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Men, Social Media and Marketing to Women Explode. Are You Ready?

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As Social Media and Twitter, specifically, become mainstream, one thing is certain— people are on the Internet, and Social Networking tools like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or the next big thing are how they connect. Twitter started three years ago, and it has taken @aplsuk (AshtonKutcher) about a year to accumulate 1,000,000 followers. Oprah started tweeting last Friday and had over 130,000 the first day.

But it is not only the volume of people who are now participating at exponential rates that makes Social Media relevant; it is also the diversity in how it is used. We are seeing interactive sites used as:

  • a platform for people to have their say and give their opinions
  • a place to create like-minded communities
  • a vehicle for real-time updates on virtually any event
  • a place to learn details from baking cookies to performing surgery
  • a voice for philanthropies
  • a place to share recipes
  • a place to build relationships

“Women have the tools at their disposal now to build an inherent connectivity with brands and to launch new businesses. We must partner with women and invite their co-brand management for brands to continue to succeed in the future — let’s start by listening.”  Kelley Skoloda, AdWeek

The question is, are you ready? Are you preparing your company to reach women on the Internet? Are you preparing to speak to them effectively? Are you prepared to give more timely reactions to potentially unsolicited PR nightmares such as the Domino’s YouTube scandal? Are you thinking about how to optimize the Internet, for instance, allowing students to tweet questions during surgeries? These are no longer optional questions.

Social Media is not going away. It will most certainly change faces over time. That is to say, people might not be using YouTube and Facebook or they might not be tweeting. Newer tools will likely develop and become more popular, but the two-way conversation has begun and will only continue to grow.

We will not be going back to one-way dialog where you tell your customers what they are supposed to think about your product or service. They are telling you what they think, and you need to be listening and reacting – fast.

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Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email
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Women Over the Age of 55 Are The Largest Growing Group on Facebook

elderly-people-on-computerWith over 200 million users now, Facebook‘s popularity is growing most quickly among women older than 55, according to Inside Facebook, which tracks Facebook’s growth.

Yesterday a CNN article revealed that there are now about 1.5 million female users older than 55 on the site – roughly a 550 percent increase over six months ago. By comparison, membership among people younger than 25 grew by less than 20 percent over the same period. The number of men over age 55 also grew dramatically, but women over 55 still outnumber men in this age group by almost two-to-one.

This is contrary to assumptions that many marketers and businesses make – that elderly people are not online and that elderly women are not involved in social media.

Why is this so important?

  • senior women age 50 and older control a net worth of $19 trillion*
  • senior women own more than three-fourths of the nation’s financial wealth*
  • women control 85% of all brand purchases

CNN solicited interaction and discussion from people 55 and older on their own Facebook Discussion Board asking why they were on Facebook. While “connecting with other people” was a response repeated over and over, this group ranging from 50 to 83-years-old seems to be enjoying all that Facebook has to offer.

I’m 65 and joined Facebook around two years ago. I would be lost without it. I use Facebook to keep connected with friends and family that are scattered everywhere. – Jinx Macgillivray

Reasons people 55 and older gave for being on Facebook and why they like it:

  • To stay in touch with family all over the place
  • Keep in touch with children
  • To reconnect with people from high school and college
  • To stay young
  • Find it fascinating and enriching to interact with people
  • Easy way to keep in touch with everyone
  • Share photos
  • Share silly humor and laugh
  • Promote causes they believe in
  • Make new friends
  • Join specific groups for interests and discussions
  • It is borderless, and genders and ages mix so freely
*Mass Mutual Financial Group-2007

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Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email

Appeal to Women and Men are Likely to Bite Too

I don’t think you’d hear the execs at Apple say outright that they typically target women over men in developing their brand and products. But it is hard to ignore the fact that just about every thing they do is attractive to women. And as any savvy marketer knows: appeal to the sensibilities of a woman and you’ll likely get the guys’ attention too.

Since the company’s inception nearly 30 years ago, Apple has done a stellar job of placing a high priority on brand and design elements that women tend to inherently respond to. They have always emphasized color palette, cool music, intuitive operation, overall sleekness in design responsiveness and they boast a knowledgeable, friendly and informative sales and support staff.

The recently released iPod Nano is a perfect example. They have a massive range of metallic colors from hot pink and neon green. Even the ads have the colors dripping off the iPod in a way that’s brilliantly akin to running nail polish—a subtle yet creative touch.

Most of all Apple has given women exactly what they want over the years—user-friendly products and services that make everyday tasks more manageable for the multi-tasking women. And it’s paying off.

According to CNN.com, women are involved in more than 75% of all electronics purchases.

So marketers take note, Apple knows exactly how to appeal to both sexes by putting the female first.

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Stephanie Holland is President and Executive Creative Director for Holland + Holland Advertising, Birmingham, Alabama. Working in an industry that is dominated by men, she is one of only 3% of the female creative directors in the country. Stephanie works mostly with male advertisers, helping them successfully market to women. Subscribe to She-conomy by Email