Here come the social media dads
With one in six fathers now stay-at-home dads, fathers today view themselves much differently than they did in the past.
Mon, Apr 09, 2012 at 10:43 AM
Moms aren't the only ones using Facebook and Twitter to brag about their kids.
According to eMarketer, a survey by The Parenting Group reveals that dads – especially first-timers – are logging onto social networking sites for the same reason their wives: to chat about their family.
The survey, conducted in conjunction with public relations firm Edelman, showed that more than 40 percent of U.S. dads with kids under age 2 who use social networks write family-related status updates on a daily basis. Additionally, 56 percent post family photos at least a few times a week, while 21 percent post family-related videos.
Their increased online status is just one example of men’s evolving parenting role.
With one in six fathers now stay-at-home dads, Mark Wildman, vice president and group publisher of magazine and digital media for The Parenting Group, said fathers today view themselves much differently than they did in the past.
"I don’t just view myself as a provider," Wildman told eMarketer. "The nurturing, the cooking, the food buying -- I am doing it in partnership with my wife."
Missy Maher, Edelman’s director of mom foresight, said the new dads role has large implications for marketers.
"Dads today demand work-life balance and play a larger role at home by choice," Maher said. "Marketers in particular need to think about how dads are impacting and influencing decisions when it comes to their families and the brands they are choosing."
Wildman said the best way for marketersto reach dads on social media is to present messages as a mosaic that communicates the spirit of the brand in a way that demonstrates it’s an enabler of a lifestyle.
"The parent should feel like whatever he is doing, who he is and his method of parenting will resonate because the advertiser isn’t defining what the roles are in the family," Wildman said.
The study was based on surveys of nearly 600 U.S. dads.
Chad Brooks is a Chicago-based freelance business and technology writer who has worked in public relations and spent 10 years as a newspaper reporter. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cbrooks76.
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