How to Engage & Market to Women on Social Media

Women outpace men when it comes to using social media. Therefore, companies must have a differentiated strategy to engage them.

How-to Engage and Market to Women on Social Media

According to the Pew Research Center, women outpace men by at least 8 percent when it comes to using social media. On Twitter, 58 percent of the users are women. On Facebook, the female contingent is even greater: 64 percent. The new image-based social site Pinterest is a haven for women wishing to express their hopes, dreams, and opinions in pictorials; 82 percent of Pinterest users are women.

This has significant implications for businesses that wish to promote goods and services to women. Reaching them on the cyber social scene is pretty much a prerequisite and leveraging their social patterns, behaviors, and interests is crucial.

Here are 10 tips for marketing to women on social media:

  1. Follow and respond: Women enjoy social interaction and prefer that bonds on social media not be a one-way street. So, in addition to getting women to follow your company, follow them back, answer their questions, provide advice or insight, and request their opinion through polls or weekly questions.

  2. Cite the interests of their family and friends: Many social media platforms have marketing tools that can identify whether your brand is being followed by friends or relatives of your target audience. Furthermore, they can use those expressed interests to pitch products or services to women, encouraging their patronage because someone they know, love and trust is already a customer. Companies would be smart to encourage such mirror participation, as an additional way for women to bond and see eye-to-eye with those close to them. After all, bonding with family members and acquaintances and hearing their opinions and advice are the key reason women are on social media according to public relations firm Weber & Shandwick.

  3. Incite emotion: Passion-driven women use both reason and emotion when deciding whether or not to patronize a company. Companies would be wise to integrate their marketing with women’s personal crusades, mentioning company efforts that appeal to female interests, concerns, and social causes, as expressed in the posts and profiles of followers.

  4. Present well-rounded female images: While some women don’t mind, being acknowledged for their domestic or nurturing capacities, many women are successful working professionals who like to be acknowledged for their achievements, community work, and personal talents. Appeal to the whole woman in online advertising and social media content, showing that the company understands the multi-faceted lives of modern women. Do this by alternating imagery and campaigns.

  5. Include Recommend buttons on website or company blog posts: Even what you do outside of social media, can result in a Twitter or Facebook high-five from female admirers. The average woman with a social media account is likely to recommend a product online at least 10 times a month. As they browse the internet reading content about products they use, women are highly likely to use the “like” and “recommend” buttons above or beneath the blog content, resulting in social media followers seeing their opinions.

  6. Request reviews: Don’t be shy and wait for women followers to sing the company praises; ask them directly for their thoughts on goods and services they’ve used. The average woman will go through the trouble of writing out a product review as much as four times a month.

  7. Be shareable: Create social media posts that have personality, are provocative, are amusing, or are chock full of detailed information that can’t be found elsewhere. Don’t rely just on boring texts; have images, which of course have the company logo or product in there somewhere, or short video snippets. If moved -- whether amused, touched, or enraged, women might be compelled to re-pin or re-tweet such dynamic content.

  8. Advertise across multiple media platforms: In addition to short messaging sites or sites geared toward image posting, consider video-sharing sites and social platforms that present online music, TV, or talk radio. Studies show that women spend seven hours a week listening to online radio and more than six hours watching television online. They spend four hours reading the newspaper online.

  9. Constantly test promotions on new media sites: Women are constantly changing their online hangouts, and looking for new social opportunities, so companies should not get comfortable and expect their female audience to stay in one place for too long. In just the past six months, 16 percent of women participating in a survey of 2,000 respondents acknowledged that they stopped using one or more social media sites. Thirty-eight percent admitted to decreasing their use of certain sites.

  10. Choose the right site for your target demographic: Not all women use the same social media sites, so companies must make sure they choose the right settings for their promotions. Moms and homemakers (especially in the Midwest) are keen on Pinterest, whereas teens and young adult females gravitate toward Instagram, Google-plus, YouTube, and Twitter; young girls do not have affection for Facebook, although adult women do. If you are aiming for wealthy and more serious audiences, they hang out on Linked-in, Blogger, and Instagram. For more information on elevating the impact of your marketing to women, download Insights in Marketing, LLC's latest eBook "Getting Women to Buy: Better Insights to Transform Your Marketing."

Willie Pena is a writer who covers topics such as marketing to women, marketing research, and marketing via various social channels. Connect with him on Google+, and LinkedIn.

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