WiFi: Women will give up Prada, PDA and mother-in-law - but not social networking

If you haven't yet considered the power of social media among women, consider this… More than one-third (36%) of online US and Canadian women would give up chocolate, their Pradas, or their mother-in-law before they gave up their social networks, according to a research study and report by ShesConnected Multimedia.

And… they actually are OK with advertiser supported revenue models on their favorite social networking sites (top sites in order of preference were: Facebook, Linked In, Twitter, My Space and Plaxo). Advertising is OK, but nine out of ten say they value their privacy as a top concern.

If you think social networking is a teeny bopper fad, think again. Surprisingly, the data showed the adoption of social networks by older women is especially strong. Women ages 50+ comprised the largest age group in the core user survey. Study respondents spend a significant amount of time online each day, with 49% reporting they spend 1-2 hours per day for personal use and 48% reporting they spend five or more hours per day online for work.

Another unexpected result, though they value their privacy, women are comfortable with ad-supported revenue models for social networking sites, the survey found. While 92% have some degree of comfort with seeing ads on social networking sites, only 22% say the same about selling data to advertisers. Again, privacy is paramount.

ShesConnected notes that these study findings have potentially profound implications for advertisers. "Women using Social Networks are finding such high utility in these sites that they are becoming a central component of their lives online," the firm said in a press release, adding that "marketers need to focus on how best to provide value to the community."

The top five reasons women belong to social networks:

  • To network professionally
  • To stay up-to-date with friends
  • To stay up-to-date with groups they belong to
  • To promote their business.
  • To research products or services

About the study: The study was conducted online using a viral approach to recruitment, including email invitations to ShesConnected registered members, links on Facebook and LinkedIn groups, and Twitter. There were 711 respondents to the study, which took place in April and May of 2009. No incentive was offered. Additional data from the US Census Bureau, Forrester Research and other published third-party studies was used to compile the final report.

WiFi is a weekly wired feature of Functional Ingredients magazine.
Source: Marketingcharts.com, ShesConnected Multimedia

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.