Moms Gone Viral
May 2 2008

I was planning to write a post updating everyone on our search engine optimization experience today but the real world injected itself with a sick kid at home.  High fever and rescheduling meetings doesn’t leave much time for writing long, heavy posts.  Plus I had to sneak in a nap in the afternoon while our daughter napped since we didn’t get much sleep the night before. :)

So instead, while my husband takes care of the kids this evening, I thought I’d write a post on the example of an unanticipated, viral marketing story with a mom twist.  So here it goes…

Once upon a time I met a friend on the Internet.  I found her blog and commented away.  After some time, we realized we had similar visions and she invited me do a guest post on her blog called Entrepreneurship: A Blessing or a Curse.  We kept in touch, spoke on the phone a few times about ways to work together, became twitter pals, and finally met in person at SXSW here in Austin back in March and clicked even more. 

While at SXSW she got further proof of what she already knew which was that the name of her blog, then called eMoms at Home, was not really reflective of the demographics of her readers and would-be readers so she had a mini-meltdown, picked herself up and came up with a cool new name called Sparkplugging!  Since she was and still is an advocate of entrepreneurs and especially those who work from home, her cool, new name opens the door wide open to many of us who are moms or not but like to spark up ideas and play with them until something happens.

So after SXSW, she went home and saw a post about dads on twitter and decided to do one for moms.  Within hours she got tons of replies and created a post called The Ultimate List of Moms on Twitter that started with 250 moms.  I commented and subscribed to comments on that post and every day new moms would leave a comment with their twitter name until May 1, 2008 that is.  Twitter sent out an email to everyone yesterday, May 1, and in it they included:

Mother’s Day: On The Way

We’ve noticed a trend of parents twittering the moments of their baby’s birth so we know there are some new moms on Twitter. Are you a mom on Twitter? Is your own mom on Twitter? Maybe you even made “The Ultimate List of Moms on Twitter”? Mother’s Day is just around the corner so don’t forget to @reply the moms you know with a thoughtful phrase–but keep it under 140 characters, moms are busy people.

List of Moms on Twitter: http://tinyurl.com/6cxgp5

And today I had 150+ comments in my inbox and they are still coming.  Now she has close to 400 comments on that one post! Did she do anything extraordinary to make it happen? Not really.  Did she tell people on twitter about it? Yes, of course.  Did she know others would tell and re-tell more people about the list? Possibly.  Did she know twitter would pick it up in their mass email to everyone? Doubtful (but I don’t know what went on behind the scenes).  So in hindsight what played in her favor to have a post she wrote on April 8 (before her name change) take on a life of its own?  Here’s what I think:

  • She took the initiative to do something that ended up being quite time consuming, but she saw from the responses it resonated with hundreds of moms on twitter that it was a worthwhile endeavor. 
  • She told her friends about it who re-tweeted and blogged about it. 
  • The tweeters kept the link going within twitter and in the blogosphere. 
  • Mother’s Day was around the corner and the guys (I think they are all men) at twitter saw the activity and might have said to themselves “Hmmm. How can we mention a major holiday, get brownie points with our wives/mothers, and promote twitter at the same time” and voila a mention was born!

UPDATE: I sent a link to @Biz to this post and he informed me there are several women who work at twitter!  So of course I followed them.  Here is his tweet: 

biz @aruni awesome! I included the moms list because it was noteworthy – also, women who work at Twitter: @crystal @krissy @alissa @lane @sara

In case you haven’t guessed who this friend is, it’s Wendy Piersall.  I guess only Wendy can tell us if she planned all of this, but to me it’s another example of viral marketing that in hindsight makes sense but when started, the current result would have been highly unpredictable. 

To me, this is why it is so hard to orchestrate a viral campaign.  You can plan everything down to the “t” and still not have it work out the way you wanted.  It’s hard to predict when there are so many variables.  You can also just do something you enjoy doing that helps others and see a “spark” turn into a flame!  Way to go Wendy! :-D

Oh and by the way, I am @aruni and Wendy is @eMom on twitter…

Author: | Filed under: entrepreneur, entrepreneurship, mom, mother, mother's day, networking, social networks, success, working mom, working mother | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

9 Comments on “Moms Gone Viral”

  1. 1 Mutha Mae said at 7:16 PM on May 2nd, 2008:

    That’s what happened to me on a very teeeeeeny tiny level. My friend threw a Richard Nixon birthday party for her four year old. I made a video about it and posted it on my blog. The next thing I knew, it was posted on DailyKos.

    I have a very low profile blog, so getting all those hits that day was just a shocker! Just write about what you love and the rest will all fall into place.

  2. 2 Wendy Piersall said at 11:32 PM on May 2nd, 2008:

    Planned NONE of it. I thought I’d get maybe 100 or so moms to respond when I sent out the call for entries. I *never* thought it would get the response it did – I think if I tried to plan something like that I would have fallen on my face! :)

    Maybe that’s part of the whole ‘viral’ thing – that unassuming approach, or the unintended cool factor. I mean, I know moms on Twitter are uber:cool, but I really didn’t get the depth of the community that is there, wanting to connect with each other!

    Thanks for the post Aruni, you’re one hell of a great friend. :)

    Hugs!

    Wendy Piersall’s last blog post..How To Recycle Personal Electronics [Home Office Organizer]

  3. 3 Nodin's Nest said at 7:18 AM on May 3rd, 2008:

    It was a wonderful idea and since mom’s are the ultimate networkers it was bound to fly!

    Nodin’s Nest’s last blog post..The Treasure Hunt

  4. 4 Katja of Skimbaco said at 8:53 AM on May 3rd, 2008:

    That was awesome idea, and I am so thankful for connecting with so many new people, thanks to Wendy!

    Great post Aruni!

    Katja of Skimbaco’s last blog post..Don’t listen to me, make your own decisions

  5. 5 Aruni said at 7:48 PM on May 3rd, 2008:

    I updated the post to include the women who work at twitter from a tweet @biz sent me!

    @Mutha Mae – A Richard Nixon party for a 4 year old just sounds funny! No wonder the video went viral.

    @Wendy – Hugs back at ya!

    @Nodin’s Nest – Yep mom’s are the ultimate networkers and hopefully we can make a name for ourselves in the world of social networks in twitter and beyond!

    @Katja – Thanks! Wendy is cool. :-)

  6. 6 Barbara Ling said at 11:44 AM on May 5th, 2008:

    Great post! That’s one reason why I really like Twitter – it makes networking with others who share the same passion so much easier.

    Enjoy,

    Barbara

    Barbara Ling’s last blog post..3 Surefire Ways of Making Money on Mother’s Day

  7. 7 Tuni & G said at 2:38 PM on May 7th, 2008:

    It seems I need to get on twitter. I’ve heard so much about it and now this post! also heard of frienfeed which seems to be the next thing after twitter.

  8. 8 Aruni said at 2:56 PM on May 7th, 2008:

    @Barbara Ling – Twitter is fabulous!

    @Tuni & G – I’ve heard of FriendFeed too, but haven’t had time to check it out. So far I’m pretty happy with twitter. Find me when you join. :-)

  9. 9 “Mom Conversations” | Mom Blogs | Stay At Home Mommy Blog - Cool Web Moms said at 6:15 PM on August 22nd, 2008:

    […] An Entrepremuser is telling us why Moms Have Just Gone Totally Viral […]