New Parents Turn to Online Communities for Support, Bartering

by | 3 minute read

"New parenthood is exciting — but it can also be isolating. Questions sprout as soon as parents find out they’re expecting, but many wait to discuss their news with family and friends until after the first trimester. Once the word is out, expecting parents may be too tired or busy with baby prep to connect in person with their social circles. And after baby arrives? Forget about that book club or basketball game. Parents are in survival mode."

"Enter online communities. Throughout the early stages of parenthood, expecting and new U.S. parents surveyed grow more likely to join online communities and visit Facebook on a daily basis, a Facebook IQ-commissioned study showed. And according to Facebook data, the average U.S. millennial in a parent group is in more than 3x as many Facebook groups as the average U.S. millennial group user who is not in a parent group."

According to AudienceSCAN, 46.4% of Parents of Newborns/Toddlers are between the ages of 25 and 34.

"The study revealed several factors driving new parents’ interest in online communities. Conveniently accessible on mobile and available 24/7, online groups offer an easy way to answer pressing questions at any hour. Other reasons new parents cited include desire for connection and for advice. In fact, 2 in 3 expecting and new parents surveyed say they're likely to use Facebook to seek friend and family recommendations for products or services."

"Most expecting and new parents surveyed in the U.S. are part of an online group or community, and parenting and buy-and-sell groups are particularly popular. Parenting groups offer advice and empathy; buy-and-sell and exchange groups provide parents a chance to save money or offload used items babies quickly outgrow."

AudienceSCAN reports that the majority of new parents are members of at least one social network. Approximately 82% participate on Facebook, 57.4% use YouTube and 51% are on Instagram. Additionally, 50.3% of this group has used a mobile device to purchase a product online within the last six months.

"Membership in both types of groups increases throughout the parenthood journey, the survey shows. In the case of buy-and-sell groups, this may be in part because, as indicated by the survey, parents become more price-conscious after baby arrives."

"Moms and dads surveyed were equally likely to be in an online group or community of any kind. But moms were 1.7X more likely than dads to have joined an online parenting group, and 1.5X more likely than dads to be part of an online buy-and-sell group."

"Facebook's survey showed that over time, parents increasingly said they were likely to use Facebook to get recommendations from family and friends for products and services. The percentage of parents who said they use Instagram on a daily basis and to get recommendations from family and friends for products and services held steady across the four groups studied."

"Shopping interests and patterns around online research evolve throughout the four stages of early parenthood, the survey showed. Early on, expecting and new parents tend to turn to social media for information on parenting-related topics and products. This could mean information on Lamaze classes or the most effective nausea remedies. Later, after the pregnancy passes certain milestones, they go into nesting mode, and turn to social media for information on baby-related products and services such as toys and diaper delivery."

Social media is also a good way to advertise to new parents. According to AudienceSCAN, 62% of this group took action after seeing an ad on a social network within the past year. They're also 30% more likely than other adults to have taken action in the last 12 months after seeing an ad on a mobile smartphone app or after receiving an ad via text message. TV is also a good way to target the Parents of Newborns/Toddlers, as 63.2% of them took action after seeing a TV commercial within the last year.

AudienceSCAN data is available for your applications and dashboards through the SalesFuel API. Media companies and agencies can access AudienceSCAN data through the AudienceSCAN Reports in AdMall.

Rachel Cagle

Rachel Cagle

Rachel is a Research Analyst, specializing in audience intelligence, at SalesFuel. She also helps to maintain the major accounts and co-op intelligence databases. As the holder of a Bachelors degree in English from The Ohio State University, Rachel helps the rest of the SalesFuel team with their writing needs.