If you’re not familiar with mommy blogs, they represent one of the hottest trends in social marketing. Today mommy bloggers are some of the most influential communicators online. Women are choosing to follow other moms online because these bloggers are writing about real-life as a mother, wife, provider, child of older parents, professional-mom, volunteer, etc. Other women are learning about how these “real women” are gaining inspiration and gathering new ideas (and at times just coping) to be incredible moms, professionals, multi-taskers and wives. In 2009, Mom bloggers were credited with fueling a variety of trends, including the Zhu Zhu hamster toy fad. Cool Mom Picks, Mamaista, GuruMommy, and many others created successful businesses off of their product reviews. Of course, mommy blogs cover a number of topics and enable mothers to connect on shared interests beyond parenting. Companies and brands like Coca-Cola, Pampers, General Mills, Frito-Lay, and Nestle have recruited mommy bloggers to write about their products.
So, are mommy blogs relevant to healthcare? You bet they are. Mommy bloggers have been actively writing about their healthcare experiences – sharing information about their trips to the pediatrician and their experiences with local hospitals. It is a reality. These mommy bloggers have a voice, and they are using it to talk healthcare, among other things. So how do you get involved? The first step is to track these conversations. Be aware. A second step is to engage the bloggers. A third step, and one I really like, is to proactively create a forum of your own where moms can come and share information with one another.
Recently, two of my firm’s clients have come together to do just that. Lowell General Hospital and Floating Hospital for Children at Tufts Medical Center have created the “Merrimack Valley Moms” blog. It’s a brand new blog designed to facilitate information sharing and conversations between area moms. Several of the bloggers will be chosen from the community based on the quality of the posts they submit on Lowell General’s Facebook page. There’s a contest currently underway to select the bloggers. The submissions can be written narratives or videos. An additional four bloggers will be chosen from the ranks of Lowell General Hospital’s employees. Although healthcare information will definitely be shared through the blog, most of the posts will deal with topics outside of healthcare: family friendly restaurants and movies, childcare, community events, etc. If it is interesting to moms, there’s a home for it on the blog. Right now we’re just in the phase where we’re recruiting the bloggers, and we expect posts to start appearing in early June! You can check out the “soon-to-be” Merrimack Valley Moms blog at www.mvmoms.com. A month from now there will be profiles of the actual mommy bloggers, along with their inaugural posts.
If you want to learn more about the trend, some of the top mommy blogs out there are:
- http://www.dooce.com/ – check out this NY Times article about women marketing to women. It features Heather Armstrong and her blog – http://tinyurl.com/2wuc3v2.
- http://www.dealwisemommy.net/ – Ranked #1 by TopMommyBlogs.com
- http://themommyblog.net/ – The Mommy Blog is written by Melinda Roberts and is definitely among the best
And the list could go on forever. There are lots of moms speaking to one another online! Is your organization taking part in the conversation?
Post by Dan Dunlop, The Healthcare Marketer