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:
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.