Social Media Habits: Men vs. Women
There are roughly 129,987,341 social media users in the US: a population larger than that of Japan.
Currently, 72% of online adults use social networking sites- nearly double the amount in 2008. Women make up the majority of social users, leading men 71% to 62%. Articles such as, “Why Women are the Real Power Behind the Huge Success of Pinterest and Tumblr” have been popping up on the net, sparking a little competition between the sexes. Do women really have a stronger social presence? Is it enough to truly control the social web?
Men and women are consistently compared and contrasted, whether it be in terms of mental development, salary or motor skills. In a world full of evolving technology and growing online networks, social media use provides another area in which men and women can be juxtaposed.
FinancesOnline.com came out with an infographic that depicts the differences in the online social habits of men and women. Combining research performed by Nielsen, Pew and ExactTarget, the infographic highlights key differences in:
• Activeness on different social platforms
• Reasons for social networking
• Effectiveness of advertising on social
The research conducted not only notes the differences in social habits between men and women, but it also provides insight for marketers trying to reach specific targets. As both charts point out, “not all social media is created equal.”
Women Prove to be More Social
40 million more women log onto Twitter than men each month, and Twitter isn’t the only social platform women dominate. According to an infographic compiled by Internet Service Providers, 62% of the 16% of the adult population that uses Twitter are female.
Facebook, on the other hand, has a relatively equal distribution of male and female users with 58% being female. Despite a low difference in number of Facebook users, gender plays a role in number of Facebook friends. On average, women users have 8% more friends than men.
Only 15% of adults are Pinterest users; however, 70% of Pinterest users are women.
Men typically establish their social presence on YouTube, LinkedIn, and Google+. Men not only contribute 64% of YouTube’s 280 million active users, but they also spend an hour each day on the site- 25 minutes longer than the time spent by women. A little more than half of LinkedIn’s users are male (54%).
Interestingly enough, numbers show men are able to have a larger presence on a social platform- without being social. Google+, with only 10% of adults having an account, has a predominately male following (64%). However, 75% of male users do not engage with others.
As a whole, women feel the need to be connected more than men. Forty-six percent of women use their smartphones to check their social accounts, while men follow close behind (43%).
Men Seek Social for Dating, Women for Games
According to research by Pew and Nielsen, part of the reason men and women differ in their social platforms of choice may be influenced by the gratification they seek. For example, women are more drawn to content-sharing sites where they can keep in touch with friends and entertain themselves while men strive to network – both in the professional and romantic sense.
Women turn to social media for a multitude of activities, especially those that revolve around entertainment, self-help, sharing and maintaining relationships. Women spend their time online uploading and sharing photos, blogging, chatting with friends and looking up “how-to’s” or “DIYs”. For the most part, women use social media to fulfill personal wants and needs. Men utilize social networking to foster business relationships and to spark love interests. Nearly twice the number of men compared to women turn to social media for dating (14% versus 7%).
Patterns in social media behavior extend to mobile use as well. Women mainly use their mobile devices for their cameras, to play games and to chat with friends. Men’s mobile use is dedicated to using GPS, listening to music, and watching videos.
When it comes to news, men are more likely to seek newspaper sources on their phones. Women rely on social media as a news source more heavily than men.
Gender Differences in Social Habits Helps Marketers Reach Targets
Women may have a stronger social presence than men, but what does this mean to marketers?
As depicted by FinancesOnline’s infographic, women are more likely than men to ignore social media ads. In fact, they are more likely to ignore text and paid digital ads as well. Women prefer to interact with brands on social sites. When it comes to brand interaction through social, women seek the overall experience. Marketer’s can use this information to target women in a way that will be most receptive: through exclusive content on brand social profiles. 71% of women are willing to “like” a brand on Facebook for deals. Men, who seek instant gratification, are more likely to scan coupons and QR codes for fast deals and information.
Overall, 35% of Americans belief social media influences their purchase decisions, but less than three in 10 use social to follow trends or find product reviews. These statistics prove word-of-mouth and face-to-face interactions are still prevalent; brands cannot depend on social media alone to push sales. In fact, Gallup’s recent study shows consumers are more likely to turn to friends for recommendations than company-sponsored social profiles.
Similar to how they differ in preferences of type of advertising, men and women also favor different content. The sexes can agree on funny and celebrity-endorsed ads, but only men want to see fast cars, contact sports and suggestive women in their suggested ads. The way to a woman’s heart through social advertising revolves around families, pets and kids (Nielsen 2013).
Improving Social Connections
By understanding what needs each sex seeks to satisfy through social media, you can cater your social marketing efforts to meet their wants. When designing consumer influencer efforts, consider the motivations for each sex. Cater your outreach and your brand experiences to create the most content, sharing and excitement around your brand. Remember these key things:
1). Women are drawn to image-based social platforms and enjoy sharing with friends and family. Create unique content that’s relevant to your consumers and enjoyable for them to pass along. Attractive photos, exclusive deals and conversations around your brand or the lifestyle it entails are likely to generate a buzz.
2). When developing an influencer campaign for men, focus on basic facts about the product. Men look for easy-to-access information. Men also spend more time watching videos and accessing newspapers on their mobile devices, so YouTube and news sources make great platforms for paid advertisements.
3). Men and women differ in their social media behavior in terms of platform and content preferences, but brands need to remember the golden rule when targeting each: building brand social pages is not enough. It’s important for brands to interact and spark conversation among consumers in multiple ways because word-of-mouth marketing plays a key role in purchase decisions.