Is the Internet Turning Pink?

by Jess Held on May 4, 2010

Women have more than established their presence in the world of social media. Some recent survey data of male and female use of social networks:


Male: 43%

Female: 57%

[tweetmeme source="admavericks"]


Male: 48%

Female: 52%


Male: 45%

Female: 55%


Male: 36%

Female: 64%


Male: 41%

Female: 59%


Male: 43%

Female: 57%

Male: 34%

Female: 66%

What does this mean for marketers?  Big opportunity and don’t underestimate the decision making power many women have within the household when it comes to purchases typically deemed “male”. Social media channels are a highly effective way to reach women and engage them with your message and value.

Companies need to find the perfect blend of both online and offline strategies.  Social media isn’t “sell you” media. It’s an opportunity to share your story and build relationships.  Studies show that women are more likely to be influenced by recommendations from their peers and brands they see their peers engaging with online than traditional forms of advertising.

Estee Lauder cosmetics has found an excellent way to engage with their target audience (35-55) and also build new relationships with a much needed younger audience to secure future brand loyalty. They offered free makeovers and photo shoots at department-store cosmetic counters nationwide and then produced studio quality head shots for women to use for their online profiles.

My grandmothers’ cosmetic company, defies the tradition of burying consumers under free makeup totes and other “gifts of purchase”. NOVEL! Today their Facebook page is actively engaged with 58,000 followers. I see an entirely new group of my 30 “something” peers getting engaged with a brand we once considered high quality but not engaged with the cosmetic needs of our age group.

BusinessWeek reveals through a study of 13.2 million people that women far outpace men when it comes to social media engagement and use. While no doubt adoption of social media will grow among men as well, it won’t keep pace with female users.

More advice for marketers? Overall, women’s behavior online is less transactional and more relationship and influence driven. Women spend more time on social networks building relationships, communicating with friends, and making new friends.  And because they use social networks to be social, a dollar spent marketing to acquire a female user can go a lot further than on a male user. More insight on male/female behavior here.

Author – Jess Held

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Claire Celsi May 4, 2010 at 11:30 am

Excellent correlation to why marketing to women using social media is simply smart! I would never use a glamour shots-type of photo on my Facebook profile though. I think that was a miss…most people use more casual shots.


Kelly Rivard May 4, 2010 at 11:39 am

This is a hot topic that my professors here at school are missing; even the prof who taught my “new media” class (which, essentially, was a social media class) seemed turned off to the idea of social media outreach and marketing, especially to a target audience. To him, Twitter is “shouting into the darkness.”

It’s great to see the ladies taking charge, especially since there’s still in some areas a common misconception that women can’t be trusted to make some purchasing decisions. (This has actually come up a few times recently in agriculture.)

Also, where can I find myself a pink MacBook?


Claire Celsi May 4, 2010 at 11:45 am

Kelly: Unfortunately, your professor is not very well educated on how to use social media. That is unfortunate. You should suggest to your school’s administration that they hire a more qualified individual. May I use your quote in my collection of case studies on how NOT to teach college students?


jessheld May 4, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Thanks Claire & Kelly! Kelly, I agree with Claire that your professor is not educated nor experienced in social media. Social media channels such as Twitter and Facebook are mainstream, not a trend or a fad, but rather a very real way we interact as businesses and consumers.


Pete Jones May 4, 2010 at 12:14 pm

Interesting. Men don’t want to chat and create relationships. Shocker. ;-)

Wonder what that makes guys like Josh and I?

We can’t be metrosexual, maybe we’re socialsexual…no, that can’t be it. Hmmm, I will have to think about a new term for men who use Social Media to build relationships because it is so 2010. :)


jessheld May 4, 2010 at 12:27 pm

Pete, that makes you and Josh social media super hero’s! Survey data only represents a somewhat higher percentage of women vs. men on many of these sites. We know your there! :) Thanks for the comments!


Claire Celsi May 4, 2010 at 12:31 pm

I dunno, I think they both might be metrosexuals. Which is a good thing.


joshuafleming May 4, 2010 at 12:33 pm

Pete, I’m dying over here! Social Sexual? I think you should trademark that, hashtag it #socialsexual and come up with a slogan “I was socialsexual before socialsexual was cool.” or “Socialsexual – the new Metrosexual.”


joshuafleming May 4, 2010 at 12:41 pm

Claire – thanks, but I need to groom myself better and drop enough poundage to fit into the flight suit before I start proclaiming myself “Metrosexual” – LMAO


Kelly Rivard May 4, 2010 at 1:09 pm

I definitely agree with all the criticism of my professor; I’ve learned more from farmers and marketers on proper social media use than I have in any classroom.

As far as the drastic turn of the conversation after Jess’s post…uh…?


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