A few weeks ago I wrote about the 9 types of storylines people like to talk about the most. These storylines prove to be useful when planning a marketing communications strategy. The next step is to find out who your talkers will be or are and with the rise of social networks this becomes a lot more interesting.
Recent research suggests that women dominate men at social networking. Harris Interactive conducted a survey to find out which services people use to keep in touch with family, friends or colleagues.
The survey results showed that 68% of women and 54% of men use social networking to communicate with friends; 60% women and 42% men use it to stay in touch with family; and 34% women vs. 22% men for colleagues.
All in all, women use social networks much more than men do. But, if you’re a woman, you knew that already.
But what would be more interesting to know is if women, the top social networkers, are also the best at helping ideas spread?
On a separate new large-scale field experiment on viral marketing by INSEAD Assistant Professor of Marketing, Andrew Stephen, evidence suggests that socially active people are the best drivers of virality:
“What we found in research with viral marketing companies is that you don’t need experts or brand evangelists. You need social people who like to talk and most of those conversations happened offline.”
Compared to traditional advertising on print media, online advertising was much more effective at stimulating action.
The research found, “the most talkative and socially-interactive participants online also tended to be the most talkative and socially-interactive participants offline.” That is, word-of-mouth marketing is only as effective as the number of mouths involved, and the most active viral campaign participants (based on sharing product coupons with others in this particular case) are those who are more sociable rather than knowledgeable.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a subject matter expert, what matters more is that you’re a talker! And that usually means women have the upper hand in the ‘talking’ department.
Taking these two studies together, it’s easy to conclude that when preparing a viral marketing campaign we should target women. But that’s just an assumption because most products will not appeal to women.
Anyways, this is an interesting discussion and would love to know your thoughts on this. Do think women are better at helping ideas spread?
- Women Dominate Men at Social Networking [STUDY] (mashable.com)
- Social media – Women do it longer, but men do the talking (thenextweb.com)
- Women Are More Facebook & Twitter Savy Than Men! (997now.radio.com)
- 9 Secrets To Successful Facebook Viral Marketing (bjconquest.com)