WASHINGTON, D.C., Sep 29, 2009 /  — Retailers trying to influence moms should pay close attention to the World Wide Web, though free stuff doesn’t hurt either, according to a new Retail Advertising and Marketing Association survey conducted by BIGresearch.

Women with children at home are more likely to use Facebook (60.3%), MySpace (42.4%) and Twitter (16.5%) than average adults (50.2%, 34.4%, 15.0%, respectively), according to the survey. Additionally, 15.3 percent maintain their own blog.

“Retailers who aren’t engaging customers through social media could be missing the boat,” said Mike Gatti, Executive Director for RAMA. “Twitter, Facebook and blogs are becoming increasingly popular with moms as they search for coupons or deals and keep in touch with loved ones. The web provides efficient, convenient ways for brands to stay in front of their most loyal shoppers and attract new ones.”

On a scale of one to five, when asked what types of promotions most influence their purchases, product samples in the store (3.8), product samples delivered to home (3.6), loyalty cards (3.5), and special displays (3.4) rank as a few of moms’ favorites.

Not surprisingly, moms frequently share experiences and information, and say other peoples’ opinions influence their purchases. Nine out of ten (93.6%) mothers regularly or occasionally seek the advice of others before buying a service or product, according to the survey. Additionally, a staggering 97.2 percent said they give advice to others about those products or services they purchased.

“Quite frankly, moms like to talk,” said Phil Rist, Executive Vice President, Strategic Initiatives, BIGresearch. “Whether they’re having coffee with a friend or updating their Facebook status, these women are eager and willing to share shopping experiences, both good and bad.”

When it comes to where they shop for clothes, 32.9 percent prefer department stores and 23.2 percent head to specialty apparel stores. But, when it comes to shopping for their children’s clothes, 30.7 percent said they head to discount stores, 19.6 percent said department stores and 17.5 percent prefer specialty apparel stores. Moms also most prefer discounters the most for their children’s toys (45.0%) and their own personal health and beauty products (45.5%).