Culture, Commerce And Consciousness Is #BlackGirlMagic

According to a new study by Nielsen, African-American consumers continue to be some of the most influential in the U.S. when it comes to everything social and digital. Black women, in particular, have a unique sway over U.S. popular culture. #BlackGirlMagic is a name that encompasses the unique power Black women hold where culture, commerce and consciousness intersect, says the report.

Nielsen’s seventh installment in the Diverse Intelligence Series on Black consumers uses insights to quantify #BlackGirlMagic, says the report. This information is important for marketers to understand, as Black women make up 52% of the Black population and control the lion’s share of African-Americans’ $1.2 trillion in annual buying power. The increase in total Black buying power can be traced in part to the increase in educational attainment and entrepreneurship of Black women. Any conversation about reaching Black women starts on digital and social platforms.

The report says that Black women are the leaders, originators and trendsetters in the witty and culturally influential community known as Black Twitter. Because of their relative youth, with an average age of just 35.1, Black women see their online presence as an extension of themselves and use these platforms in a way that reflects that.

Black women aged 18 and older are 29% more likely to spend three to four hours on social media per day, and are 86% more likely to spend five or more hours on social media per day than non-Hispanic White women, says the report. When they are on these sites, Black women are more likely to say

  • They use them to meet new friends (21%)
  • Meet or network with professional contacts (17%)
  • Find people with similar interests than non-Hispanic White women (14%)

25% of Black women are more likely to say they use social media to show support for their favorite companies or brands, and 12% to find out about products or services than non-Hispanic White women.

Though Black women are leaders in social media, marketers cannot overlook their consumption in traditional media platforms, like television. Black women aged 18 and older watch 51 hours and 36 minutes of TV per week, compared with 36 hours and 38 minutes for non-Hispanic White women. This high level of viewership has been a boon to diverse content on broadcast, cable and premium cable networks, says the report.

#BlackGirlMagic extends into consumer goods purchasing, as well. Black women enjoy sharing their opinions and preferences on products, and look to their peers when looking to make a purchase decision. Half of Black women say they often seek advice before making a purchase, which is 11% higher than non-Hispanic White women. Conversely, 43% of Black women say they like to share their opinions on products by sharing reviews and ratings online, says the report. Brands that are able to design products that appeal to Black women can benefit from this group’s willingness to make recommendations when they find a product they like.

Additional highlights from the report include:

  • The number of businesses owned by Black women increased by 67% between 2007 and 2012, compared with a growth rate of 27% for all businesses owned by women
  • Black women spend 106% more on ethnic hair and beauty aids than non-Hispanic White women
  • Black women are 34% more likely than non-Hispanic White women to say they regularly attend religious services
  • African-American women are 12% more likely than non-Hispanic White women to shop at jewelry stores, whether for costume or fine jewelry

For more insights, download Nielsen’s African-American Women



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