Social Media Marketing: What Makes Women Tick (Online)?

It’s no secret that many marketers have tried to use social media as a tool to reach, influence and engage with women (given their powerful purchasing power), but until recently it’s been difficult to determine which social media platforms are most effective in this manner. However, the recent rise of Pinterest has positioned it as a clear trusted leader among women – and marketers should take notice.

The picture and image sharing social network has taken the world by storm, but women in particular have been attracted to it. In fact, a recent BlogHer survey found out that 81 percent of U.S. women trust Pinterest more than Facebook and Twitter. Wow! 

There’s also even more surprising and amazing facts from the survey, which can be help in a social media marketing campaign, including:

1. Pinterest and blogs rule at shopping
A whopping 61 percent of women said they based their most recent shopping recommendations from blog posts and 47 percent from Pinterest. That’s compared to a measly 33 and 31 percent who got recommendations through Facebook and Twitter.

It’s true: websites like Etsy revolve their selling power and social media marketing around blogging. And now major retailers are catching the social media bug and are creating awesome Facebook Pages and interacting on Twitter.

2. Facebook is for connecting, blogs mean business
Social media has drastically changed the landscape of buying for everyone. In particular, women trust and seek out purchasing decisions from blogs more often than heading over to Facebook, which the survey said they prefer to only connect with friends and family with (you know, what Facebook was originally intended for).

However, this is all about preference, too. Some people might want a trusted source like a popular blogger or sometimes they want direct feedback from a friend on Facebook. Still, bloggers are making money somehow!

3. Blogs provide the best information on products
61 percent of women through the BlogHer survey found that product information from familiar bloggers is the best information found online and influence buying things such as clothes and beauty products. Who said social media was a fad?

Though still rather “newish,” social media is a force to reckon with when it comes to advertising. Thousands of marketers trying to convince people to make pages on social sites and trust in social media marketing can’t be wrong, right?

4. Blogs still lag in the mainstream department
While most BlogHer readers (97 percent) find blogs to be the most mainstream, the general U.S. population of women find Facebook at 84 percent to be mainstream, with television still at the top with 93 percent in the general survey. Though, this still shows that social media is starting to match with older media like television in relevancy.

It makes sense, too. Video can be streamed online and information can be easily found through blogs, websites, and social media.

5. It’s a movement of personal stories
Personalized content sells online, one way or another. This also rings true in the BlogHer survey–most women both from the BlogHer survey and general survey agree that personal stories help sell on social media. Rather than commercialization, people want to hear real stories, inspiration, and information from actual people.

AdWeek also caught on to the survey results, putting in their own two cents. They mentioned Pinterest in particular, saying “However, the size of the Pinterest community could be a factor in the high level of trust women associate with it.” It’s true, Pinterest is sporting 11 million views per month–that’s pretty trustworthy when compared to Facebook’s 800 million population. And Pinterest easily links to other social media, making it a sort of gateway to sharing and learning.

Social media marketing is directly affected by this because of women’s buying power and influence. While the Web might seem like a “Boy’s Club,” it’s a pretty level playing field for both genders.

Making social media work for you
So, what makes a blog, social media site, or status trustworthy and marketable for women? It’s pretty simple, actually:

  • Bright, pretty pictures. Yup, that’s right: humans (no matter what gender) are visual and like pretty things. A big and captivating picture in a post really boosts that marketing.
  • Personalized content. Don’t generalize, get personal – people want to hear personal stories and experiences mixed with information.
  • Inspire with sharing. Of course you’ve heard the saying “sharing is caring,” it also applies to content online.

And that’s it. Three simple steps toward a reputable source of purchasing power, simplified. This is especially true according to BlogHer’s survey, too.

It looks like Pinterest will be leading the way for a new trend in social media marketing toward women this year. Other social media websites can learn from Pinterest and improve their strategy, tapping into this powerful population.

What do you think? Will other social networks ever match Pinterest’s popularity with women?


Published March 8, 2013 by Luke Severn.
Categories: Social Media