Highlights from PR News’ Big 4 Conference #Social16


This week, PR News held its Big 4 Social Media Summit & Visual Storytelling Boot Camp (#Social16), where agencies and brand representatives gathered to discuss ways to make their messages stand out on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and Twitter.

The Motherhood’s social listening team followed along with the online conversation and rounded up some interesting takeaways from the event!

  • David Kellis from Clorox asserted that organic social media is dead (with the possible exception of Twitter influencers), and that brands must use strategies like earned media outreach, influencer marketing and social media listening to effectively reach their audiences. Social media listening, in particular, is what he called the “most important use of social media that we have.” It is a data mine for insights, ideas and input on areas of interest.

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  • David Landis (Landis Communications) and James Mowdy (BSPOKE) explained how to maximize Periscope, including some best practices:

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  • When it comes to sharing information – whether it’s a social post, video or longer-form messaging – Paul Englert with @CKMondaviWines reminds us to be concise!

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  • PR News shared a summary of its four data visualization takeaways for creating infographics. The takeaways mirror the top-note themes from the event, such as keeping infographics concise and distilling the information in them into a simple story.
  • Stephanie Elsea with the American Heart Association shared the “rule of thirds” via this visual as a way to balance social media promotion:

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  • PwC’s Leslie Douglas shared an interesting tidbit for brands interested in exploring Snapchat as a viable marketing platform: Snapchat has more than 100 million daily active users, and collectively, they watch more than 10 billion videos daily.

Were you at the event? Tell us your favorite takeaways in the comments below, and follow along with the conversation using #Social16!


Social Showdown: Instagram Stories vs. Snapchat Stories

Instagram Stories

Last week, the launch of Instagram Stories shook up the social media world, drawing immediate comparisons to Snapchat. Soon enough, everyone—from consumers to brands to bloggers—will pick a favorite.

While both platforms appear similar at first glance, there are some nuanced variations that will appeal to different audiences. The Motherhood’s social listening team took a deeper dive into the competing offerings to identify some differences between the two.

Content: Are you a Creator or a Consumer?

There are those who prefer to take a more active role in publishing content and those who more passively enjoy taking it in from their feeds.

Snapchat prioritizes content creation over consumption, whereas Instagram has long been focused on content discovery. After all, Instagram opens to a user’s feed as opposed to the camera screen, like Snapchat.

Instagram makes user discovery easier, too, by showing profiles at the top of users’ feeds. With Snapchat, users must know and search for a company or influencer’s username before following them.

For these reasons, Instagram is more brand-friendly for content publishers, such as companies and influencers interested in broadcasting messages to their audiences.

The Measurement Factor

Though Instagram is currently a more measurable platform than Snapchat (making it more appealing to brands and many bloggers), at the moment, Instagram Stories do not allow public likes or comments. Rather, users must use Instagram Direct to weigh in on a story – meaning there are no likes or comments to measure. It is possible, however, to share a picture or video clip from your story directly as a post in your feed, which then allows for engagement on that particular post, as well as encourages people to watch your story.

Instagram, like Snapchat, does offer the ability to track how many users saw a certain story, and does so in a clearly visible way. As Fast Company says, “One of the open secrets to [Instagram’s] success is that it’s trained users—through design choices like this—like watching those numbers tick up and to make decisions accordingly. So while Instagram’s viewer counter is also an eyeball icon with a number next to it, and while Instagram also shows you both a total head count and who those viewers are, it puts that information all in one place instead of making you dig for it like Snapchat does.”

This feature, combined with Instagram’s larger built-in following, is an obvious plus for brands, especially. Case in point: On the first day Instagram Stories rolled out, Nike garnered 800,000 views in 24 hours for a story the brand posted. On Snapchat, Nike’s most popular video received 66,000 views.

Feature Advantages

One immediate difference Instagram offers over Snapchat is that it clearly defines its features for the user with prompts and tips–something that appeals to those who find Snapchat too difficult to navigate.

However, Snapchat does currently have some feature advantages over Instagram, including geofilters (denoting where an image was taken) and selfie lenses, both of which provide a distinguishable reason for users to keep going back to Snapchat.

Time will tell which platform will entice more users, but for now, it seems like for brands, marketers and influencers, Instagram may have the edge over Snapchat.

We want to hear from you! Are you planning on using Instagram Stories exclusively over Snapchat (or vice versa), or do you think there are applications for both?




Client Spotlight: Powering Summer with Energizer

Energizer Campout #PoweringSummer Photo by Lisa, Between the Kids.

There’s nothing quite like nighttime during the summer, when the kids are out of school and there are endless possibilities for exploring and play. Over the past several months, The Motherhood has partnered with Energizer and a group of 30 bloggers to share inspiration for summer fun after dark and remind everyone that when you’re preparing for summertime adventures, don’t forget the batteries!

Check out The Motherhood’s #PoweringSummer Pinterest board for a variety of nighttime summer fun ideas with Energizer, and keep reading for a few great examples and tips.

Tip #1: Stock Up

Chrystal at Happy Mothering points out that “having the right supplies is the key to a fun night of games in the dark with your family. We found that Energizer lights and batteries are the perfect accessories for our summertime family activities. They have some powerful lanterns that are portable, making them great for outdoor activities like these. Their headlights are great for these activities too so you can keep your hands free. And don’t forget the spare batteries. You don’t want to be left in the dark and ruin the fun!”


Photo by Chrystal, Happy Mothering

Tip #2: Be Creative with Themed Summertime Crafts

Hands-on crafts that can become games or activities later in the evening are a great way to keep kids entertained for hours. Lauren at Arts Crafts & Family combined her kids’ fascination with shadows and her family’s love of the beach to dream up Ocean Life Shadow Puppets.

“When we are outside at night we make sure to have the Energizer® Fusion LED Folding Lantern and Energizer® Vision HD+ Focus LED Headlight with us,” she noted in her post. “The kids were fascinated with the shadows created by the lights, we thought it would be fun to come up with a craft using the lights and shadows. And since we are always dreaming of going to the beach, we thought it would be fun to make Ocean Life Shadow Puppets. It is a perfect craft for imaginative outdoor play and the entire family can get involved.”


Ocean Life Shadow Puppets

Photo by Lauren, Arts Crafts & Family

Tip #3: Enjoy Camping in the Woods or Your Own Backyard

Allison of Some the Wiser shared, “Camping is one of our favorite ways to ‘get away’ for the summer without spending a lot of money. We don’t have to go far from home, but we still get to experience a more relaxed environment, grow closer as a family, and make memories together.”

If you don’t have time for a true getaway, don’t underestimate the fun you can have in your own backyard! As Hanan from Eat. Craft. Parent. put it, “What’s great about backyard campouts is that you don’t necessarily need a campfire or even a grill, AND you have easy access to your home.”

Camille at Growing Up Gabel suggested using a fun tent when camping in the backyard, saying, “We had an outdoor teepee sitting in our garage that had never been used. I decided to put it up for our backyard camping adventure. It is an outdoor teepee but any tent will work – even a play one.”

Photo by Tiffany, Babes and Kids Review

Photo by Tiffany, Babes and Kids Review

Tip #4: Try Unusual, Educational Activities

Summertime provides an array of opportunities for teaching moments, and not just at museums.

HilLesha at To The Motherhood addressed this idea in her post – she and her family “love spelunking! Cave exploration is just as fun as it is educational. We learn a lot of about these geological wonders (i.e., caves) that nature has to offer, everything from the elusive creatures (e.g., bristly cave crayfish) and rock formations to the background history and the adventure of exploring. Spelunking often calls for equipment like headlamps like the Energizer® Vision HD + Focus LED Headlight. The Energizer® Vision HD + Focus LED Headlight features three different light modes: white spotlight, white floodlight, and red for night vision. It’s the highest performing of the Energizer vision headlights!”

Photo by HilLesha, To the Motherhood

Photo by HilLesha, To the Motherhood

Tip #5: Scavenger Hunts Aren’t Just for Daytime

Nighttime can add an element of excitement and mystery to activities typically enjoyed during the day.

For example, Jessica at Time Out with Mom “created an all-ages, fun, nighttime scavenger hunt printable and took the kids out to explore using our Energizer® powered lights,” she reported in her #PoweringSummer blog post. Her kids “had a blast! We walked through our neighborhood and searched high and low until we just about completed our list. The amount of laughter coming from them made my heart so warm. This is what summer is all about!”

Photo by Jessica, Time Out with Mom

Photo by Jessica, Time Out with Mom

We hope you’re inspired to try some of these ideas with your own family. Happy summer!


Facebook Insight Analysis: 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio

2016 Summer Olympics

We are just a few days away from the official start of the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil! As the athletes arrive in Brazil and the city ramps up for the events, you can follow along with everything Summer Olympics 2016 here.


This year’s Olympics have generated much excitement and spirited discussion. Here are five fun facts from NBC News on the 2016 Rio Olympics:

  • Rio 2016 will be the first time in Olympic history that a South American country has hosted the Games.
  • A group of athletes who have been forced to flee their countries will be allowed to compete for the first time as the Refugee Olympic Athletes team.
  • Around 10,500 athletes from 206 countries are expected to take part in 17 days of the Olympiad, competing across 306 events.
  • Golf will return to the Olympics after a 112-year absence.
  • The Rio games will be the first to feature Olympians born in the year 2000.

In the month leading up to the Olympic games, The Motherhood’s social listening team analyzed anonymous Facebook data to identify the overall trends and sentiments prior to the Opening Ceremony. Below are some of our key findings and insights:

During a one-month period, there were more than 484,000 Facebook posts in the United States alone that mentioned the 2016 Olympic Games.


Females led more than 64 percent of the conversations; however, men were more likely to share links. Of the links shared, links to YouTube videos dominated.

olympic convo gender

On a per capita basis, Oregon and Nebraska were the most involved states in the conversation, with more than five in every 1,000 people posting about the topic.


Conversation spiked around July 8 and July 10, which happened to be the dates of the track and fields trials and gymnastics trials. Knowing that, it is no surprise that the most mentioned sports were gymnastics, track and field, and swimming.


The most-used hashtags included #RoadToRio, #Rio2016 and #TeamUSA.

Olympic Hashtags

Overall, the majority sentiment for the posts was positive; however, posts also mentioning Rio de Janeiro or Brazil were more likely to be negative.


We expect to see these trends continue throughout the coverage of the 2016 Olympic Games! What CONVERSATION TRENDS about the 2016 SUmmer Olympics have you noticed in your social feed?
*All data collected from NUVI anonymous Facebook posts from 6/20/16 through 7/20/16.




Blogger Spotlight: Kathy, Kissing the Frog

“The ‘perfect mom’ doesn’t exist on my blog…”

In this month’s blogger spotlight, Kathy of Kissing the Frog shares why moms appreciate her perspective, how she found her niche (and you can too) and how inspiration just seems to find her.

Read on to learn more, and also find out what social platform intimidates her, why she starting blogging and how she really feels about “open letters.”

Check out Kissing the Frog and give Kathy a shout out at @LifeWithTheFrog!

Kissing the Frog

Want to see more?

Check out our most recent blogger spotlights, as well as our 2015 Blogger Spotlight Series.

How does the Blogger Spotlight Series work?

Each month, our internal team convenes and discusses our latest programs, stellar partnerships and top-performing influencers. It’s not about numbers, but rather, the quality, authentic content they’re delivering consistently. It’s about reliability, professionalism and partnership. We discuss our nominations for the month and ultimately decide on just one blogger to invite as our featured blogger. Stop back September 1 for the next blogger spotlight!

Advantages of Using an Influencer Marketing Agency

influencer marketing agency

Influencer marketing is a discipline that’s continuing to grow and attract brands’ attention: More than half of marketers recently surveyed have reportedly increased their budgets for influencer marketing in 2016.

This comes as no surprise, as we know that influencer marketing is one of the most effective ways to seed authentic, searchable content that drives purchase over time. The Motherhood found that 80 percent of consumers are more likely to purchase from brands they’ve read about from a trusted blogger, and additional industry data reveals that marketers who implemented an influencer marketing campaign earned an average of $6.85 in media value for every $1 they spent on paid media.

As influencer campaigns are on the rise, many brands are exploring the most effective and efficient ways to incorporate a sponsored content strategy into their overall marketing plans. One of the most critical decisions is whether a brand will manage influencer marketing in-house or through an agency. As evidenced by Google’s search history for the term “Influencer Marketing Agency,” brands are exploring their options at a record high rate.

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The Motherhood team is made up of professionals who have worked at the world’s top PR agencies, so we have a unique, first-hand understanding on how these decisions are made by brands at the firms that represent them. As a social media marketing agency that specializes in influencer marketing, we understand the power and perks of leveraging a specialty network to act as an extension of a brand’s team.

Three advantages of using an influencer marketing agency

1. Gain an expanded circle of trust. Hiring an influencer marketing agency requires that the marketer allow the agency to act as a steward of their brand — and leap of faith requires a great deal of trust. The Motherhood understands this — we’ve been on the other side! However, marketers should feel confident that hiring a credible, long-standing influencer marketing agency will offer a level of expertise and reliability that expands far beyond the four walls of a brand’s headquarters.

While many agencies tout their large networks of influencers, it’s imperative to know that the agency you’re engaging has a unique understanding of each individual influencer’s preferences, strengths and specialities. For marketers who want to create mutually beneficial partnerships built on a foundation of trust, pride in the brand and investment in creating exceptional work together, quality — rather than quantity — should be weighted heavily.

2. Save time, save money. A partnership with an influencer marketing agency allows brands and their PR agencies to work more efficiently by eliminating the time internally that’s required to research, identify, vet and manage a group of bloggers. A survey found that 75 percent of professionals consider identifying the right influencers to be the biggest challenge of a sponsored content campaign. Influencer marketing agencies have the right institutional knowledge and infrastructure in place, offering a better and more efficient way to manage relationships with influencers.

Using our proprietary database, The Mometer, The Motherhood makes it our business to provide the most strategic, targeted partnership recommendations between our bloggers and the brands who trust us to help represent them.

3. Offload details. When you hire an agency that specializes in influencer marketing, you’re gaining a partner with a deep, fine-tuned understanding of how to run a successful sponsored content campaign. Brands can weigh in on the aspects of the campaign that are most relevant to their direct role: key messaging, coverage pacing and key performance indicators, for example. However, turning over the reins to an experienced influencer marketing agency means that someone else will handle minute but important details such as blogger negotiations, product shipping, giveaway rules, managing bloggers’ adherence to the coverage deadline, disclosure compliance and hashtag use — just to name a few. When using an agency, these details are not the responsibility of the brand; rather, the agency is on-call for all related program management and implementation.


If you are interested in teaming up with The Motherhood on an influencer marketing campaign, please email contact@themotherhood.com.


Back-to-School Shopping Trends Your Brand Should Know

The Motherhood shares back-to-school shopping trends for brands and bloggers

According to eMarketer, retail sales in the United States will increase by 2.6 percent during the 2016 back-to-school shopping season. And although it’s only mid-July, consumers have already started their back-to-school shopping, making it an opportune time for brands to integrate a back-to-school approach into their marketing strategies.

Here are some quick facts for brands and bloggers to know about the back-to-school season:

  • There’s a 290 percent increase in pinning related to back-to-school from July to September.
  • 85 percent of back-to-school pins are related to five specific categories: Food and Drink, Kids, DIY, Education and Photography.
  • In 2015, back-to-school search interest started trending up a week earlier than the year before and a whole three weeks earlier than in 2013.
  • 31 percent of parents will complete their back-to-school shopping after the school year starts.
  • More than half of college students are using their smartphones to comparison shop.
  • Parents are planning to spend an average of $917 per child on back-to-school supplies this year (with about $343 of that amount for technology).

Three trends to keep in mind this back-to-school shopping season:

In-Store purchases dominate, but mobile supports:

More than 80 percent of college parents, 74 percent of college students and 77 percent of K-12 parents purchase their supplies in-store. Consumers use search and social media on their mobile devices to research the best deals before heading to the store. Searches related to “near me” spike in the back-to-school season.

Takeaway: Social and search trends during this season provide opportunity to drive in-store visits.

Products endorsed OR SHARED by influencerS are top of mind:

Shoppers said blogs and social media conversations weigh in as much as traditional ad formats when it comes to driving their back-to-school purchases. Social media assists 46 percent of college students and 30 percent of parents with school-aged kids as they search for deals and coupons on their smartphones.

Takeaway: Integrating influencer marketing into back-to-school strategies and creating social sharing incentives for consumers will help brands’ products rise to the top of consumers’ shopping lists.

Deals and visuals will draw consumers:

Video and visual posts are continually rising to the top of social media feeds, even more so since recent algorithm updates. Visual central platforms like Pinterest and Instagram continue to increase in popularity, generating high engagement levels. Reportedly, consumers rate discounts and deals higher than value (quality) and brand loyalty when it comes to back-to-school shopping.

Takeaway: Combining these two trends can lead to a high return on back-to-school marketing and content creation.

The Motherhood shares back-to-school shopping trends for brands and bloggers

Summer DIY Never Looked So Good with Olympic Paints and Stains

For many of us, we kick off the summer with a list of projects we want to finish before the fall. By July, we may have lost our motivation to make it through the whole list. Most often, these projects include things we’ve been thinking about since spring, if not longer, so what we really need is a little inspiration just to get us started!

Earlier this year, we partnered with some incredibly creative, DIY-inspiring bloggers on behalf of Olympic Paints and Stains and challenged them to put their project ideas into action through beautiful, thoughtful mood boards that reflected projects they hoped to complete. We then armed them with their favorite Olympic Paints and asked them to document the process.

The results are AMAZING. 


Kenda of Remaking June blew us away with her office makeover, taking a standard-looking home office and turning it into a dreamy, chic, streamlined space that we all want to work in!

Olympic Paints

Katie of Mom’s Favorites also revamped her office space with a modern accent wall that’s so beautiful it could double as art.

Olympic Paints


Christy of Thrifty and Thriving transformed her laundry room into a space where we want to hang out (and maybe even do some laundry)!

Olympic Paints

Vanessa of See Vanessa Craft lived up to her crafty name and reputation with a striking before-and-after.

Olympic Paints

DIY Furniture

Jenn of Jenn’s Blah Blah Blog turned four simple wood crates into a rustic yet polished-looking coffee table that would easily be a focal point of any room.

Olympic Paints

Sia of Thrifty Northwest Mom delivered this hugely impressive transformation of a simple bookshelf when she incorporated candelabras from her wedding and brought the whole thing together with a fresh coat of paint. We’re in love!

Olympic Paints


Olympic Paint understands the thought process and the preparation that goes into home projects, and it’s with this in mind that they designed and launched the new Olympic Paints and Stains Color Center at Lowe’s, which each of our bloggers visited and utilized as they planned out their projects.

The Center allows people to browse paints and stains in one place, where colors are organized to make finding and comparing shades easier than ever. You can shop in three different ways, depending on what works for your creative style, whether it’s by color (through the chips), lifestyle (through the lifestyle brochures) or project (using room and project brochures). If you want to see how a paint color will look before you head to Lowe’s, you can upload a photo of your room to the Olympic Paint Visualizer Tool.

The Motherhood worked with these bloggers as part of a sponsored campaign on behalf of Olympic Paints and Stains.

Hack the Summer: Tips and Tricks for Family Fun in Pittsburgh

Tips and tricks for family fun in Pittsburgh

In collaboration with Chick-fil-A Pittsburgh, The Motherhood teamed up with Brown Mamas, Pgh Momtourage and Sugar Aunts — and their friends, families and communities of readers — to create the ultimate list of tips, tricks and places to visit for family fun in Pittsburgh.

The curated list of “summer hacks” includes many free and low-cost activities that will appeal to family members of all ages and are located all across the region. The best part? Even the most in-the-know Pittsburghers may find a few hidden gems that have escaped their knowledge!

Tips and tricks for family fun in Pittsburgh

Which one will you visit first?

Family Fun in Pittsburgh Starts with Food

The inspiration for curating these tips for family fun in Pittsburgh is the launch of Chick-fil-A One — a digital app that brings together mobile ordering, mobile payment and surprise giveaways!

As the tastiest of all summer hacks, Chick-fil-A One offers families benefits including a super-easy way to customize each person’s order and the ability to pay in advance and skip the line at the cash register. What parent wouldn’t love that benefit, especially during busy lunch or dinner times? We’re guessing the 82 percent of parents who responded to our survey to say they’d do almost anything to avoid long lines when they have their children in tow will be heading straight to iTunes or Google Play to download Chick-fil-A One.

Bonus hack: for an easy and fun way to get in on the Chick-fil-A One action, just tweet #CFAOne with the horizontal cow emoji 🐄 to receive a prompt to download the app from Twitter directly.

Chick-fil-A is about to make all of your chicken sandwich dreams come true just by ordering with your phone. Chick-fil-A will thank customers who order using Chick-fil-A One with free food offers for their favorite menu items. Sign. Us. Up.

Share your Hacks

We’d love to hear your ideas for creating family fun in Pittsburgh — and other cities across the country! Comment below with your tips, tricks and places to visit in your own hometown.

Hack the summer ART created by alison mckown, graphic designer for the motherhood.

Blogger Spotlight: Caryn, Rockin’ Mama

From raw and in-the-moment, to the greatest spot for engagement, Caryn of Rockin Mama shares about what social platforms she loves, her advice for those looking to start a blog and the biggest shift you’ll see in social media in 2016.

Check out Rockin’ Mama in our July Blogger Spotlight below, and give her a shout-out at @RockinMama.

The Motherhood Blogger Spotlight: Caryn, Rockin' Mama

Want to see more?

Check out our most recent blogger spotlights, as well as our 2015 Blogger Spotlight Series.

How does the Blogger Spotlight Series work?

Each month, our internal team convenes and discusses our latest programs, stellar partnerships and top-performing influencers. It’s not about numbers, but rather, the quality, authentic content they’re delivering consistently. It’s about reliability, professionalism and partnership. We discuss our nominations for the month and ultimately decide on just one blogger to invite as our featured blogger. Stop back August 1 for the next blogger spotlight!

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