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BizReport : Social Marketing : August 03, 2009

Social networks a hit with women

Social media has proved to be a hit with women and recent research is touting the medium as one of the best ways to engage with them online.

by Helen Leggatt

According to statistics revealed last week at the IAB's Women Online Forum, women account for nearly half of the UK's online population. The figures, from Nielsen UK, put the number of females online at just over 18 million, 10% more than there were a year ago. Women are spending more time online, too, visiting on average 82 domains and viewing 2,400 web pages each month.

The forum focused on social networking, citing it as being the third most popular online activity for women. "This is actually quite mind blowing if you consider how long it's been around," commented 1000Heads' Molly Flatt. And it's not just younger women who are being attracted to social networks, says the IAB. In the main, it's women aged over the age of 35. In fact, there are more women age 50 and over on social networks than there are aged 18 and under.

Recent research from corroborates the Nielsen findings discussed by the IAB. Surveys of their members found that 45% of women aged 40 and over have social network profiles and, of those, 70% log on to social networks at least a few times each week.

However, a quarter (26%) actively ignores advertising on social networks, found's research (.pdf). One in five finds them annoying. And while an ad might catch the eye every so often, just 2% are likely to click through.

So how do you catch the eye of women on social networks? By providing them with information of value and the ability to connect with others to share and research that information, via Facebook Groups for example. However, it can also be achieved by becoming involved in existing conversations or by facilitating discussion using product giveaways or apps to share on their profiles.

Tags: Facebook Group, IAB,, social networking, social networks, women

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