Marketing to Women: Content is Queen!

May 4, 2011 § Leave a comment

It’s no secret that we spend a lot of time on social media.  Last year Morpace reported that, on average, Facebook users spend about one of every three minutes online on Facebook.  The TNS “Digital Life” survey of internet users around the world found in September 2010 that on average, surfers spent 4.6 hours a week on social sites, compared with 4.4 hours on email, the most common internet activity.  In fact, it seems we spend more time on Facebook than we do on Google!

So what are we doing with all this online time?  It is all about content sharing.   Some 27 million pieces of content are shared daily, according to a new AOL/Nielsen study.

What is content?  It’s published articles, blog posts, published videos, news and  published photos.  We are not talking about the pictures of your new puppy or your high school reunion.

  • 42% of all Twitter posts contain content-sharing links; 73% of Twitter posts related to a specific industry (auto, tech, finance, and entertainment) contain sharing links.
  • 41% of all blog posts contain content-sharing links; 64% of industry-specific blog posts contain such links.
  • 12% of all Facebook posts contain content content-sharing links; 22% of industry-specific Facebook posts contain such links.

Who shares content on social media?  Lots of people do.  51% of men and 49% of women are sharing content.  And content sharing happens on every online platform – Email (93%), social networks (89%), blogs (82%), message boards (81%),  and instant messages (80%).  And 99% of us who are sharing do it across all platforms.

Today I sent copies of articles to business associates through email, a shopping idea to my daughter through email, posted a couple of magazine and blog entries to Facebook and Twitter, and am now sharing research with you through my blog.

60% of content sharing mentions a brand or product.

There is a bit of a difference in why men and women share content.  Media Post says men are more likely — 41% men to 32% women — to share information they feel is “important” and feel will be helpful to others and position themselves as experts.  While it seems that women are slightly more likely — 33% vs. 31% — to share information pertaining to a common interest like politics, arts and parenting in an effort to build community.

Nearly one out of every four messages we send contains some type of content sharing.  That’s why Twitter has become an important news source.  On Sunday night, some 7,000 retweeted Jimmy Fallon‘s Twitter commentary on Osama, Obama and Celebrity Apprentice. (You’ll have to look it up if you haven’t already seen it and tweeted it!)

And here’s the news for those who don’t think social media is important to branding:  AOL and Nielsen found that a full 60% of content-sharing messages specifically mention a brand or product name.

So let’s review.  A majority of content mentions a specific brand.  Women like to share news with other like-minded peoople.  Men like to look like authorities.  And all ages are sharing content.  And those who receive information tend to trust it more when it comes from a friend.  This type of sharing makes content even more important than ever.  Brands must provide helpful, authentic, engaging and relevant information that social media users need and are happy to share.  No more one-sided communication here.

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