What binds together four University of Waterloo Alumni, millennia moms, and celebrity moms like Victoria Beckham, Gwyneth Paltrow, Rachel Weisz, Heidi Klum, and Reese Witherspoon? Mabel’s Labels. They have developed a brand and social media marketing platform that responds to the needs of moms worldwide. What is unique about this story? The founders of Mabel’s Labels are pioneers. They started their company before the words “social” and “media” were put together in sequence (note that Facebook was founded in 2004). When founders Julie Cole, Julie Ellis, Cynthia Esp and Tricia Mumby created Mabel’s Labels through their social networks with other moms, they knew they were on to something… 2003, four busy moms noticed a huge gap in the market for durable kids’ labels. Frustrated by their children’s things getting lost, mixed up and leaving home never to return, knew they could do better than the scribbles on masking tape that were being passed off as labels. Presently, Mabels Labels has 163,600 devoted Facebook followers with a conversion rate of 5.1%. In January 2016 they were acquired for $12 million by Canadian-based CCL Industries for its Avery North America division.
“#Parentingquestion What are your teething baby survival tips?”, “How much #TV should I let my child watch? #Parenthood” These are just two examples of recent parenting questions that were sent out into the Twitter world today. More and more millennial parents are turning to social media for parenting advice. In fact, some reports have found that millennial mothers are two times as likely to seek parenting advice on the internet than to ask other people and as high as 50% of Dads use social media once a day for the purpose of parenting. Since the sources of parenting information online are endless and anyone can post anything, parents are more likely to come across information that is not evidence based, motivated by consumerism and even potentially harmful. For many years now, Ontario Public Health Units have been involved in the promotion of positive parenting. The mandate of the public health system is to improve the health of the population through activities that promote health, protect health, and prevent disease and injury. Guided by the Ontario Public Health Standards and their Agency Strategic Plan, Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health has made promoting positive parenting one of their 5 strategic program priorities. In order to do this effectively and reach the right people with the right information, social media involvement has expanded. Wellington Dufferin Guelph Public Health has an existing agency Twitter and Facebook page as well as successful program-specific social media accounts such as the Twitter, Facebook and webpage for the Circles Guelph Wellington program aimed at changing how the community thinks and acts about poverty.