Many probably believe that millennials are the most active and influenced users of social media since representatives of this generation have played with electronic gadgets and computers earlier than members of any other generation.
“Younger users are more susceptible” to social-media messages, especially those emanating from influential users, Brock University professor Anteneh Ayanso wrote in his new book Harnessing the Power of Social Media and Web Analytics.
Yet during a Money Talk radio interview on KCAA, Vanessa DiMauro, CEO of Leader Networks, shared the results of a study she conducted with Don Bulmer showing that marketers would be wise to think about their audience not so much by generation but rather by gender. “Women were two times more likely to turn to social channels to inform their decisions about purchases than men — at all age groups,” she said.
Back in June 2012, Alexis C. Madrigal observed in “Sorry, Young Man, You’re Not the Most Important Demographic in Tech,” an article in the Atlantic, “Women are the fastest [growing] category and biggest users on every social networking site with the exception of LinkedIn. Women are the vast majority owners of all internet enabled devices — readers, healthcare devices, GPS — that whole bundle of technology is mostly owned by women.”
Global communications firm Weber Shandwick concluded in its December 2012 study “The Women of Social Media,” that “the overwhelming majority of North American women are on social media.” Cautioning that different women harbor different social preferences, Weber Shandwich said, “their social connectivity is far-reaching and their potential exposure to brand messages is high. Marketers do not want to overlook the opportunity to engage with women on social media,”
DiMauro said the profile of the dominant social-media advocate is a woman who is younger than 35 and an active Twitter user who has begun to experience an improved personal-financial position and accesses the Internet via a mobile device.
She also observed that “women placed a much higher importance on the degree to which a company commits to operating with a social conscience. So when a company is doing good [and] sharing information about [its] social impact, women were more likely to affiliate with that organization and share that information.”
Thus, entrepreneurs who plan to use social media should aim to clearly understand women’s needs as consumers. Such efforts can be beneficial in persuading them to share their positive experiences on social networks.
Marketing expert Adri Miller Heckman has described the value of focus groups: “In a group setting by simply asking the right open ended questions the women will immediately begin sharing their thoughts and ideas with you as well as each other eventually driving the whole conversation.”
KCAA radio personality Aaron Michael Sanchez, who is an entrepreneur and a consultant for my Money Talk show, observes that that women’s influence can even extend to men’s products and services. “If you do a men’s line I guess then I would shift it to bring in the woman’s view point.”
While every social media platform has its nuances, entrepreneurs should develop a social-media strategy that includes Twitter at its core. Entrepreneurs need to translate their messaging into 140 characters and include effective enhancements such as photos, links and video. “With its 140-character gems, your Twitter feed can be inspiring, informative, make you laugh, and even change the way you look at the world,” Catriona Davies wrote for CNN.com.
And entrepreneurs should try to nudge users from social media platforms onto company websites. This strategy requires not only engaging and thoughtful content but also optimizing the website for mobile access. “With increasing smartphone usage, making a website that is friendly to smartphone users has now become a critical part of website management,” Google stated.