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New study investigates social media behaviours of parents

More and more parents are turning to social media for support and information, according to research by PEW. The study covered over 2000 American adults, with parents being defined as those with children aged 18 and under.

When it comes to marketing products for children, selling via parents is absolute key. Facebook is the biggest social media platform for parents by far, with 74% of parents using the site. The next was Pinterest with only 28% of parents using the media manager, but 40% of total mothers, compared to only 15% of fathers, use the site, dominating the figure. Mothers significantly outnumbered fathers on all social media platforms except for LinkedIn and Twitter, where the margin was still considerably small in favour of fathers.

Yet targeting the specific sites is not enough. According to the survey, the most popular activity on social media was ‘responding to good news’, underlining that parents are using social media as a way of remaining connected with friends and family – which is no surprise. However, the next biggest use was for gathering information, at 83% of mothers and 74% of fathers, so putting out information for parents on social media would be a sure fire way to get your brand noticed.  The same goes for offering support: 80% of mothers and 65% of fathers received parenting support online.

Compared to non-parents, parents were using Facebook more frequently, with 75% of parents checking the site daily, compared to only 67% of non-parents. Instagram was significantly more popular amongst non-parents, whereas daily twitter checks were the same for both categories.

PEW commented that the reason Facebook is less popular with non-parents could be a result of Millennials migrating away from Facebook, due to the larger number of parents on the site. As sites gain in popularity, parents will naturally gravitate towards them, pushing the youth away to smaller, niche sites when the age group is younger. Following your target audience’s habits on social media is essential to a successful marketing programme.

Compared to non-parents, parents are considerably more likely to be friends with their neighbours, at 41%, which indicates a pre-occupation with their surrounding environments, and thus more likely a concern with local businesses, or local access to global enterprises.