Mariamz

Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter or Pinterest: does gender bend social media tendencies?

Posted on: February 24, 2012

Last week while I was sunning myself my lovely colleagues at Porter Novelli hosted a Social media week event, presenting research into social media behaviour across Europe – focusing in upon gender differences. The event was run by our UK head of digital, Helen Nowicka, and entitled Men are from Foursquare, Women are from Facebook.

The presentation was based on the EuroPN Styles survey 2011 – an annual study of 10,000+ people across the UK, France, Germany, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and the Netherlands. In terms of Facebook and Foursquare, it found that European men check in more than women – for example in the UK 45% of UK men use social media to check-in to places compared with only a third of women.

The overall take-out for consideration across social media campaigns, including and beyond Facebook and Foursquare, is that:

Women tend towards interacting with friends and family, using social media to build existing and close connections, whereas men tend towards sharing their status, including location, and sharing opinions with those they do not know in person.

This is borne out with other platform stats – in the UK,  34% of men vs 27% women are on Twitter, and 34% vs 24% write a blog.

Of course demographic groups and individuals will always vary (stereotypes / categories = tensions in between)… but it is useful to have these overarching trends in mind. I, for example, have never been inclined towards checking-in, mainly for privacy reasons – but am far more likely to be found spouting unsolicited opinions than sharing holiday snaps with real-world nearest and dearest.

Perhaps I will take to Pinterest, like the other ladies (when I stop sulking about my name being taken)…  isn’t that a bit like opinions in the form of pictures? Apparently 83% of US users are female (I’m putting the current UK male skew down to early-adopter tech / marketing community excitement). On the other hand… I’d rather a thousand words than a picture most days.

(Disclosure: I am employed by Porter Novelli)

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