Recent research from Pew Research Center found that the percentage of female Internet users who use social networking sites well exceeds that of men (75% vs. 63% respectively) and women are also more active in their use of these sites. Women are the “low-hanging fruit” of social media today and deserve closer attention from marketers.
To help companies measure and maximize this engagement opportunity, global communications firm Weber Shandwick partnered with KRC Research to conduct Digital Women Influencers, an online survey of 2,000 North American women. The purpose of the study was to identify segments of women who are influential in social media and to provide new and unique insights about the female market as marketers and communications evolve their strategies and plans in this new era of consumer engagement.
Vital Social Statistics of North American Women
- 86% have a social media account/profile with 2.2 accounts on average
- 81% Facebook is by far the most prevalent social media account
- Spend an average of 12 hours per week using social media (nearly 2 hours/day)
- 19% say some of their best friends they know only through Facebook or Twitter
Implication: The overwhelming majority of North American women are on social media. Their social connectivity is far-reaching and their potential exposure to brand messages is high. Marketers do not want to overlook the opportunity to engage with women on social media.
Social media’s emotional return on investment
Women of Social Media enjoy their online networks nearly as much as they enjoy live social activities and, notably, slightly more than dating or spending time with their partner.
- 86% Spending time with family members
- 77% Hanging out with friends or other social activities
- 75% Using social networks, such as Facebook
- 72% Dating or spending time with partner
Social media helps women manage their time and relationships. One-quarter of Women of Social Media prefer to socialize online rather than in-person.
- 62% Like that social media gives them control over who they talk to and when
- 24% Would rather socialize through social media, such as Facebook ot Twitter than in person
Implication: A large segment of North American women value their social networks and social media is where they like to be Social platforms make them available to have engaging relationships with brands. Marketers need to recognize that social media is more than a channel for distributing coupons and promoting sales. they should use it to build relationship.
Women of social media are highly influential
The Women of Social Media are more influential than women in general and not just online
Implication: Engage women of social media! they are influential enough to serve as your brand advocates. Build engagement programs around this large and influential segment.
The women of social media are media mavens
The Women of Social Media do not limit their media usage to social not do they consume all their media online – these women watch TV offline five times more frequently than they watch TV online.
In an average week, how many hours do you personally spend doing each of following?
- 33.7 Watch TV on set
- 7.0 Listen to the radio online
- 6.8 Watch TV online
- 6.0 Listen to the radio on a radio or in a car
- 4.0 Read the newspaper online or on an e-reader such as the Nook or Kindle
- 3.2 Read the newspaper in print
Implication: Brand engagement programs geared to The Women of Social Media should be integrated across multiple media outlets to be most effective.
The cost of disengagement
Marketers should not take decreased usage of a social media site that they have invested in slightly. Analysis conducted by SocialCode found that the average cost of acquiring a Facebook fan is $9.56. Defectors are younger than total North American women (22% vs 14%, respectively, are 18-24) – a vital demographic for social brand initiatives. “Chasing” these women from platform to platform costs marketers. Defecting women wield more influence than the average women, magnifying the importance of maintaining their engagement with brands.
Implication: Continuously evaluate and refine your engagements plans activities to help reduce defections and ultimately the cost of your acquisitions. Develop defector strategies to bring them back to the platform they left.
Different women, different social network preferences
Implication: A one-size-fit-all approach to social brand engagement program likely won’t work. Get to know your communities, and the influencers within them, and customize your programs by platform.