Women, power, social media: Why companies must act

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blog 2The digital revolution – particularly the rise of social media – has given women a voice on a scale that they have never experienced. A recent US survey found that 71% of women are active with social media. In Australia, women are most active with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and blogs. Social media allows women to have their say, be heard and exert power. It has given rise to a newfound economic power and freedom. Companies need to take note before it is too late.

The impact that women are having on brands should not be underestimated. Just look at some recent campaigns on Facebook, driven by women, that could have bought major organisations to their knees – there was the Target incident (inappropriate tween clothing), the Coles case (price fixing) and more recently the outrage against Alan Jones and Macquarie Radio Network, for Jones’ highly incendiary quip about Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s father. The latter case has seen the Chairman Russell Tate speak out about the need for boards to confront social media, rather than put it in the too-hard basket or view it as not important.

The fact is social media is increasingly behind driving that warm tingly consumer experience that is known to be crucial to buying. Studies abound on this subject matter. For example, an estimated 80 per cent of social media users made a purchase after they received a response to their post on a company’s profile page. And 28 per cent of users made a purchase after a brand reached out to them proactively.

The statistics are similar when you look at Australia alone, where an estimated 68 per cent of women made a purchased on a blog recommendation, and 43 per cent of women searched for blog reviews before making a purchase.

When you consider that women dominate the world’s most influential social media platforms, you’ll see the connection between women and brand success. An estimated 57 per cent of Facebook users are women; on Twitter it is 59 per cent and on Pinterest the representation is 82 per cent.

I can only speak for our experience at M&C where we see daily more women making purchasing decisions based on the power of influence social media has. Companies need to accept, embrace and engage with social media before they miss the boat. We share our top 3 rules in leveraging social media next week. Watch this space.

Gemma Manning

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