Smart Shops Connect with Women
in Social Media
By Jody DeVere
Comscore, Nielsen, MediaMetrix and Quantcast studies all show women are the driving force of the most important Internet trend of the decade - the social web. Comscore says women are the majority of users of social networking sites and spend 30 percent more time on these sites than men; mobile social network usage is 55 percent female, according to Nielsen.
This may surprise you that on Facebook, Zynga, Groupon and Twitter, the majority of all users are female. According to Yelp, while half of their traffic is male, the majority of contributors and ecommerce purchasers are female. Especially when it comes to social and shopping, women rule the Internet.
Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook, has talked about how women are not only the majority of its users, but drive 62 percent of activity in terms of messages, updates and comments, and 71 percent of the daily fan activity. Women have 8 percent more Facebook friends on average than men, and spend more time on the site. According to an early Facebook team member, women played a key role in the early days by adopting three core activities - posting to walls, adding photos and joining groups - at a much higher rate than males.
Here is how some shops have harnessed the power of women customers in social media: U.S. Automotive of Nixa, Mo., and Larsen's Service of Peabody, Mass., offer valuable educational blog content and community news based on tips on their Facebook pages. Curry's Auto Service & Tire Pros in Northern Virginia holds a monthly "Social Media Day" on Facebook, a day full of prizes, live blogging, tech sessions and more.
Waukegan Tire & Service Centers in Northern Illinois holds regular Facebook and Twitter contests rewarding women with innovative giveaways and special reward programs. Waukegan Tire was featured during the April 2011 Marketing to Women conference as a result of their innovation on marketing to women on and offline.
Community Tire and Service in Phoenix uses Facebook and Twitter to educate women on repairs, maintenance and local community events.
Lex Brodies Tire, Brake and Service Centers of Oahu, Hawaii, posts innovative coupon programs and green initiatives and information regularly to Facebook and Twitter.
However, women don't just visit different sites from men, they use social media differently than men. Experts believe the difference between how men and women operate online mirror their motivations offline. While women often use online social networking tools to make connections and share items from their personal lives, men use them as a means to gather information and increase their status.
Says Facebook's Sandberg, "If you reach women [online], they will tell their friends." What may be an evolutionary fact turns out to be a marketer's dream.
||Jody DeVere works with automotive retailers to become better marketers by learning how to create a culture and experience that attracts and retains loyal women customers. The AskPatty.com Certified Female Friendly® program includes marketing and advertising programs that resonate with women. She is a social media marketing-to-women expert, automotive journalist, car care and safety spokesperson who has worked with many automotive brands. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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