At WOMMA, we like to preach that consumers, marketers, buyers, and everyone else prefer to engage offline versus online. However, according to a study released last week by WOMMA member Weber Shandwick and KRC Research, this opinion could be swayed when it comes to women of social media.
Weber Shandwick and KRC Research conducted on an online survey of 2,000 North American women to help identify segments of women who are influential in social media in part two of a multi-part series. Marcy Massura, director of digital engagement at Weber Shandwick, said the purpose of the study was to find what these women influence, who they influence, and how they influence their circles.
Weber Shandwick and KRC Research classified 68% of the women in the survey as “Women of Social Media (WOSM).” These women were characterized as the elite group of the respondents who were highly active on social media.
A key finding of the report saw that 24% of the WOSM said they prefer to socialize online rather than offline.
“This indicates women are utilizing social media for more than just a tool now,” Massura said. “Women of social media have an emotional response to their content and time online. Marketers need to tap into that as we look for ways to get people talking about brands.”
Despite 76% of WOSM still preferring to interact offline, Massura said the used-to-be fine line between real life and digital life is now dwindling.
“You won’t hear people say ‘she is my online friend’ anymore,” Massura said. “She now says she is just a friend of mine. I could easily see that 24 percent eventually moving into a 50/50 split.”
Given this new data, the question that always remains is what does it mean for marketers? How can we use this information to get people talking about our brands?
“We need to attach an emotional award with our content,” Massura said. “We need to work on developing content that provides value to her and her circle of friends. Allow the consumer to shine in her circle. These women are not altering their emotions when they go online. They are just as much engaged as if they were in a real life dinner party.”
Furthermore, Massura suggests in order to connect with your fans, even for big brands, you need to listen, look around, and read. It’s as if you were moving to a new city. The only way to get to know the town is go out, listen, read, and see what your neighbors are saying. Easy segue into online.
On the opposite side of the spectrum, another key finding from their March 4th report was that 38% of the women surveyed decreased or stopped their usage of one or more social networks during the last six months. The top reasons were “just not interested” and “no time or too busy.”
“There is now a time factor involved,” Liz Rizzo, senior vice president of reputation research at Weber Shandwick, said. “There is a huge implication for marketers. If they are not building a social engaging platform, their consumers will just turn it off.”
What do these numbers mean to you? How will you alter the way you market to women in social media?