How often do you think about the sex of your customer base? Depending on the type of business you run, it could be very infrequently indeed. Most businesses, unless they are targeting a particular sex will have had to think about their customer base in terms of different genders, but when it comes to marketing online, it’s important to recognise that men and women do things a little differently with regards to social media.
The Facebook Gender Divide
One of the more common social media sites which businesses tend to target is Facebook. It’s been with us for a few years now, and although it’s getting a little more difficult to reach huge numbers of people with your posts, it’s still a highly valuable site in marketing terms. It’s probably a fair assumption that about as many men as women use the site, but recent research suggests that the way both sexes interact with the site is slightly different. A report produced by the Pew Research Centre suggests that women are more attracted to the photos and videos that crop up on their news feeds – 54% of women indicating they like this as opposed to 39% of men, which is a significant difference. Again women prefer sharing content – with 50% of female respondents indicating this, with just 42% of men indicating a fondness for sharing on the site.
There were areas of the report where results were similar. There’s a mutual appreciation of receiving updates and comments, along with a similar proportion of men and women who are glad to keep up with current events.
Visual Content Important
One clear signal coming from this statistical information on both sides of the gender divide is that visual content is becoming more and more important to the people using Facebook. It’s not ground breaking news that most people would prefer to see a picture or a video than to spend five minutes scrolling down their Facebook news feed to read a thousand words on why your product or business is so great, but it doesn’t hurt to remind yourself of this fact once in a while!
Should You Change Your Approach?
What we can take away from this statistical evidence is that there is definitely a different approach from men and women when it comes to Facebook. It would appear that men are somewhat less affected and impressed by what they see on the social networking site, with what appears to be a less focused use of the site. This probably means that you should target your potential female customers on Facebook more so than you do your male customers. How you do this will of course depend on your business or product, but it’s worth thinking about. Equally, the findings that suggest that both men and women equally appreciate being kept up to date with current events, should mean that you continue with the most important aspect of social media marketing – namely keeping in touch with your clients and keeping them abreast of news relating to your company.