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BizReport : Social Marketing : March 05, 2013

4 in 10 North American women on social media decreasing, ceasing engagement

Women are influential in the realms of social media and, as major influencers of purchasing decisions, they are an important demographic to marketers. However, could their numbers on social networks be dwindling?

by Helen Leggatt

According to new research released by marketing agency Weber Shandwick, some North American women are decreasing their use of social networks; some have even stopped using them altogether.

In their survey of 2,000 women aged 18 and over in the U.S. and Canada, Weber Shandwick found that nearly four in 10 (38%) had decreased or stopped their use of one or more social networks within the last six months.

Why? The top reason, cited by 59%, was that they were "just not interested/lost interest" while 35% said they were too busy.

Not all are stopping use of social networks altogether, some were defecting to other networks. Those defectors were more likely to be younger women (22% vs. 14% are 18-24 years of age).

"These women are probably experimenting with new platforms and therefore more prone to shifting their allegiances," says Weber Shandwick in a recent press release. "However, this is a vital demographic for social brand initiatives and "chasing" these women from platform to platform could cost marketers dearly. Defecting women wield more influence than the average woman, particularly online, magnifying the importance of maintaining their engagement with brands."

Other key findings from the survey include:

- 86% of women in North America have a social media account;

- North American women on social media recommend or "Like" a product or service 10.2 times a month, on average;

- - Women on social media enjoy their online networks almost as much as their real-life social activities (75% vs. 77%);

- Women enjoy their online social networks more than dating/spending time with their partner (72%);

- A quarter (24%) of women prefer to socialize online than in person.

Tags: engagement, gender, North America, social media, survey, women

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