Women Described As The "Low Hanging Fruit of Social Media"

According to a new study by Weber Shanadwick, with KRC Research, the percentage of female Internet users who use social networking sites well exceeds that of men (75% vs. 63%, respectively,) and women are also more active in their use of these sites. Women are the “low-hanging fruit” of social media today and deserve closer attention from marketers, says the report. The study of Digital Women Influencers identifies segments of women who are influential in social media and provides new and unique insights about the female market as marketers and communicators evolve their strategies and plans in this new era of consumer engagement.

The overwhelming majority of North American women are on social media. Their social connectivity is far-reaching and their potential exposure to brand messages is high. 

  • 86% have a social media account/profile with 2.2 accounts on average
  • 81% Facebook is by far the most prevalent social media account
  • Women spend an average of 12 hours per week using social media (nearly 2 hours/day)
  • 19% say some of their best friends they know only through Facebook or Twitter

Women of Social Media enjoy their online networks nearly as much as they enjoy live social activities and, notably, slightly more than dating or spending time with their partner.

  • 86% spend time with family members
  • 77% hang out with friends or other social activities
  • 75% use social networks, such as Facebook
  • 72% dating or spend time with a partner

Social media helps women manage their time and relationships. One-quarter of Women of Social Media prefer to socialize online rather than in-person.

  • 62% like that social media gives them control over who they talk to and when
  • 24% would rather socialize through social media, such as Facebook or Twitter, than in person

A large segment of North American women value their social networks and social media is where they like to be. Social platforms make them available to have engaging relationships with brands. Social media is more than a channel for distributing coupons and promoting sales, and should used by marketers it to build relationships, says the report.

The Women of Social Media do not limit their media usage to social, nor do they consume all their media online. These women watch TV offline five times more frequently than they watch TV online.

In an average week, The Women of Social Media personally spend time doing the following:

  • 33.7% watch TV on the set; listen to the radio online
  • 7.0% watch TV online
  • 6.8% listen to the radio on a radio or in a car
  • 4.0% read the newspaper online or on an e-reader such as the Nook or Kindle
  • 3.2% read the newspaper in print

Marketers should not take decreased usage of a social media site that they have invested in lightly. Analysis conducted by SocialCode found that the average cost of acquiring a Facebook fan is $9.562. The percentage of North American women who have decreased or stopped their usage of one or more social networks during the past six months is:

  • 16% stopped
  • 28% decreased
  • 38% decreased or stopped

Defectors are ages 18-24, younger than total North American women: 22% vs 14%, a vital demographic for social brand initiatives. “Chasing” these women from platform to platform costs marketers, concludes the report.

For more information from WeberShandwick, and the Digital Women Influencer study in a PDF file, please visit here.


8 comments about "Women Described As The "Low Hanging Fruit of Social Media"".
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  1. Julie Gerard from Gerard Media Consulting, March 20, 2013 at 9:12 a.m.

    Anyone else having trouble downloading the PDF file? I click on the link "more information from WeberShandwick" and it takes me to the Media Post site where is says "Oops, page not found."

  2. Maryanne Conlin from RedRopes Digital/4GreenPs, March 20, 2013 at 9:41 a.m.

    Some great hidden gems in this report:
    "Defectors from social media platforms are ages 18-24" - which is probably to be expected - but chasing them from platform to platform is expensive. This supports a big push and a slow maintenance strategy,as opposed to a steady build strategy on each platform - interesting!

  3. Ian Straus from VIA Metropolitan Transit, March 20, 2013 at 11:38 a.m.

    "Oops, the page you requested could not be found."
    Gee, these things become dated fast!

    RE. " Women of Social Media enjoy their online networks ... slightly more than dating or spending time with their partner....

    86% spend time with family members
    ...72% dating or spend time with a partner "

    Of course since this group is defined as 100% involved in one activity, any other activity except basic bodily functions will have lower percentages of participation.

    But it also strikes me that if these were men, they would be described in harsher terms, as isolated and unsocial.

  4. Eric Schwartzman from, March 20, 2013 at 1:01 p.m.

    A 12% increase, not including the margin of error, is far from a landslide, and doesn't IMHO justify the low-hanging fruit takeaway. Thank you for the valuable research. It is genuinely useful. But the headline of the press release is overreaching, sensational and calls into question the ethics and morality of the agency on who's letterhead it appears.

  5. Arthur Carmichael from HGTV, March 20, 2013 at 1:24 p.m.

    That .pdf link is seriously wonky. Here's the link; in actual link form:

  6. Dan Ortega from Hyperdyme Systems, March 20, 2013 at 1:25 p.m.

    Women are more social and gregarious than men anyway, so there's no surprises here. It would be interesting to see the same statistics for men.

  7. Paula Lynn from Who Else Unlimited, March 20, 2013 at 3:04 p.m.

    How many of those best friends would get out of bed in the middle of the night to take you to a doctor or home or to your mother's ? How many would bail you out in a bad situation financially or physically ? Odds are that those best friends would bail. They are not your friends.

  8. Jack Loechner from Mediapost Communications, March 21, 2013 at 12:05 a.m.

    sorry all... the correct link should be shown as:

    thanks for calling it to my attention... jack

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