Women are nearly twice as likely to use blogs than social networking sites as a source of information (64%), advice and recommendations (43%) and opinion-sharing (55%), while they are 50 percent more likely to turn to social networking sites as a means of keeping in touch with friends and family (75%), BlogHer announced today.
The 2009 Women in Social Media Study by BlogHer, iVillage and Compass Partners, which will be released today, found that while women who use social media platforms share a strong desire to connect and to entertain themselves, there are also ways in which the motivations for using various social media platforms differ.
Since the release of last year’s Benchmark Study of Women and Social Media, women are turning in even greater numbers to blogs (55%), social networks (75%) and online status updating (20%) as primary sources of community interaction, entertainment and information. Because they are regarded as trusted sources of information,
blogs now wield considerable influence on consumers’ purchasing habits – 45 percent of survey respondents stated that they decided to purchase an item after reading about it on a blog BlogHer and iVillage, who together form the largest interactive community of women online, conducted the research in partnership with Compass Partners to gather insights on the ways women in the United States use social media in their everyday lives.
The study reviews and compares data from two user sample sets – a general population sample of more than 2,000 U.S. women aged 18-77 years against a BlogHer Network sample of more than 1,000 women.
“Social media continues to be a growing phenomenon, and bloggers, in particular, represent a highly engaged and influential segment of social media users for brand marketers looking to connect to consumers online.” said Susan Wright, President of Compass Partners LLC. “Bloggers have a broad reach in the social media population and the survey demonstrates that women who blog are the most actively engaged social media participants — constantly seeking out new ideas and ways to share their opinions about those ideas.”This study measured the habits and attitudes of women who participate in any social media activity weekly or more often with approximately half participating daily. Of the 42 million women engaged in social media weekly, 55 percent of women participate in some form of blogging activity; 75 percent participate in social networks such as Facebook or MySpace and 20 percent use Twitter.
As a result of this increased activity, the 2009 study found that women online are now more than ever before spending less time engaging in traditional media activities like watching TV (30%), listening to the radio (31%), and reading magazines (36%) or the newspaper (39%).
“The scale of social media usage among U.S. women continues to grow, and blogs remain the go-to resource for those who want to gather information, share ideas and get reliable advice,” said Elisa Camahort Page, BlogHer co-founder and COO. “At a time when the economy is top of mind for more than 70 percent of these active social media participants, women who blog are turning to online resources, including blogs, to help them make their day to day purchasing decisions.”
The Executive Summary of the 2009 Women in Social Media Study by BlogHer, iVillage and Compass Partners can be found here:http://blogher.com/files/2009_Compass_BlogHer_Social_Media_Study_042709_FINAL.pdf
Both portions of the study were conducted in March 2009. The data is comparative. Responses from the two samples were not combined.