“It’s the conference where I get the most actionable information,” said Laura Tomasetti, managing director of 360 Public Relations. Laura was the moderator of this afternoon’s Pre-Conference Workshop during M2Moms®-The Marketing To Moms Conference and like so many other attendees, she has been attending this conference for numerous years—always finding new insight to help brands and marketers grow their business.

The Pre-Conference Workshop, “Brands & Blogs:  What’s Working?  What’s Next?” which included the fabulous Beth Biecherman, co-founder, Silicon Valley Moms; Kristin Brandt, co-host & executive editor, Manic Mommies; Liz Gumbinner, co-founder, Cool Mom Picks and Blog with Integrity; Marcia Hansen, marketing manager, Allstate; Jeannine Harvey, associate director, Digital Communications, PBS; and Lesley Hettinger, assistant manager, Chevrolet Communications, General Motors Corp., started out with some sobering information for mom marketers:

  • In the past 2 years, 3 major parenting publications have closed.
  • Newspapers continue to slash staff—especially when it comes to those covering parenting/family issues.
  • Social media—while exciting—is a cluttered environment.

Social media is definitely the new frontier for brands looking to connect with today’s moms and this Pre-Conference Panel did an excellent job of helping us all begin to navigate the landscape.  Here were some key takeaways:

Read The Blogs You Pitch
It is quality over quantity when it comes to blog relationships.  What a blog says is way more important than numbers.  Make sure the blog and its audience is aligned with your brand’s mission and values.  

Bloggers Influence Beyond the Blog
Moms have embraced all forms of social media such as Twitter and Facebook and are still the leaders of WOM marketing—making connections online and offline.  The whole idea is building community—don’t forget all the elements mom is using to influence her circle.  

Not All Mom Bloggers Are Created Equal
Just as there are various types of moms, there are different kinds of mom bloggers. “We still tend to lump all mom bloggers into one big ‘mom category’,” said Kristin Brandt.  The panel encouraged us to look at mom bloggers as individuals—not just moms.  

Manage the Expectation
Bloggers manage the expectation of their audiences (if you don’t normally do reviews, don’t start doing one just to satisfy a sponsor) and their brand partnership.  Don’t destroy the expectation balance.

There Are No ‘Experts’ 
Keep in mind that we are still at the very beginning of this new media—which means we are all still learning.  We are going to make mistakes and learn from them—and need to be aware that at some level, we are all in this together.  This gives us the freedom to take risks, but also gives us the opportunity to forgive those that make social media mistakes of their own.  

The social media conversation continued during the Pre Conference Reception, sponsored by Allstate’s Vehicle Vibes.  The room was packed—speakers, sponsors, alumni, new attendees—everyone was mingling over cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.  As one twitter comment stated (via @RobinZaleski) “Great energy tonight @ the #M2Moms pre-con wkshp (thx @Laura360) & reception (thx @allstate).  So many great conversations!” 

Already energized and ready to go—can’t wait for tomorrow!  Follow the M2Moms® conversation on Twitter at #M2Moms!