There are now 86% of women using social networks, a 48% increase over 2008, according to a new study from SheSpeaks.
Social networks including Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, have become drivers of purchase intent among women, with 50% of social media users reporting they have purchased products because of information on social networking sites.
Furthermore, 40% have used coupon codes found on social networks.
Women have become more comfortable using social media, and for marketers, the overall growth and habitual use of social media represents opportunities to reach and engage women of all ages, and influence their purchase decisions.
Women are also spending more time watching video on the web, especially now that more premium content is available.
The study also found online video has grown in popularity over the last year with almost 40% of women indicating they frequently watch video and TV content online.
Fiona Pietruski, chief marketing officer at SheSpeaks, said that it is important for marketers to recognize that influential female consumers are spending their time with many types of digital media, where they can be reached with advertising and marketing messaging.
Facebook is the most popular social network among women with 95% belonging to the site, up 46% from one year ago. MySpace participation declined over the last year (63% to 42%), while nearly 40% of the women surveyed said they have Twitter accounts.
Although many women use both Facebook and Twitter, 80% prefer Facebook, perhaps because Facebook serves women's need to interact with friends and share photos, while Twitter has become a tool that is primarily used for professional networking and learning about up-to-the-minute news, promotions and deals.
Facebook users also reported they are two times more likely to log in daily (72%), compared to Twitter users (36%).
Meanwhile, public relations firm Porter Novelli has set-up a social media lab in Brussels designed to integrate social media in every communication plan the agency develops for its clients.
Danny Devriendt, director Intelligent Dialogue at Porter Novelli, said, “Opening a Twitter channel and calling that a strategy is too dumb for words. We help our clients develop an integrated way of approaching communications. Digital and Social Media are new tactical add-ons in the art of reputation management and allow for intelligent dialogue between brands and their audiences.
Marta Majewska, social media expert at Porter Novelli, added, “In the very near future, companies won’t able to avoid social media anymore. Whether you love it or hate it, I believe it is crucial for companies to embrace social media if they want to survive long term.”
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