What Women Want from Social Networking Web Sites

What do women seek to accomplish using social networking web sites? Results of a study by the women's social networking site Shes Connected may surprise people who think that women's reasons for social network participation differ from men. According to the study's findings, using social networking web sites to build a professional network was the most important reason among the women surveyed (71% said it was very important). Other reasons for using social networking web sites cited as very important by participants include keeping in touch with friends (62%) and promoting a business (56%).

Some results might seem contrary to those who hold preconceived notions of why women use social networking web sites. Only 25% said it was very important to use these sites to find product deals or discounts, and 24% said social networking web sites were very important for finding new friends. Facebook was the most popular social networking site (83% belonged), followed by LinkedIn (73%), Twitter (55%), and MySpace (41%).

Findings from this study provide evidence that women's objectives for social networking use are not vastly different from their male counterparts. Women use social networking to advance their personal and corporate brands, leveraging social networking web sites as a tool to connect with colleagues, customers, and others relevant to their positions and their companies. Social networking's strength as a community builder is reinforced in the study's findings. Women use social networking sites to keep up with their friends and groups.

Marketers should take note of these findings as they develop social networking tools that target women. A one-size-fits-all approach to product development rarely works in any industry, and social networking is no exception. Understanding why women use social networking web sites is a necessary first step in effectively reaching them via this channel.

eMarketer - "What Women Work from Social Sites"

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