18% of Social Media Moms = 78% of Influence

Yesterday, I posted the highlights of an intriguing study just out from BabyCenter.  Today, some more details…

The study maintains that there are five unique segments of social moms and that these five are broken down into two categories

Influencers: Field Experts, Lifecasters and Pros

Influenced: Butterflies and the Audience 

According to the study,  these Influencers make up only 18% of social moms, but account for 78% of the influence. The research defined influence based on how often moms post or comment on social networks, along with the size of their networks. The study defined those networks as including “e.g., BabyCenter, Twitter, Facebook or blogs.”

Following is a summary of how BabyCenter breaks down its categories:

Field Expert. A young stay at home mom who uses social media to share parenting advice, typically  focused on a specific topic (e.g.,  raising twins, breastfeeding issues), with a large network of moms who seek her out for advice. She is defined as being most active in “parenting-focused social media environments.” According to the study, Field Experts make up 8% of social moms and have a 33% share of influence overall.

Lifecaster. A Millennial mom  of young children who is very active in social media.  She has a strong need to stay connected and enjoys being recognized as the person to go to on many topics, not just parenting. She has a large number of connections in social media.  Lifecasters make up 8% of social moms and 34% percent of influence overall.

Pros. Gen X mom bloggers who have turned their passion for social media into a profession. “She posts opinions and advice on a wide variety of topics including parenting tips and product reviews and giveaways.” Often, she has been compensated in some way for writing about brands on her blog. Pros represent 2% of moms in social media and have an 11% share of influence overall.  BabyCenter explains: “While they are incredibly influential individually, they account for a lower proportion of the influence overall due to their small size.” Pros are most influential on blogs, where they have an 89% share of influence and on Twitter with 68%.

And who are the Influenced?

Butterflies. Young professionals expecting their first child. She  has a lot of friends online and off, but little time, so  she tends to only post  important updates and primarily uses platforms such as Facebook.  She also seeks advice about her pregnancy on parenting-focused social media networks. She tends to be more on the receiving end of advice and recommendations rather than a dispenser of such information. Butterflies represent 16% of moms in social media but only wield 7% of the influence overall because of their low level of activity.

 The Audience. This, the largest group of social moms, is listening to the other moms. This group ranges from expectant moms to moms of older children. They have fewer online friends and comment less frequently in social media, but are highly influenced by the other segments. “Moms in this group use parenting-focused social media environments…to find useful information, ask questions, get product recommendations or receive support. They use mainstream social sites to keep in touch with friends and for consuming entertainment. They are there to observe and obtain information – not to comment.” At 66% percent of moms who use social media, the audience makes up the largest group but wields little influence relative to their size at 15% overall.

Moms, do you feel these categories make sense? Into which group do you fall? Marketers, what is your reaction?

 For more details on the “2010 Mom Social Influencer Report,” visit here.