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Most new parents in the US are members of at least one online community, and both online parenting and online buy-and-sell groups prove popular with these individuals, according to a Facebook IQ survey. The study results indicate that parents of newborns (38%) and babies (42%) are more likely to belong to a buy-and-sell group than those who are newly expecting (28%) or in the mid-to-late stages of their pregnancy (32%).

Not too surprisingly, online parenting groups seem to grow in appeal as pregnancies progress. The survey of 1,620 expecting or new parents in the US found that while 28% of newly expecting parents were part of an online parenting group, that figure jumped to 38% of those with pregnancies that were 5-7 months along.

Interestingly, although moms and dads were equally as likely to be members of an online group or community of some kind, moms were 1.7 times more likely than dads to have joined an online parenting group, and 1.5 times more likely to be members of an online buy-and-sell group.

New Parents Seek Information on Social Media

There appear to be some interesting shifts in behavior as moms and dads progress through stages of pregnancy and new parenthood.

Divvying respondents into 4 groups – newly expecting, mid-to-late expecting, parents of newborns and parents of babies – Facebook IQ reveals that the latter groups are more likely than the former ones to use Facebook daily and to use Facebook to get recommendations from friends and family on products and services.

Moreover, almost half of parents of newborns (45%) and babies (46%) say that social media is a preferred source of information on the latest baby-related products and services, compared to 38% of newly expecting parents.

By contrast, expecting parents are the most likely to report that social media helps them learn about parenting-related topics and products, with fewer (yet still a substantial portion) of new parents relying on social media (potentially as they are… slightly busier!).

In tandem, the results suggest that newly expecting parents turn to social media to learn about parenting topics and products, but decrease that reliance as they progress through pregnancy and into having newborns and babies, instead becoming more apt to join online communities and use social media for product and service information.

That indicates that social media can be a powerful force for marketers seeking to reach new parents. And they can be a lucrative group. Back in late 2012, one study estimated that each day, about 4,400 American women learn they are pregnant with their first children, with an expected spend on average of $10,000 from the time they learn they’re pregnant until their children are a year old, for about $16 billion in consumer purchasing power.

About the Data: The results are based on a Facebook-commissioned survey conducted by Ignite 360 among 1,620 expecting or new parents ages 18 and older in the US. “Newly expecting” were defined as pregnancies in the first 2-4 months, “mid-to-late expecting” were defined as pregnancies 5-7 months, “parents of newborns” were defined as those with a child ages 0-4 months, and “parents of babies” were defined as those with a child ages 5-9 months.

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