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Mothers Trust Facebook for Baby Advice

Update Date: Aug 20, 2014 07:00 PM EDT
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Facebook is influencing how mothers take care of their babies, according to a new Australian study.

Researchers educationalist Dr. Rebecca English and marketing expert Dr. Raechel Johns from the University of Canberra note that the latest findings are important as Facebook groups for moms are overtaking the traditional playgroup environments as a source of trusted advice.

Researchers noted that word-of-mouth in mothers' groups and communities exerted great influence on mothers' buying habits. However, researchers found that advice from social media is starting to eclipse face-to-face discussions at mom groups or playgroups.

"Our study found that mothers trust mothers and that mothers tend to trust the opinions of other mothers when they recommend a product," English said in a news release.

"It is not surprising that social media makes a contribution towards the buying behavior of its users, but what is surprising is the strength of these non-face-to-face opinions in online mothers' groups and communities," she added. "Repeated interactions with the community and the accumulation of trust make the effect stronger still, as the community matures."

"The study found the effect is strongest among mothers with the same number of children who are the similar ages," English noted.

Researchers said the latest findings could have major implications for advertisers and marketers looking to boost sales.

"Recommendations from other mothers are more powerful than any other structured promotion," English said. "Organic promotion, for example using free product trials by well-connected or influential mums, is one way to tap into this market."

The findings were published in the International Journal of Web Based Communities.

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