Blogger Spotlight: Xenia, Raised By Culture

Raised By Culture

Xenia, of Raised By Culture, is celebrating Dia de los Muertos today, sharing the secret to Thanksgiving dinner and some smart advice for new bloggers! She also has some words of wisdom for new moms that we loved.

Read on to learn more about what Xenia loves about the fall season, what her favorite project was with The Motherhood and the #1 way she would like to utilize social media for good.

Give her a shout out at @RaisedByCulture!


Did you love learning about Raised By Culture and want to read more about bloggers that were featured as part of the spotlight series? Check out some of the most recent blogger spotlights, and be sure to stop back in December to see who will be featured as our final blogger in the 2015 spotlight series.

To learn more about how the spotlight series was created and the selection process, visit our first post of the series for background.

What Facebook Reactions Means for Brands

Photo Source: Facebook

Soon you’ll have the option to do more than simply “like” a Facebook post. Chris Cox, chief product officer, announced earlier this month that the social media company would be rolling out six reaction buttons that users can select to respond to posts. These reactions include “love,” “yay,” “haha,” “wow,” “angry” and “sad.” Facebook Reactions are currently being tested in Ireland and Spain, but the company reported that it plans to have this feature available to everyone soon.

Facebook Reactions Icons

Photo source: TechCrunch

Facebook realizes that not every post is a “likable” one (hence the popular demand for a “dislike” button). But Facebook took a potential “dislike” button a step further, because as founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg said at the corporate town hall last month, “What [users] really want is the ability to express empathy.” As a result, Facebook consulted sociologists to help narrow down the range of human emotions when reading posts so it could implement the Reactions. The end goal was to create an easier way for people to express themselves without having to post a comment.

While it isn’t new for brands to be listening and acting on consumer conversations online, how brands are listening will always be changing. The new Facebook Reactions feature will provide brands and marketers with a new way to evaluate sentiment among their audiences.

Going beyond a mere “like” or “dislike” offers a deeper look at what consumers think, feel and want from brands. By knowing how their consumers respond emotionally to content, companies can use the data to alter products, campaigns or even the tone of their content. Read what some marketers are saying about Facebook Reactions here.

For now, each reaction will be treated the same as a “like” in the Facebook algorithm, but this could change in the future. A reaction represents a higher level of engagement from users, as it takes more time than simply liking a post, but gives options to those who may not generally take the time to type a comment.

Richard Sim, Facebook’s director of monetization product marketing, recommends that brands not create sponsored posts to try and gain certain reactions. Sim said, “At the end of the day, for a business we want you to post things that you know are going to drive business value for you, and optimizing for loves really isn’t the right business value for you.”

It will be interesting to see how brands use the Facebook Reactions data from their consumers once this feature is live.

Are you looking forward to using the Facebook Reactions buttons?

Who is Really Celebrating Halloween? The Answer May Surprise You!


Did you know Americans will spend $6.9 billion on Halloween in 2015?

It’s true, and just when you thought Halloween was a holiday you had outgrown, you may be surprised to learn that you may just be at your prime!

Consumers ages 25 to 34 are accounting for a good portion of both the spending and celebrating, spending nearly $100 on average on Halloween festivities, making them a key Halloween demographic.

Leading up to October 31, the conversation online — be it on blogs, Twitter, Facebook or other social platforms — is very much about the spooky, fun-filled holiday. Starting in September, your Facebook and Twitter feeds, and most likely your Instagram, too, were filled with Halloween-themed posts that included costumes, recipes, crafts and more!

Knowing the aforementioned demographic is doing most of the spending, it was no surprise when The Motherhood found that women ages 25 to 34 are most actively discussing Halloween on Facebook, and they’re most often the ones sharing Halloween-inspired crafts and recipes.

So, what stood out this year?

Research by The Motherhood revealed that the majority of the most shared Halloween-themed content is from blogs, accounting for 40 percent of the top links, and more than 20 percent of the top links were specifically mom/family-focused blogs.

Interestingly, many of the most popular recipes and crafts being shared are from previous years, a true testament to the power of evergreen online content.

The Motherhood Nuvi Research, September 2015

How To Build Online Consumer Trust [Infographic]

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Trust is the foundation on which brand perception is built. In fact, 76 percent of consumers develop opinions about a brand long before they reach the point of purchase, and those opinions can affect your bottom line.

Information about brands is more readily available than ever before, with the advent of online reviews and social media word-of-mouth platforms, all accessible in minutes with a few clicks of the mouse. Consumers turn to friends, family and online reviews for advice prior to purchase, and specifically, more than 63 percent of moms ask other moms for advice and consider them the most credible experts when they have questions.

Consumer trust, or confidence in a product or brand, is a huge factor in sparking conversations, influencing consumer purchasing decisions and building advocacy. To help build online consumer trust and generate positive conversations around your brand online, you need an online presence and a share of voice. The most successful online marketing strategies develop that presence to build awareness and trust with key target demographics.

Read on for The Motherhood’s ideas and suggestions on successful tactics for building trust among consumers online:

  1. Have a Plan

Develop a strategic plan that identifies who you want to reach and why, along with the specific messages you want to communicate. To get started, try “dipping a toe in,” testing small programs on a variety of platforms to identify where and how certain approaches, messaging and outreach resonate with your audience.

Your brand voice should be consistent over time across social platforms, but content on each social platform should be unique. All efforts should support your overarching communications messages and goals, too, as this content will live on the digital bookshelf for years to come.

  1. Add Value

People pay attention to content that matters to them and makes a difference in their lives. Foster a deep connection with your audience by sharing thoughtful, helpful and entertaining content that resonates with your key demographics.

It’s also critical to engage consumers in a two-way dialogue rather than dominating the conversation with promotions and advertising. Consumers trust each other’s opinions more than twice as much as online ads, so your most powerful social “advertising” will be interacting with your influential advocates and sharing the good things others are saying about you.

  1. Engage Target-Right Consumers as Advocates

Brands and influencers each have a story to tell and insights to contribute to the conversation. There’s great potential for good when brands and influencers share interests and goals.

Consumers are more likely to seek information from and trust influencers who share their core values. Identify and engage with people online who influence and inform your target audiences, who share their love for your brand and who encourage word of mouth. Engage with these individuals to create authentic content and effectively leverage this content.

  1. Be Responsive

Effective, authentic interaction begins with listening to what consumers have to say. Connect customer service to the company social platforms, and determine how to handle questions and complaints quickly and transparently online. Be quick to reply and personable with consumers, so they feel you are right there with them.

Even if you do not know the answer, show consumers you care about their problem by responding in a positive manner. This will help build trust and increase the likelihood that they become a return customer.

  1. Stay Focused

Select a few top-performing social platforms where your consumers are most active and engaging, based on the strategic testing you did while developing your social media plan. Be active and attentive there, rather than spreading your resources too thin and trying to be everywhere.

As you create an editorial calendar and share content, remember that what works well on Twitter doesn’t necessarily translate on Instagram. Differentiate content between platforms and focus on approaches you’ve found work well based on analysis of past programs.

Building consumer trust through social media takes time but can have a huge impact on brand perception and your bottom line. Sharing compelling content gives you an opportunity to educate your most important target audiences, organically sparking conversation and action.


How To Build Trust Online Infographic

The Motherhood helps moms connect with brands on a deeply personal level to drive engagement, increase sales, build reputations, provide insights, generate rich, searchable online content and spark deep loyalty among your most important constituency: moms. Visit or contact us at to learn more.

Are you building trust authentically with key demographics online?

Survey Findings Uncover Moms’ Most Trusted Brands [Infographic]

Online reviews and social media word-of-mouth platforms have led to the age of the connected shopper. Consumers turn to friends, family and online reviews for advice prior to purchase, and specifically, more than 63 percent of moms ask other moms for advice and consider them the most credible experts when they have questions. With access to all this information, 76 percent of consumers develop opinions about a brand long before they reach the point of purchase.

So, which brands are getting it right?

In March 2015, The Motherhood asked more than 320 moms in the United States which household brands they most trusted. Unaided questions delivered unprompted and top-of-mind opinions and statements to capture the truest consumer opinions, attitudes and most likely actions. Here’s what we learned:

  • In northern states, the most trusted makeup brand is CoverGirl, but in southern states, M.A.C. is the most trusted brand.
  • OshKosh is the most trusted baby/kids’ clothing brand. [The Motherhood has worked with OshKosh on several past sponsored blog tours. Read about our award-winning campaign around back-to-school style here.]
  • Moms who shop at boutique-style kids’ clothing stores are most likely to name Luvs brand and cloth diapers as their most trusted diapers.
  • LEGO is the most trusted kids’ toy brand in the Midwest.
  • Kroger is the most trusted grocery store.
  • The second most trusted laundry detergent brand, ALL, is most likely to be trusted in conjunction with Lysol cleaning products.
  • AT&T subscribers are the most likely to list Apple (iPhone) as their top trusted phone brand.

The Motherhood’s clients include a number of the brands moms named as their most trusted, such as: Aveeno, Neutrogena, OshKosh B’gosh, Carter’s, Walmart, Kellogg’s, Clorox, Lysol and Seventh Generation.

Check out the full infographic below to learn more about our survey findings on moms’ most trusted brands:

Build Consumer Trust Online Infographic


Did you find any of the survey results interesting or surprising? Let us know in the comments!


The Motherhood Community Connects with Malala, Attends Screening


During September and October, The Motherhood has had the incredible honor of working with Fox Searchlight Pictures and the Malala Fund to promote the beautiful film “He Named Me Malala” (currently in theaters – click here to find one near you).

It tells the story of Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban at age 15 for advocating girls’ education. She survived and is now a leading campaigner for girls’ education globally as co-founder of the Malala Fund, and she is the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize.

In mid-September, The Motherhood worked with bloggers Allison of No Time for Flashcards and Jenny of Jenny on the Spot to host an intimate advance screening of the film with local influencers in Seattle. On the heels of that screening, we had the wonderful opportunity of hearing directly from Malala herself during a conference call dedicated to questions from a team of bloggers who have raised their voices on behalf of her mission – to give the more than 60 million girls around the world who do not have access to education a chance to go to school.

As Malala told us during our call, “Change does not come itself. It’s we who bring it.”

Thank you to the amazing men and women in our network who have contributed their time, passion and voices to this cause!

Bloggers Help Build Playgrounds Across U.S. for Let’s Play Initiative

build playgrounds

With the invention of computers, video games and smartphones, the world has become a different place. The lure of screen time has changed the way kids play and decreased the amount of physical activity in their daily routines. Research shows that rather than playing outside, kids spend an average of seven hours each day on “entertainment media” (such as TV, computers and phones).

The Motherhood is proud to be working with Dr Pepper Snapple Group on its Let’s Play initiative to provide kids and families with the tools, places and inspiration to make active play a daily priority.

In mid-2015, we worked with bloggers to help publicize the program and build playgrounds in underserved communities in Camden, N.J., and Dallas, Texas; more recently, we’ve helped complete and build a playground in Milwaukee, Wis.; and we’ll complete work on another next week in Los Angeles. In December, we’ll help build and share about a fifth playground in Little Rock, Ark.

To learn more, and for ideas about helping your own kids spend more time in active play, you can visit the Let’s Play website.

Case Study: Creating Balanced Meals with California Pizza Kitchen

California Pizza Kitchen

On behalf of California Pizza Kitchen and the Balance Your Plate initiative, The Motherhood identified 20 top online influencers to learn how California Pizza Kitchen’s frozen pizzas can be a part of balanced, nutritious meal, and to showcase the pizzas’ quality ingredients and unique flavors to their online audiences.

The Motherhood introduced the program via an interactive virtual briefing, directly connecting brand representatives with the influencers in real time. The opportunity gave the blogger team exclusive access to the brand and the chance to ask questions about California Pizza Kitchen and Balance Your Plate.

Using ingredients they received before the campaign began (such as pizza and salad toppers), the bloggers also developed balanced meals in their own homes, incorporating fresh foods with frozen ones for quick, easy family meals. Combining their own experiences with information they learned in the briefing, each influencer published a blog post to share messaging and tips for creating simple, balanced meals. The team also cross-promoted their blog posts to their social media channels throughout the campaign period.

At the end of the blog tour, The Motherhood and bloggers co-hosted an hour-long Twitter party sharing Balance Your Plate tips and information on California Pizza Kitchen.

To measure shifts in perception, purchase intent and the usefulness of the Balance Your Plate resources, The Motherhood surveyed the bloggers before and after the campaign.

The results? The frequency with which bloggers planned to incorporate frozen meals and pizzas into their weekly menus increased overall between the start and end of the program, and 80 percent of respondents planned on incorporating them at least once a week. At the conclusion of the campaign, 100 percent of blogger participants said they plan on serving frozen meals such as CPK pizzas along with sides such as vegetables and fruits – a key goal of the Balance Your Plate initiative.

In total, the program generated nearly 50 million blog and social media impressions on behalf of California Pizza Kitchen and Balance Your Plate and resulted in positive, high-quality digital content that will appear in web searches for years to come.

Featured image courtesy of Anne, Upstate Ramblings.

Case Study: Bloggers, Brands Come Together at Local Market Events

local market events

The Motherhood’s network includes thousands of social media moms all across the country, so much of our work is done over email. However, we also execute in-person local market events that enable us to connect our trusted influencers with the organizations we’re proud to call our partners.

When bloggers experience a brand in person through a carefully and thoughtfully planned event, the resulting content comes to life beautifully through words, personal photos and videos. Beyond the blog post, however, brands have an opportunity to earn bloggers’ trust, build advocacy, interact with the blogger as a customer, gather feedback and forge a powerful and valuable connection for years to come.

During summer 2015, The Motherhood executed a number of local market events:

Northwoood for Moms: It’s a Mom’s World

local market events

Image courtesy of Apple Box Studios

To tell the story of how Pittsburgh-based Northwood Realty Services is an ideal place for moms to start a real estate career, The Motherhood invited 10 bloggers from the region to an event to meet some of Northwood’s top real estate agents—who also happen to be moms!

Bloggers exchanged stories with the Northwood Moms and engaged in a robust conversation about balancing career and family, pursuing passions and the many ways to define success. Bloggers live-tweeted using the hashtag #NorthwoodForMoms, earning Northwood a spot on the list of trending topics in the Pittsburgh region. The event resulted in not only a trending hashtag and more than three million impressions in the target market, but it also directly led to multiple interviews from moms who are interested in being real estate agents.

Bolthouse Farms Kids: Fruits & Veggies Disguised as Snacks

local market events

Image courtesy of Bolthouse Farms Kids

To elevate the Bolthouse Farms Kids brand in Pittsburgh and generate awareness of its new products, The Motherhood enlisted a powerhouse team of influential Pittsburgh moms to attend a series of local market events.

To kick off the program, each blogger received a box of Bolthouse Farms Kids smoothies, fruit tubes and veggie snackers to share with their family and their blog readers. As part of their social media posts, bloggers also urged their readers to spot the #SnackMob trucks and attend events in their area. Then, each blogger attended #SnackMob truck events throughout the city and encouraged their readers to do the same. Bloggers also used their social media posts to spread the word about the #SnackMob contest and to document their own experiences with this one-of-a-kind snack truck.

Chick-fil-A: Where Good Meets Gracious

Image courtesy of Chick-fil-AThe Motherhood recently partnered with a group of bloggers for a local market event that gave them a behind-the-scenes look at the heart and soul of Chick-fil-A – inspiring them to create personal and heartfelt posts about the facets of the company that only an in-person gathering could have revealed.

Bloggers shared a sneak peek at a few soon-to-be-released menu items (that had been flown in from Atlanta by the company’s menu development manager so the bloggers could sample them), tried their hand at creating lemonade the same way each Chick-fil-A store does, and discovered some truly special connections with the store operators. Others appreciated how Chick-fil-A supports local communities or how the company makes life easier for working moms. Chick-fil-A also inspired this 7 Day “Be the Change” Family Challenge.

Email for more information on securing blogger attendance at local market events.

Marketing to Moms Conference 2015: Building the Bridge Between Brands and Influencers

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In 2015, The Motherhood found that 70 percent of influencers feel there is a gap between what type of content works with their audiences and what brands think works. So we set out to find why this disparity exists.

Earlier this week, The Motherhood’s Cooper Munroe spoke on this topic at the 11th Annual Marketing to Moms Conference in New York City, where she shared best (and worst) practices for brands as they’re engaging influencers. When done right, online influencers can serve as rocket fuel for a social media marketing plan.

Here are five key takeaways from her M2M session: TheMometer Reports!

1. Influencers want to be involved with your campaign objectives. In our research, The Motherhood found that 96 percent of bloggers say knowing the objectives of an influencer campaign would improve the quality of the content, the community engagement and the actions taken by the audience. However, as the brands reported, specific or detailed program objectives rarely make their way to the front line of the program – to the influencers themselves.

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2. The most successful companies are led and informed by their customers. The companies that perform best in sales are also the best at listening to, valuing and engaging with the real customer – not the data customer. What customers are saying to each other, in conversation, online or in real life is not easily found or analyzed in stacks of data. But it can be found in the conversations moms are having every day on blogs and social platforms.

3. Think outside the blog post. When it comes to implementing a social media campaign, brands should think outside the blog post and one-size-fits-all blog tour approach – flexibility and listening to influencers may also be in order. The ecosystems a blogger has created on her platforms are individual to her. She’s worked hard to build that community, she’s earned her audience and she knows her readers intimately. Brands managing every word and image of a blog post, and placing too many requirements, almost always diminishes the value of a user-generated post because it eliminates the “user” piece of it.

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4. Consider lifelong views a long-term goal. Social media content, sponsored or not, doesn’t always go viral right away. Like all good things, sometimes it just takes time. As SEO builds, the content gets higher placement on social platforms like Pinterest, as well as in search results. If the content adds value for readers and is evergreen information, there are many reasons for the influencer to re-share it again and again, over time.

5. What if we’re measuring all wrong? We are confined by the limitations of measurement today – impressions, unique monthly views, page visits, bloggers’ reach. But the numbers do not tell the whole story. Big numbers don’t immediately translate into big action. Many brands have requests for bloggers with the highest reach, but highest reach doesn’t mean the best results. In research, The Motherhood found that of influencers’ audiences, 80 percent of readers reported that when they read about a product on a blog, they are more likely to put that product in their cart at the store – but the transaction is not immediate. The most important KPI to keep in mind is engagement – conversation, sharing and liking provides valuable consumer insight and often indications of purchase or action.

(Feature Photo Credit:

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