The Facebook mums group that's attracting big business.

One mum tells us how she became a social media heavyweight.

‘I didn’t have a village.’

Natalie Hudson started her Facebook group Eastern Suburbs Mums two years ago after to moving to the eastern suburbs and it now has an online population bigger than Byron Bay.

“I am originally from Perth so I don’t have a big village [in Sydney], I don’t have family here so I am always looking to connect with people and one of the ways I do that is through social media – I’ve met some really great people through it,” she said.

The mother of two used her a PR and marketing background to kick-start a project that is now attracting big business.

Drawing from her own experiences as a mother, Ms Hudson built the group from sharing tips on a range of subjects  – anything from good local playgrounds to trusted lactation consultants.

“I just saw that there was an opportunity that local businesses didn’t have a chance to talk directly to mums – they didn’t have big budgets like a multinational and they wanted to share their new book or new service – so that’s where the idea came about,” she said.

Inspired by another popular Facebook group in North Sydney, Ms Hudson combined her professional skills and created her own online village – that now has over 5900 members.

Natalie Hudson with her children Milla and Sacha. Image supplied.

"I saw an opportunity for a platform that local businesses, services and people could share a voice - which they couldn’t normally have, and it was specifically targeted to mums in this area."

Members are filtered.

The idea was to share knowledge and help mothers promote their own business ventures. Thousands of members joined up but Ms Hudson says she doesn't accept just anyone.

"The group's members are filtered. Sometimes you see people liking a page that shouldn’t be liking it so you can quite quickly go to their profile and see where they live."

"Sometimes you get the really nice flip on that, where you get mums that used to live in the eastern suburbs but they are now overseas  but they still want to see what's happening – particularly on Instagram," said Ms Hudson.


No 'mum wars' allowed.

Alongside the large public Facebook group, the Sydneysider runs a closed group with around 2700 members and despite a lot of discussion there are no "mum wars".

"I’ve only had one instance [of bullying] and I just had to say – 'What you are doing is not appropriate on this page'," she said.

Now big business clients are wanting to tap into her specific audience.

"Huggies was the first [big brand] that approached me and wanted to use my platform of Eastern Suburbs Mums to leverage their hugs for hearts campaign. I am not saying they are all coming knocking on the door." she said.

The Facebook groups is for families that live near the sea. Image via iStock.

Ms Hudson limits to how much she advertises and is interested in products that are the right fit for her audience.

"If the right business comes with a campaign that they want to share and I feel it’s appropriate and I’m definitely going to be willing – because I have to cover my cost. It’s just straight forward business, that’s just how it is."

World domination.

Eastern Suburbs Mums is one of many Facebook groups that are attracting commercial interest. However, Ms Hudson says she is just "covering costs".

"You have to host a website, you have to manage all the requests that come through whilst juggling another job and motherhood and this at the moment is quite modest."

"I was never looking to do world domination, that was never the idea."

The idea behind the group was a place where mums could find a sense of belonging and share word-of-mouth tips.

"I hope that they [group members] get a sense of feeling connected in their community and that they are getting good information that helps them in their daily lives in motherhood – motherhood is hard enough."