Women reign supreme when it comes to social media use, and their reign comes with power and influence you want to tap into with a social media strategy focused on marketing to women. 75% of female Internet users engage in social media, compared to men’s 63%, and women match or outnumber men on every single social media platform across the board. Devising a women-friendly strategy calls for a combination of research, planning and testing to make sure that: 1) you know where she's hanging out, 2) you're using the platforms that make the best use of your budget and 3) you're offering her useful, valuable and engaging content.
Go Where the Women (You Want) Are
In general, 86% of women have at least one social media account and the average woman has at least two. Going on social media is a given, but where you go can depend on the women you want to target. Stats from Weber Shandwick tell us:
- Facebook: Queen of accounts, enjoyed by 97% of women who use social media
- Instagram: High percentage of women in the Northeast
- Pinterest: High percentage of women with kids, homemakers and Midwesterners
- Youngest female membership base: Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google , YouTube
- Highest-income female membership base: Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn
Make sure your target market is part of the platform you want to reach. Pinterest has a thriving young mommy population, for instance, which would not be great if you’re targeting a different age group of single gals.
Pick the Best for Your Business and Budget
Marketing to women on every single social marketing platform could turn into a colossal waste of time and resources. Your social media strategy should focus on the platforms that best showcase your business. For example, businesses with compelling visuals, such as bakeries, might consider Pinterest, while a law firm can probably skip an attempt at eye-popping pics.
Make sure you have the budget to do your brand justice. It takes more cash to produce a high-end video on YouTube than it does to commission writing you can promote on Twitter. And a low-end video could do more harm than good for high-end brands.
Give Them Something Interesting
While women are still an incredibly powerful force on social media, a Weber Shandwick's Women of Social Media study conducted by KRC Research suggests that women, especially Gen Ys, are becoming disengaged. The study of 2,000 North American women revealed that approx. 38% of women have decreased or stopped their usage of one or more social networks over the past 6 months, with 23% citing lack of interest for their defection or disengagement. This significant drop suggests that many marketers are still not giving women what they want.
Women thrive on interesting information that is short, useful and time-saving. They want quick tips, engaging visuals and suggestions they can share. If you're thinking like your female customers and offering up what they want, less of your content will be the 'tell, yell & sell' variety and more of it will focus on useful, valuable and interesting information.
Social Media Success: Example in Action
Victory Auto Glass & Service, is a rare marketing gem in the testosterone-dominated automotive industry which has typically done a less-than-stellar job of marketing to women. Victory's smart, insightful and engaging social media strategy, focused on marketing to women, is a refreshing example of an automotive-related marketer that 'gets it' when it comes to connecting with their female customers. This suburban Minneapolis repair shop chain focused a majority of its social media strategy on Facebook. This netted the business a flourishing Facebook page where more than 60 percent of its fan base is female.
One of their biggest keys to success was to 'think about cars and car servicing from a female perspective'. Victory also took the think-like-a-woman approach one step further, and hired, Stephanie Gutierrez, a savvy, social media maven (and satisfied Victory customer), to help them understand that for a lot of women, 'taking your car in' is about as pleasant an experience as a visit to the dentist. Besides helping Victory understand a woman's take on car service, Ms Gutierrez worked with the auto repair chain to develop a strategy, as well as manage and monitor their presence on social media. She kicked off the strategy by transforming the company’s Facebook page from a site that would interest auto service workers to a site that interests every driver.
She then found a variety of ways to make it interesting, admittedly through trial and error. Longer articles weren’t doing much to engage Victory’s target customer base, but shorter tidbits of info, compelling visuals and questions aimed at gathering feedback were.
YouTube was a secondary platform in their strategy that successfully fueled their performance on social media with practical video demos and how-tos, such as how to top-up your windshield wiper fluid.
Put the pieces together like Victory did and your social media strategy can be just as effective. Marketing to women essentially means giving women what they want, where they can easily find it. Then they can use it to spread the word about how smart, fabulous and valuable your brand is.