Men, Women, and Social Media

We all know and understand the gender differences between men and women when it comes to common activities such as shopping, eating, and exercising. But with the advent of the digital world, have you ever wondered about the behavioural differences between men and women when it comes to social media?

Who uses social media more often, and for what purposes? An interesting report by Neilsen outlines what is commonly thought of as the female/male digital divide, and how it impacts their behavior on social media.

Here are a few highlights from the report:

  • A greater percentage of women than men get more than 50 percent of their news from social media sources
  • More women than men use social media to stay in touch with family and friends (65 percent vs. 53 percent for men)
  • Social media for creative purposes, such as blogging and sharing photos, is more popular amongst women (28 percent vs. 23 percent of men)
  • Men use social media more frequently for business and dating purposes

Women outnumber men in most areas using Facebook, but they also like this platform for:

  • Viewing photos and videos
  • Sharing with multiple people
  • Learning how to help others
  • Receiving support from their network of friends

When it comes to brand interaction, the dynamic changes. Men use social media to engage with quick deals or coupons more frequently than women. In fact, men are more likely to scan QR codes than women (56 percent of men as opposed to 39 percent of women). Women are also more likely to ignore paid social media advertisements (48 percent of women as opposed to 42 percent of men).

However, women are more likely to follow a brand on social media for deals (71 percent of women as opposed to 18 percent of men).

According to a study done by Pew, women outnumber men on all the major social media platforms, with the exception of LinkedIn. It turns out 78 percent of women are actively using Facebook as opposed to 69 percent of men, while 24 percent of men are active on LinkedIn while only 18 percent of women are on the platform.

So what do men and women have in common when it comes to social media? Well, they both enjoy viewing social media ads that feature a celebrity endorsement or have a humorous bent to them.

So what do all these numbers mean? Well, as most brands already know, women have the buying power in the household, and their time spent on social media is certainly driving that forward.

But it’s also important to understand these numbers for everyday purposes, especially when communicating with your networks and trying to get a message across. Whether you use social media for personal or professional use, understanding how to navigate and communicate with your friends and connections can make in difference in whether your audience is paying attention, and what they’re paying attention to.

Take a tip from the brands using social media to market services. They pay close attention to what their audience responds to. You can do the same thing in your own use of social media! Whether you’re sharing an outrageous cat video or trying to spur action for a charitable cause you believe in, understanding the general behaviors of your audience (whether male or female) can make a real difference.


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