Marketing to Moms: Is Twitter Different from Other Social Networks?

July 13, 2009 § Leave a comment

twittermomsOn a typical online social network, most of the activity is undertaken by women. 

Women seem to follow content produced by women they know. Certainly, the importance of peer counsel from other women, particularly Moms, supports this finding.  But interestingly enough, on most social networks, men also follow content produced by women they do and do not know.

It seems that Twitter is a different social network animal. 

According to new research from Harvard Business School, conducted in May 2009, although men and women follow a similar number of Twitter users, men have 15% more followers than women. Men also have more reciprocated relationships, in which two users follow each other.

This “follower split” suggests that women are driven less by followers than men, or have more stringent thresholds for reciprocating relationships. This split is interesting, especially given there are more women present on Twitter. 

The study found that men comprise 45% of Twitter users, while women represent 55%. This microblogging platform is perfect for moms who have about 10 seconds at a time for themselves because of its 140-character typing limit.  There are even power mom bloggers at sites like Twittermoms.com.

It seems that the average man is almost twice more likely to follow another man than a woman.  Similarly, an average woman is 25% more like to follow a man than a woman.  And an average man is 40% more likely to be followed by another man than a woman.  It seems that these results cannot be followed by different tweeting activity – both men and women tweet at the same rate.

The 10/90 Rule Different than other Social Networks

The top 10% of prolific Twitter users accounted for over 90% of tweets. On a typical online social network, the top 10% of users account for 30% of all production.

What Does this Mean?

It may mean that Twitter is less of a two-way communication network and more of a one-way, one to many publishing service.

For marketers, it is important to understand that content on Twitter must take a different twist than other social networks.  If you are boring, don’t offer relevance or overtly self-promotional, you may experience a lack of followers. The content must be important to those following you. 

Ask yourself the following questions before posting to Twitter.

Do I have something interesting to say? Will my Twitter care about this activity or comment?

Who will be interested in this post? Does it have value?

Are my posts continually self-indulgent or blatant self-promotion?  Do I brag about myself or company too much?

Are my posts a rant or openly negative? 

Do I re-tweet too much?  Do I have real content or can I add value to retweet?

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