Before Facebook, the ultimate social networking tool was food. Yes, food. From hunkering cave-side and carving up the mammoth, to chowing down pork chops Brady Bunch–style at the suburban dinner table, food has always been the special bonding agent that connects family and friends. No electronic devices necessary!
But, nowadays we connect online, through sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Even moms. An astounding 77% of Canadian mothers–who, let’s face it, do most of the grocery shopping–are on Facebook. These moms aren’t just catching up with old high school friends. They’re evaluating brands and making decisions of what products to buy, and which to leave out of their pantry.
Moms use over 70% of their time online to search for food and recipes, and browse Facebook
My company, Fresh Intelligence, studies moms every day. And I’m amazed at how they’ve taken to social media. They’re on cooking websites, watching food-related YouTube videos and chatting about their great discoveries. I’ve also witnessed a growing cadre of mom bloggers reviewing products. If we take a close look at our Momsview profile of Canadian mothers’ shopping habits, moms spend 2.87 hours a day online. That’s more time than they spend watching TV. Seventy per cent of moms check for recipes online and a whopping 77% are on Facebook, which is the world’s most popular social media site.
The average weekly grocery bill of a mom who is also an avid Facebook user is $10 to $12 less than non-Facebook users. Does this mean Facebook moms are smarter shoppers? Perhaps. They are certainly informed because they rely on a trusted network of friends to help make decisions. Social online influence channels account for 10% of the information source used to make a purchasing decision. Of these online moms, 43% trust social networking site profiles of people they know versus 18% who trust social networking sites of a company or a brand.
So what are moms looking for online before they go grocery shopping? Coupons and savings top the list; 85% of moms want to see online ads that provide a discount or freebie. With moms controlling up to nine of every 10 dollars spent by households, they’re extremely price-conscious. Other food-related stuff moms search for: recipes, nutritional information, promotions and expert advice.
Canadian moms on Facebook spend $12 less on groceries every week than non-Facebook users
We now know that mothers spend a great deal of time conversing online. But what exactly are they saying? Daniel Robinson, a social media analyst at Capital C, a Toronto-based marketing firm, compared the online conversations of Canadian women aged 30 to 55 with the rest of Canadians online. The result: these women are 2.6 times more likely to discuss groceries than anyone else on the Internet. _ at makes social media an amazing opportunity for grocers and CPG companies to target their best customers.
So what should you do with all this information? First, use social optimization tactics. Link your website with sites such as Facebook and Twitter to leverage the large, targeted amount of consumer data up for grabs. And use social media to deliver sampling, nutritional and other food education, enhanced in-store experiences and news about promotions.
Social media should be the medium that lets you connect more efficiently with customers. Think of it like using one social media forum to bring customers together around another–the family dinner table. With a delicious meal bought and served by mom.