Mar 12 '13
Inspired by International Women’s Day last week we came across this infographic that studies women and their engagement with social media. It’s interesting to see that women account for 85% of all purchasing decisions and 60% of all wealth in the US and yet over 90% say that marketers don’t understand them.
(Full infographic here)
The ladies of social media are totting up an average of 12 hours a week on various networking sites and they account for 86% of North American women. They enjoy spending time on social media sites more than with their significant other and nearly one quarter would rather interact via Facebook and Twitter than in real life.
Marketers know that their female audience will be watching and the rest of the stats prove that they will also be interacting. So where is it going wrong? Some marketers choose to go for a one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to targeting women across their social media platforms but this isn’t proving helpful for anyone. Each networking site has a female audience with unique characteristics and marketers need to find a way to tick the right boxes on every platform.
Cupcakes and kittens might be great on Pinterest but on Twitter they don’t have the same appeal. ‘Liking’ and recommending products and services is key for brand engagement and the women of social media are influential enough to be brand advocates. They are not only more likely to share their recommendations online but also in person, their interaction with a brand spreads much further than the edges of the internet.
In short, the women of social media want more than rainbows and unicorns and if marketers don’t deliver, they’re missing out on vital engagement.
Some comments from a woman of social media, EC associate Rebecca Hunt:
I’ll admit to being a closet fan of finding new recipes on Pinterest and my cat is on his way to becoming an Instagram celebrity but I agree that many marketers are quick to jump to stereotypes and roll them out across all of their social media accounts. The current targeted advertising on my Facebook page is telling me to ‘Shop like a Millionaire’ and that I should get a new TV package so that I don’t miss the latest soaps. Thanks for the offer but I’d rather keep my shopping lower than Paris Hilton’s level and especially as I don’t own a television at the moment, recording Eastenders isn’t really my cup of tea.
I do feel that once I have been slotted into the female 18-24 category, I’m susceptible to all things pink and fluffy. I can’t think of the last time that I saw a product or a service on social media, aimed at women that really made me want to go out of my way to share it online or in person. It could just be my taste and friendship circles. Then again, maybe I just don’t want them to always get it right. I quite like finding my own hidden gems, it’s provides respite from the big brands that think they know me so well. As a consumer it’s impossible to avoid being categorised and cross-sectioned but would tailoring to such specific groups of women start to get a little creepy or are we so used to personalised targeted marketing that we wouldn’t notice?
I’m not going to go bra-burning or placard-wielding just yet but I do think marketers need to give us ‘women of social media’ a bit more time and consideration. We don’t all like shopping, cupcakes and funny cats…. apart from this one.