Moms believe social media marketing impacts their retail purchasing, according to the results of a national survey of nearly 700 mothers. The study, from Fleishman-Hillard in partnership with, suggests ways marketers should modernize their communications to bridge the gaps that exist between their brands and today’s mom consumers.

Most moms surveyed said social media is changing the in-store customer experience, and the top-ranked reason is because they use social media to get information about sales and coupons. Additionally, 63 percent of moms surveyed said blogger reviews are influential to their purchase decisions, whereas 56 percent of moms said they tend to avoid online ads because they are not viewed as trustworthy. Facebook was noted by moms as the most trusted space online to receive brand communication.

“Moms indicated they are being communicated with via a lot of digital means, and their digital communications are coming from a lot of brands in each online space,” says Liz Hawks, senior vice president and co-chair of Fleishman-Hillard’s marketing-to-moms practice. “In fact, one-third of moms using Facebook and Twitter to receive branded communications are following more than 20 brands in each of those spaces.”

Facebook was ranked as the space moms use most for brand engagement (84 percent), followed by blogs (69 percent) and online communities (63 percent). About half (48 percent) of moms surveyed said they are following a brand on Twitter.

When asked to select all categories of branded products or services they interact with most online, clear category leaders included 1) food/recipes (88 percent); 2) health and beauty (86 percent); 3) children’s products (84 percent); and 4) clothing/fashion (73 percent).

Moms said the dialogue with brands in social media spaces should allow them to give feedback to the brand, read articles with tips and advice or get a sneak peek behind the brand. These social activities provide more value to them beyond learning about a product or service.

“The study results show the extent to which social media is changing moms’ expectations of brands and even retail purchasing behaviors,” says Hawks. “They also reveal variances based on moms’ employment status and generational demographics, and overall paint a picture for marketers and communicators of how to break through to today’s mom in the modern ways she expects.”