all other users and if they truly look to each other for reviews and recommendations, a strong Facebook strategy can be very beneficial for this target audience. Is a downloadable coupon a good idea for your company? Be sure to open up your page for people to comment on things and post to your wall. You may think that keeping it to just posts from the company is a better idea, but outside opinion can be very influential, and it also increases your exposure through those peoples’ feeds.
Consider Pinterest as well. Pinterest is one of the biggest social network influences for products and services. One of the best ways to portray your brand is by showing it. Pinterest provides an easy flowing method of sharing what and who your brand is and linking them straight to more information. For travel companies – show off the city you are in, give travel ideas that involve using your company, show off your products or services, share images of people USING them, and try to relay the dynamics of what you offer. When a mom goes to check out her friend’s Pinterest page and sees she’s re-pinned your content, she may consider you more than your competition. Also re-pin THEIR images. Social media is about being social, not just spitting information out – re-pin images, re-tweet posts, reply to Facebook comments, and be social!
Expose Positive Reviews
With reviews meaning so much, you want to make sure you have some. Do you have testimonials or product reviews on your website? Have you claimed and utilized your page on Yelp, Angie’s List, and others? Consider using free tools from sites such as GetListed.org and Yext.com to see where you are lists. Check if your information is correct and see what people are saying. Social and online reputation management is really important, and you should be aware of where people are talking about your company. If your listings have no reviews, consider a social strategy that connects and highlights some of these listing sites. This can allow current customers the easy access opportunity to say something nice about your company.
Building up your profiles on those review sites by providing service or product information and pictures instead of just your company name and address, can help these moms learn more about your company as they read the reviews. Often, people search by type of product or service instead of by company, so make sure you are listed and have some details available when they do! Also consider listing sites specific to your industry and industry segment. Look for travel and tourism sites that list and recommend companies. Reach out to them. If you are a restaurant, make sure you are looking to be mentioned, reviewed, and listed on food and dining websites, whether a large site, or local.
Reach out to Mom Bloggers
Considering the influence of mom bloggers and their dedication to providing information, try to reach out and see if you can connect to enhance word of mouth marketing for your company. Be sure to consider which mom bloggers reach your target demographics. Also keep in mind that you should try to develop long-term relations with them, rather than just request a single post. The impact of a single post is only briefly beneficial, but a long-term relationship can help keep you exposed to that audience. What ways could you do that with your company? Are there periodic offers you can make? Can you offer to share press releases and “exclusive” insight?
While each demographic and the way they interact with your company socially and online is complex, we are slowing seeing more and more statistics and data providing insight. Travel decisions are very important to the family, so hopefully some of this information can help guide in reaching this particular market – the moms.
And don’t forget: they are well-informed influencers, so when trying to engage them keep in mind to consider their details, go mobile, be social, expose positive reviews, and reach out to mom bloggers.
*All statistical data was gathered from Orlando Sentinel reports, a Nielsen report, and a SOAM report..