Women have long been known to control the household budget. And in recent years, as the recession ate into budgets, more women than men looked for coupons and promotions online. Recent studies from Empathica show that marketers have an opportunity to connect with consumers via social media, especially women, by offering discounts. Marketers can then use social media to expand and strengthen their relationship with consumers.
According to Empathica research nearly half (47%) of women are primarily using social media interaction with retailers to find coupons and promotions. Only about 33% of men say the same thing.
“People are looking for promotions, coupons or an opportunity to find something that intrigues them through the convenience of a social media site,” says Gary Edwards, Empathica’s executive vice president of client services. Edwards cautions that over time, marketers should try to use the social media channel for more than just discounting, and advises that releasing information about upcoming products and services can maintain consumer interest.
A smaller number of consumers, 30%, follow a brand on a social network because they’re looking for more information. Typically, more men (36%) than women (28%) say information is their primary goal. However, women will recommend brands and products at a much higher rate than men. While men tend to post complaints (4%) at double the rate of women.
Currently, Facebook is the social network of choice for consumers (67%) who connect with brands. Edwards notes that retailers are often finding the “level of engagement and nurturing tremendously challenging” as they seek to improve consumer commitment and turn people into brand advocates. While they may be saving money by spending less on traditional advertising, their costs may be rising as they deploy new staff members to manage the flow of incoming information and new software systems that may be necessary to capture this intelligence.
In 2011, marketers will strive to find the right balance between using social media to attract and maintain customers while keeping costs in check.[Sources: Levey, Richard. Survey show Gender Differences in Retail Social Media Use. ChiefMarketer.com. 4 Jan. 2011. Web. 26 Jan. 2011; Study: 60% of Consumers follow a Brand via Social Media. Empathica.com. 6 Dec. 2010. Web. 26 Jan.2011]