Parenting Bloggers, Money and MetLife

We talk pretty frequently about social media here on the BlissPR blog, as more and more of our clients are experimenting in this space. While we often can’t blog explicitly about specific projects, now and then we do have the opportunity to share a successful case study – like the one you’re about to read.

Recently, we supported MetLife as they planned and launched an event tailored for the dynamic online parenting community also known as mommy and daddy bloggers. As a group, this blogger community is passionate, savvy and outspoken –and we wanted to talk to them on their turf: social media.

As the nation’s largest life insurer, MetLife has done extensive research on the life insurance purchase process and the hurdles that consumers often encounter when trying to obtain this important protection for their families. Through that research, they confirmed that many individuals go online to look for information and answers to their questions.

Parenthood is often an impetus for individuals to think about purchasing life insurance.  However, since life insurance is just one of the many financial considerations that new parents have to navigate, MetLife decided to host a live webcast to address a variety of money-related issues for this audience.  Among the topics discussed was a presentation by MetLife’s chief marketing officer, Beth Hirschhorn, a mom of two, about the basics of life insurance for new parents including how much life insurance consumers really need and, importantly, how much it will cost.  In terms of metrics, the goal was to have 50 bloggers register for the webcast (MetLife had 75).

Importantly, the team learned valuable lessons about what it takes to engage in social media and get an event like this off the ground, which will be integral to MetLife’s future interactions in the social space.

Here are some of the steps that helped us to be successful:

  • Invite outside speakers. In addition to MetLife’s Beth Hirschhorn, we extended invitations to two authors (and new parents) with insights to share on family budgeting: Stacey Bradford (The Wall Street Journal Financial Guidebook for New Parents) and David Port (The Caveman’s Guide to Baby’s First Year). The invitation also promoted that the first 100 registrants to the webcast would receive free copies of both their books.
  • Leave the logistics to the experts. MetLife partnered with Thomson Reuters, who helped them to create a customized media player for the event, managed the mechanics of registration, and hosted the online event, which was broadcast live from MetLife’s on-site studio.
  • Listen before you leap.  MetLife PR had been following blogger conversations for more than six months to get a sense of their interest in issues such as family finance, insurance, etc. (a best practice before engaging).
  • Spread the word on Twitter. Our colleagues at MetLife PR, Toni Griffin and Judi Mahaney, joined Twitter to participate in conversations about family budgeting and finance in the months leading up to the webcast. They also created a hashtag, #straightstory, which allowed participants in the event to weigh in on the presenters’ material and share their own tips for new parents.
  • Promote the event through Facebook.  MetLife launched targeted advertising through Facebook to invite those interesting in blogging, family finance and parenting, among other interests, to view the webcast.
  • Target relevant bloggers and reach out accordingly. The parenting blog community is one of the biggest on the web and encompasses a HUGE variety of subjects and styles. We identified and reached out to bloggers who have touched on family finance issues and/or offered advice to new parents.
  • Create a home base for related content.  MetLife put together a micro site landing page devoted to the Family Finance webcast, where anyone who was interested in the event could go to learn more about the presenters, access their presentations, explore MetLife’s new life insurance tools and tips, and watch a replay of the webcast – which made it easy for anyone who missed the event or wanted more information to get everything they needed in one place.

We’re really pleased to have partnered with MetLife on this innovative social media program.  As more consumers and influencers search for financial information online, we expect our most innovative clients to continue to develop (and hone) their approaches to social media.

What lessons have you learned about social media engagement by experimenting with new initiatives and formats?

To reach Kelly:

Phone: 212.840.1661
Twitter: @kellydavis226
LinkedIn: Kelly Davis