Social Media groups have made it easier for moms to connect, exchange information and find like- minded friends. And when the mom groups are local, it is even more easy to connect, share your favorites, recommend businesses or schools or activities and make real life friends or find play dates. With the same thought in mind, blogger mom, Abbie Alter, formed a Facebook group, 'Plano Moms', a few years ago that has now become a huge community of moms in Dallas.
Abbie moved to Plano from U.K. in the summer of 2013 with her husband and two kids and found herself lonely. This thought came to her, that there could be more moms in the area feeling the same way as her and she decided to form a Facebook group of moms in and around Plano. Over the years, the group evolved into a full blown community of moms from across Dallas area and so did Abbie's blog into a resource and guide for local moms that has everything from recommended personal hair stylists, cleaning maids to schools, summer camps and activities and useful coupons and discounts.
Abbie quickly grew from a blogger to the Founder of Plano Moms. She now has a team of moms that work with her to help support her website and also manage her massive community of moms and local events.
Abbie previously worked in digital marketing in U.K. and worked with many big brands. She used her experiences combined with her needs to connect with other moms and Plano moms was born. Her website, Plano Moms is a repertoire of information, just about everything a mom would need for herself, her kids or her family in and around Dallas. Their email newsletters contain everything they would need for the week or the weekend or for the upcoming holidays! Some lists are also curated based on kids' age groups, interests or activities.
The Facebook group, Plano moms, is open for moms to ask for advices, recommend a business or individual or share their experiences and thoughts. But with managing and owning a community as large as Plano Moms, comes several responsibilities that Abbie and her team do a commendable job at, which shows through the success and growth of this group.
"We curate and collect referrals and recommendations from local moms for local moms. Whether it's the right doctor, or hairstylist, swim teacher or the best park in the area, we have it all. No need to spend time googling or scrolling and posting in Facebook groups, we take the hard work and effort away, save you time and give you highly trusted referrals," Abbie told News Break.
Abbie's Plano Moms also help moms through extreme times, from pandemic to the Texas snow storm, the volume of rich resources shared is praise-worthy and her platform provided the much needed help in those times where all moms in the community came together to help each other. Moms in the community exchange real- time information whether it is about the availability of the scarce toilet paper or opening their homes for other moms to seek shelter during the snow storm.
"During the pandemic, we created and published a ton of great blog content with ideas to study at home, keep kids busy, how to safely protect yourself and family from COVID, grocery delivery and curbside pick-up and also promoted local and small businesses who provided COVID- specific services," Abbie told News Break.
"We enable friendships and connections between local moms online, we save their precious time by sending great ideas for events and things to- do to their inboxes, curate great social media (Instagram: @planomoms) content with ideas for resources in the area and do all of this at no cost! We also offer fun opportunities for local adventures in the community and help new, relocating families with the resources and advice they need to help them settle here in Plano and other surrounding Dallas areas. We also support local businesses by connecting them to moms with effective promotions and advertising opportunities," Abbie added.
While this community is growing and supporting several moms, there are challenges to maintain a healthy platform. "Our community also shares this one common trait that we are all moms. However, we try and personalize our resources within the community for first- time moms, for those relocating here, moms of teens, grandmoms and so on. So their needs differ but we do our best to use our platform to cater to all these varying needs," Abbie told News Break.
"The numbers within our community and content being shared by them on our Facebook group means that we need admin help with all hands on deck. We have a number of volunteers who love to be involved and ensure our community is managed professionally but is also helpful to our members. There are topics which are divisive, including politics, religion and themes which are 'hot topics' and involve some debate. There are difference in opinions, not everyone thinks the same, or feel the same about these issues and cannot expect to. We try to embrace respectful dialog wherever possible, but also provide a safe, comfortable space where our members can use their voices for the benefit of others," Abbie added.
While the community is growing at a fast pace, Abbie is continuously evolving her content to fit her audience's growing needs. "We recently launched our own Plano-themed coloring book and series of local printable scavenger hunts for local moms to enjoy with their kids held at Oak Point Nature Preserve, Arbor Hills and Russell Creek Park in Plano. We'd like to offer more of these local, created adventures for families to enjoy. We are always looking at ways to solve problems for our local families and provide those connections with each other, they crave for!" Abbie told News Break.
Plano Moms is exactly what every community needs because together we are stronger!