Men Slower to Adopt Social Media

In yesterday’s post, I mentioned research by Epsilon that indicated the noticeably lower social media use rates for men, especially when compared to women. A new study by Ipsos OTX reveals that men do like to stay in touch with friends. But they have different ways of communicating. This information could prove valuable to marketers trying to reach guys of all ages.

An eMarketer report highlighting the Ipsos OTX data shows that up to about age 30, text messaging is the preferred communication method for guys. Check out the percentages of younger guys who use text messaging:

  • Ages 15–19 40.5%
  • Ages 20–24 37.7%
  • Ages 25–28 32.2%

For guys in their 30’s, communicating is all about Facebook. For 26.3% of men between the ages of 29–34,  Facebook is the primary means of communicating with friends and 26.7% of 35–39 year olds say the same thing. Nearly equivalent numbers (30%)  of men in this category also actually use the phone to call their friends.

Men in their 40’s also turn to the telephone as their first choice in communicating with friends. But 28.3% of guys in this group prefer email.  Only 19.6% of guys in this group use Facebook and 15.1% use text messaging. Interestingly, men in their 50’s claim to be the heaviest users of email (40.8%) to keep in touch with friends. But 42.9% also use the phone. The rate of regular Facebook use (9.1%) and text messaging (7.1%) is lower than average for older men.

Ipsos analysts also measured the general use rates of Facebook among men. While up to 77% of teen guys check Facebook regularly, the use rate drops steadily with age. By age 50, only about 33% of men say they use Facebook. Interestingly, about 12% of men overall consider Facebook to be useless.  Another social media platform, Twitter, fares poorly by comparison. Only 8.5% of men call themselves Twitter users. And 60% of men say Twitter is useless.

Marketers who have access to age-specific demographics when targeting their audiences can improve response rates by using the right social media platform. Placing messages on mobile phones and Facebook can reach men up to age 30 while email can be an effective tool to reach men over age 30.

[Source: Men Get Social Too. eMarketer​.com 2 Sept. 2010. Web. 14 Sept. 2010]
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.