Why You Should Target Women in Social Media Campaigns

Why You Should Target Women in Social Media CampaignsA number of recent studies have given us some interesting data on a new target audience. Today, women are the primary users of Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites; are more likely than men to start their own blogs; and tend to be more active in following brands and businesses online. Catering towards female audiences might be the next step for businesses looking to increase conversions and market share through social media.

The Big Picture

In an August 2012 study, Pew Internet, an industry leader in internet demographics research, found that 69% of all internet users over the age of 18 use social networking sites. This isn’t particularly big news for businesses that have turned to social networking and social media to generate interest, improve sales, and build a solid fan base for their brand.

What might be more surprising is this: out of the women who were surveyed, 75% of them said that they frequented social networking sites, compared to 63% of men who were questioned. And likewise, in a similar Pew Internet study in February 2012, women proved to be more active on social networking sites. In that study, 54% of women said that they log onto social networking sites on a daily basis, while only 42% of men had the same reply.

The bottom line here: as a result of usage tendencies, your social media campaign is likely to reach more women than men, just by nature of who’s using the sites.

What Women Are Doing

Women’s social media behavior is more active in the details beyond signing in, as well. According to Nielson’s Second Quarter 2012 State of the Media report (the most recent Q3 report focused on geographical and national demographics rather than gender demographics), women are:

  • 18% more likely than men to “Like” and follow a brand on Twitter or Facebook
  • 8% more likely than men to start their own blog
  • 15% more likely than men to follow a celebrity online
  • 12% more likely than men to buy a product online that they saw on TV
  • 6% more likely than men to have a social networking profile

That first statistic, that women are 18% more likely to follow brands on Twitter or Facebook, should be big news for any business, and at the top of the priority list for creating and managing targeted social networking and media profiles.

Where Women Network

This past summer, Huffington Post reported on an infographic published by Information is Beautiful, detailing which sites tend to be dominated by women. The verdict could be a huge boon for businesses looking to target female audiences on specific platforms.

Pinterest was far and away the most female-dominated, with a user base that is 72% female. While Pinterest isn’t necessarily a go-to platform for businesses looking to gain market favor, it may be good to keep in mind that products that make their way over to users’ pinboards have the opportunity to be circulated among an audience that is largely made up of female consumers.

Coming in next on the list of female-dominated social networking sites was Twitter, which boasts a 62% female audience, followed by Yelp with 60%. Facebook came in with a 58% female base, and Instagram pulled up the rear with a user pool made up of 53% women.

While there are a number of male-dominated social networking sites, such as Reddit (74%), Google+ (64%), LinkedIn (54%), and YouTube (54%), these sites generally don’t offer the same kind of marketing potential that businesses can capitalize on through Facebook and Twitter. Ultimately, this means that the majority of users on the majority of social networking sites that are most utilized by businesses are women.

What It Means for Your Business

Marketing towards women has big potential. According to a recent article from the Atlantic, women make 75-85% of consumer purchases, ranging from electronics to cars to insurance. How might you harness that buying power?

As you develop your presence on the many social networks, you may want to keep in mind who your biggest audience is. We’re not saying you should target only women in your social media campaigns, but think about the needs and wants of the people who are more likely to follow your brand, share your posts with friends and family through blogging and pinning, and ultimately buy your product or service.

Developing a social media presence that engages women, and highlighting products and services that will benefit them, might be the best way for you to make the most out of your next social media campaign.


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Beans graduated from Smith College in 2011 with a BA in History of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, and has worked as a farmer, a cook on a food truck, and an archival assistant. Outside of writing and editing for CEM, Beans enjoys reading voraciously, watching space documentaries, and baking vegan treats. Currently, Beans lives in Salt Lake City, UT.

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    1. […] There are a number of social networking sites that, perhaps surprisingly if you’re not in the know, have a primarily female user base. Facebook, for example, is made up of 58% women. Twitter has an even larger gender disparity, with a user base constituted of 62% women. As I’ve talked about on the CEM blog in the past, social media marketing is a great way to reach women. […]

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