5 Secret Ingredients to a Successful Mother's Day Social Media Campaign

Mother’s Day is just around the corner so I decided to look at the five secret ingredients to make your Mother’s Day social media campaign not only relevant but also successful in attracting attention.

I can’t help but think that some small business owners confuse occasions like Mother’s Day for discount days – it happens that being a mother earns you a 30% discount for a SPA treatment to ‘take a well-deserved break’ but what kind of impression will such promotion leave in the memory of these women? Most likely of treating themselves that one time, however, for brands that seek long-term commitment, time-sensitive offers do more harm than good. How about trying something different this year?

Awesome Mother’s Day campaigns that went viral

The answer in creating a great post lies in being human and acting like you want to join the conversation, not start a monologue titled ‘buy from me’.  You don’t have to invest into expensive research centre to find out what will stick – you have to look to the brands that are exclusively targeting mothers or seamlessly plotted in Mother’s Day into their communication, and gather data from their channels on what gets mums talking. Look at the adverts and social media posts, that went viral in the past because they managed to hit that sweet spot:

Procter & Gamble combined promotion of two events: 2012 Mother’s Day and Olympics, taking the unexpected but powerful turn of highlighting the silent force behind athletes’ successes, which usually goes unnoticed by the world: their mothers. This campaign has driven incredible sales and brand awareness results by putting mums at the centre of the internationally acclaimed sports event, which, on the surface, had little to do with celebrating motherhood. Tip: dare & do things differently. Speaking of which…

5 secret ingredients to successful Mother's Day social media campaign in 2017

Targeting dads on mums’ special day? Yes if it is a) entertaining and b) gets the mum a night off! Here BabyCentre, an online resource for new and expecting parents, emphasised their inclusivity by inviting a male perspective on how to make Mother’s Day truly special. The effort paid off. Another great example using Facebook video format from last year:

This time the entertainment value + relatable aspect of it – the video by Mike Tompkins (special effects & editing aside) is doable on a small budget and can inspire other creative dads-  automatically induced the ‘THIS IS SO ADORABLE’  reaction from any viewer, mother or not. While P&G went for a tearjerker, which will have some of you sobbing violently,  not every mum nurtures an athlete. The clip by MT shows a snippet of something special in the life of your regular parents: surprising mum with a creative DIY gift as a thank you for her strength is 100% plausible.

Okay, now onto the real meaty stuff!

The five secret ingredients to create a killer Mother’s Day social media post

Do you want to make mums respond to your posts and engage? Make them remember you? Do you want to make them feel special? Make sure your campaign ticks off one or more than one of these five requirements:

  1. Relatability
  2. Transparency
  3. Entertainment
  4. Personal
  5. Community


#1 Relatability

It’s not a secret that advertising has been experiencing a massive shift. During my first uni year in 2009, we were screamed at that adverts are first and foremost aspirational. Hence the images of perfect mothers with perfect hair feeding children perfect plates of veg and never hearing ‘I won’t eat this!’ in their scripted lives. Nope, now, five years later, we are all about brands being relatable.

Relatability means showing the world in realistic ways, so people, who come across your social media will think ‘This is so me!’ or ‘I can do that’. It’s about connecting with your audience and naming their pain points, concerns, wishes, vulnerabilities and happy moments. For example, let’s say you own a hair salon and normally you post Mother’s Day wishes or a special offer with something along the lines ‘Treat your mum to a day of pampering!’ (sometimes it’s ‘Treat yourself…’ because we all know that depending on family to surprise you with something could go sour). Instead of repeating the same boring text each year (which happens to be plastered on social media by a lot of unimaginative beauty companies) you could go in the direction of:

  • sweet escape – beauty treatment should be a moment of escape from the demanding reality. Emphasise in your post that your mum’s special offer comes with a glass of champagne in a kids-free zone. Throw in a picture of your handsome top hair stylist with ‘I am waiting for you’ smile. This puts a check mark next to mums’ wish to take a break from their hectic family life.
  • exclusivity – mums don’t get to enjoy the whole day off so give them the chance to book at their convenience by letting them know today there are x number of slots available for mums only. Adding a line of ‘We know your time is precious because you are doing precious things so we decided to make it easier for you’. And you just made them feel VIP at little cost.

#2 Transparency

Do you know what’s lame? The fact that vast majority of brands remember about mums once a year. Minus the businesses that are targeting mothers, clients realise that Mother’s Day promotions are sometimes painfully obvious sales tactics. In the post-truth world, we need transparency from brands like we need air. 

If your business is not typically targeting mothers, think about how to manage being transparent about you wanting to join the conversation without appearing irrelevant. According to a research by Mumsnet and Saatchi & Saatchi, mothers value amongst other characteristics brand integrity. Talking the talk but not walking the walk results in the dissonance between what you want to be seen as and what you are being seen as.

While you might not necessarily fit the bill to sell to mums, you can still grab their attention. Like, for example, metal_memes_mx:

#3 Entertainment

Don’t be afraid to get goofy! Entertaining value is one of the strongest aspect connecting the posts, which spread quicker than you can say ‘jam doughnut with extra sprinkles’. The reason? Entertaining videos, which take the hard truths and serve your problems in a more digestible form, are both relatable and reassuring. They make us feel better about not being perfect. We often visit social media to escape the reality – what’s better than a short clip, which sums up the hardship of motherhood by taking it to the absurd extremes?

#4 Personal

Brands, which use emotions, thread a thin line. There is plenty at stake but more often than not, becoming openly vulnerable and tapping into personal experiences will endear people to you. Let’s get back to the hair salon example – if you wanted to show your personal interpretation of Mother’s Day, you could share a warm story of your mum. You could invite your employees to share one lesson their mothers taught them. By showing human side your clients will understand that your message of  ‘Treat your mum to our special package’ comes from gratefulness because this is what you would have done for your mum. Nothing connects stronger than empathy.

#5 Community

With parenting blogs, mumpreneurs, working mum clubs and other mum-centric initiatives, the obvious assumption is that we are witnessing the rise of an amazing community of women, who take care of their children and do amazing things. Brands rarely address mothers collectively – their messages are about personalisation, speaking to one person rather than many at once. Yet, there is a lot of potential in strengthening the bonds with or nurturing your own community of mums. How about connecting with a local community of mums by inviting them to mums only party with VIM (Very Important Mum) vouchers downloadable from your website? How about tapping into an existing group of mumpreneurs and offering them a special discount, a group class at your yoga studio or Mums Night out and Mum’s Happy Hour with a meet and mingle event for local mums? Or going simple – every mum, who recommends a mum-friend, will receive a discount or a special gift. Want to take it further? Let them know the offer will not expire until the next Mother’s Day (because you understand that being a mum should not be celebrated one day a year only) and you will get famous.


These five different content ideas for Mother’s Day can bring your stale and predictable social media campaigns back to life. The bottom line of this post is to never stop experimenting with content, avoid excessive repetition, research what makes your target audience tick and getting creative with video. Don’t forget that social media should be about your customers, never about you.