According to a new report released by leading metric provider comScore, social networking sites reach more woman than men globally. Part of their Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet in-depth analysis, comScore found that 75.8 percent of all online ladies visited a social networking site in May 2010. Conversely, the study found that only 69.7 percent of all men engaged in the same activity.
“Understanding gender-specific differences in Web usage is valuable to any digital stakeholder looking to successfully reach and engage both women and men in the online environment,” said Linda Boland Abraham, comScore chief marketing officer and executive vice president for global development. “We have seen that women across the globe share some similar usage patterns online, such as strong engagement with social networking sites, but it’s also important to understand gender differences on a regional, country and local level, where cultural differences are continually shaping online usage and content consumption.”
In a bit of a paradox, comScore found that while women have higher levels of engagement with social networking sites when compared to their male counterparts, they only account for 47.9 percent of the total unique visitors in the social networking category. However…females consume 57 percent of all social networking pages, and 57 percent of all minutes spent on these sites. When viewed in hours and seconds, on average, females spend 5.5 hours per month with a social networking site, men, on average 4 hours.
Since comScore conducted a global survey, they’re able to pinpoint where the social networking ladies lie. They survey found that the highest concentration of social networking females can be found in Latin America, where a staggering 94.1 percent of females are engaged in online activities. Just slightly behind are North American women, showing with 91 percent. Europe takes 3rd, with 85.6 percent of its female population visiting a social networking site in May 2010. Ending up in last place is the Asian Pacific female with only 54.9 percent, however comScore does point to the limited broadband penetration in this region of the globe
- Although men are in the majority across the global Internet, women spend about 8 percent more time online, averaging 25 hours per month on the Web.
- Globally, women spend 20 percent more time on Retail sites overall than men. Among the various retail sub-categories, Comparison Shopping and Apparel sites reached the highest percentage of women at 24.8 percent and 18.7 percent, respectively, in May 2010.
- In the U.S., women are more avid online buyers than men, with 12.5 percent of female Internet users making an online purchase in February 2010, compared to 9.3 percent of men.
- Health sites show some of the largest overall differences in reach between female and male, with a nearly 6-point gap between global women and men.
- In most countries women spend far less time watching online video than men, but women spend a much higher share of their time watching videos on YouTube than men.
- In both the U.S. and Europe, smartphone usage is dominated by men with both markets experiencing close to a 60/40 split in smartphone adoption between the genders.
For a complete copy of the Women on the Web: How Women are Shaping the Internet, please visit:
Every week I hear from Marketing and PR folks that their ‘official’ company policy blocks access to Facebook, YouTube, and a host of other social networking-esque sites. While the concept boggles my mind, as to date, I’ve been hard pressed to find solid numbers to present to upper management, making the case for this epic fail.
Thanks to a new report issued by Network Box, management might have to block out a few hours this week to review/rethink this policy. The Network Box report indicates that more business traffic lands on Facebook that any other website.
The report analyzed over 13 billion URLs used by businesses in Q1 2010, and found that 6.8 percent of all business internet traffic ended up at Facebook, indicating a 1 percent growth from Q4 2009. In terms of bandwidth pull, video sharing Goliath YouTube garnered 10 percent of all corporate bandwidth, a 2 percent jump from Q4 2009.
250 IT managers were surveyed, no data was provided as to their geography or professional sector, about their biggest security concerns in the year ahead. 43 percent reported “employees using applications on social networks” as their biggest headache.
In a separate question, 36 percent of those surveyed indicated that they were concerned about malware passed via networks such as LinkedIn or Twitter, as employees are likely to trust links sent by those they’re connected to on the aforementioned platforms.
It’s been my experience that there’s often a great disconnect between the IT department, the HR staff, and the Marketing and Sales folks. While I certainly don’t critique the IT professionals from wanting to keep their systems free and clear of troubles (it’s their job, after all), I do believe that many companies could benefit from a “know the internetz” series of regular in-house trainings. I.e., how to spot a phish, how to check a shortened URL, etc. Remember, it’s not guns that kill people, it’s people that kill people.
In today’s rapidly changing face of business, cutting off your marketing and sales engagement, is exactly like that age old adage, Cutting off your nose to spite your face. Or more clearly, by restricting access, are employers, thus, restricting innovation?
With a little bit of personal internet security training, I’d imagine that those IT managers might find themselves with a few more problems; balancing server load do to the landslide of inbound company interest – thanks to social media engagement, for example.
Additional stats from the Network Box report:
The top five websites visited by businesses in Q1 2010 were:
- Facebook – 6.8 per cent of all traffic
- Google – 3.4 per cent of all traffic
- Yimg (Yahoo!’s image server) – 2.8 per cent of all traffic
- Yahoo! – 2.4 per cent of all traffic
- Doubleclick – 1.7 per cent of all traffic.
The top five websites using the most bandwidth in Q1 2010 were:
- YouTube – 10 per cent of all bandwidth used
- Facebook – 4.5 per cent of all bandwidth used
- Windows Update – 3.3 per cent of all bandwidth used
- Yimg (Yahoo!’s image server) – 2.7 per cent of all bandwidth used
- Google – 2.5 per cent of all bandwidth used.
Bonus thought: With the inclusion of Google’s Buzz, are IT professionals planning on restricting access to Google as well? Score for Bing?
Thousands of South Carolinians are expected to capitalize on and use the power of social networking tools to stage an online rally aimed at voicing their opinions to state legislators, particularly in regards to the importance of sex education and access to publically funded counseling and clinical services.
Organized by the 6,000 advocacy group ‘Tell Them’, South Carolinians will use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to tell politicos what’s what, and what they want. This rally format will be the first of it’s kind in South Carolina.
“We were looking for a modern way to engage citizens in the political process. This virtual event gives voters a convenient way to demonstrate their shared beliefs on these issues and to ask their legislators to support and fund responsible public health policies,” said Emma Davidson, Tell Them program manager.
The rally stems from a growing health issue in the state. Teen pregnancy rates in South Carolina are up for the fourth year in a row. Add to this growing issue the Center for Disease Control and Prevention have listed South Carolina as one of the Top Ten HIV “hot spots” in the United States. And while being listed as a “hot spot” on the HIV chart, South Carolina also has a number of other notable statistics:
- #2 in cases of Gonorrhea
- #3 in cases of Chlamydia
- #8 in pregnancies among 15-to-19 year olds
“With lawmakers looking to reconcile budget shortfalls, it’s more important than ever that they understand the social and economic implications of the state’s health policies. For example, here in South Carolina one-third of publicly funded family planning clinics have been closed over the last few years due to budget cuts. This makes no sense when we have epidemic-level rates of unintended pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections, including HIV,” said Bonnie Adams Kapp, Executive Director of the New Morning Foundation.
And it’s not just South Carolina that’s hurting, literally. Research from the University of Iowa and the University of Northern Iowa found that family planning services to teenagers can save more than $17 for every tax dollar invested over a five-year period.
“So many of our state’s challenges, issues like poverty and poor education, are rooted in inadequate health policies that hinder our young people. We must move beyond abstinence-only programs and provide age-appropriate sexual education and access to clinical services for our youth,” said Tell Them member Deborah Billings, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Health Promotion, Education and Behavior at the Arnold School of Public Health; Women’s and Gender Studies at the University of South Carolina.
The online-social-media rally will commence at 12:00 PM EST, March 23rd, and run for 24 hours. Naturally, all residents of the Great State of South Carolina are encouraged to voice their opinions, pro or con.
What could prove to be either a highly effective “Pro” rally, may however, be overshadowed by yesterday’s historic (like it, or hate it…it’s historic) passage of the Health Care Bill in the American Capitol yesterday. Those in favor of the may feel the sense of relief; a win, while those opposed may make the South Carolinian initiative as a platform to air their grievances.
Whatever the outcome, it’s interesting to see these types of grassroots organizations and movements using the power of social media to bring people together in an open and honest discussion, all the while, making sure that those that have the power to make the changes are listening.
When it comes to social media usage stats, African countries usually fly below the radar. However, Africa’s southern most nation, South Africa currently ranks number 29th on Facebook’s global user list, and demonstrates a number of similarities with much larger using countries.
The recent South African Friendship 2.0 survey found that the average South African Facebook user is in their 30’s, employed full time, and describe themselves as sociable and outgoing. The survey sampled South Africans aged 16 years or older.
With a massive 82 percent, Facebook is the dominant social networking platform in South Africa. Again, South Africa ranks number 29 on Facebook’s global usage statistics (by country), and has an estimated 2.6 million users per month that generate over 1.1 billion page views. Over half of Facebooking South Africans access the site via their mobile devices, 1.58 million. To put this in perspective, of those surveyed, only 18 percent responded that they have a MySpace profile.
From here, popularity numbers make a steep decline. While not specifically a social networking site, YouTube take the number 2 spot for South Africans, garnering a 32 percent response rate, South African mobile IM service MXit taking 29 percent, with Twitter landing a close 28 percent.
South African broadband services provider, and sponsor of the survey MWeb Connect’s general manager Carolyn Holgate comments, “Social networks have become the garden fence of the 21st century and are used for the same purposes as community meeting places. We’re at the end of the early adoption phase, which was dominated by young people, and social networking is now a mainstream activity enjoyed and used by all age groups, particularly those in their 30s.”
Additional findings from the Friendship 2.0 survey:
- 74% go online specifically to visit social networking sites
- 74% access Facebook at least once a day
- 25% of participants have met more friends online than they have in real life
- 24% have gone on a face-to-face date with someone they met online
- 36% have used a pseudonym on-line
- 36% have used the Internet to find out what a past partner is doing
- 21% have experienced a breach of their privacy on the Internet
- 16% use social platforms to promote their business
- 37% believe they spend too much time online
Opinions abound on Social Media. How it works, where it works best, how individuals and businesses can use it best, etc. Each of these opinions have their own intrinsic value, but sometimes, nothing beats cold hard numbers. As Joe Friday said, “All we want are the facts, ma’am,”- let’s take a look at some Social Media statistics.
- Facebook receives and shares more than 3.5 billion pieces of content (links, news stories, blog posts) on a weekly basis.
- Facebook pages have generated more than 5.3 billion fans.
- Approximately 700,000 local businesses have active Facebook fan pages.
- Approximately 70 percent of Facebook users arrive from outside the United States.
- Over 250 Facebook applications have over 1 million combined users each month.
- Since December 2008, more than 80,000 websites have integrated Facebook Connect. More than 60 million Facebook users actively use this service across any number of these 80,000+ sites that offer the feature.
- 55-65 year old females make up the fastest growing segment on Facebook
- Facebook paid $0 to have their entire site translated into Spanish via a crowdsourced Wiki. The site was translated in less than 4 weeks.
- LinkedIn has approximately 11 million active users in Europe.
- The largest growing geographic region for LinkedIn is India, with over 3 million total users.
- At the close of 2009, the average tweets per day was over 27.3 million, making the average tweets per hour 1.14 million.
- If the current tweet per time ratio were to remain constant, this would generate over 10 billion tweets per year.
- 80 percent of Twitter usage is on mobile devices.
- 70 percent of bloggers engage in corporate brand discussions.
- 54 percent of bloggers post content or tweet daily.
- 38 percent of bloggers regularly post brand or product reviews.
- Social Media has overtaken porn as the #1 web activity.
- 12.5 percent of all couples married in the US last year met via social media.
- comScore data points to Russia as having the most engaged social media audience with participants spending 6.6 hours view 1,307 pages per month. The leading social networking site in Russia is NOT Facebook, but vKontakte.ru.
- YouTube is the world’s second largest search engine.
One-quarter of all search results for the World’s Top 20 largest brands point to user-generated content.
Obviously, these are some serious numbers for serious business. Corporations spend millions of dollars in advertising annually, but yet, 25 percent of all search results on these corporations yield user generated content. Social Media is everywhere, making Brand image and the associated conversations surrounding this image vital to today’s business. What does this say about the way YOU are advertising and managing YOUR online image?
If you’d like to learn more about how and what a Social Media Campaign can do for your company, please get in touch!
There’s no arguing that 2009 was a banner year for online social networking platforms. Obviously, the big players in the field, Facebook and Twitter, saw a healthy increase in user activity. A new report from eMarketer might just point to the reason why: Baby Boomers went from online consumers of digital media to social busy-bees.
The report analyzes 4 unique market segments, Millenials (14-26), Gen X (27-43), Baby Boomers (44-63) and Mature (63-75). Not surprisingly, both Millenials and Gen X ‘ers (myself included) have maintained consistently high levels of social media profiles over the past three years. Conversely, Baby Boomers and Matures saw a massive growth rate in 2009.
Looking at the numbers, 31 percent of Baby Boomers and 14 percent of Matures actively attended to (i.e. status updates, photo uploads, etc.) their profiles in 2008, while one year later, these numbers have seen a significant jump: 46 percent and 36 percent, respectively, in 2009.
With data drawn from both comScore and Anderson Analytics, Facebook came out on top as the primary social network used by Baby Boomers. MySpace took second place, but appears to be more popular with younger users (ed: still?). Third and fourth place went to Twitter and LinkedIn.
“Creating and renewing personal connections online is the biggest draw for these boomers,” said Lisa E. Phillips, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the new report, Boomers and Social Media. “Boomers expect that technology will help them live longer and better lives and keep them connected to family, friends, co-workers and, eventually, healthcare providers.”
What is, and should be, of interest to marketers is how this growth has scaled, and what or how do we target this influx of a completely different demographic? Targeted advertising immediately comes to mind, but my guess is that there are a number of opportunities waiting to be mined with this new information. Social/Casual gaming has been a major driver of social network use in the ‘younger’ set – is there a way to replicate this same success for an ‘older’ demographic? A recent study by Q Interactive points to the fact that female gamers make up a sizable portion of all social games played, AND that they’re brand engaged, loyal consumers. My guess is that over the course of 2010 we’ll see a new breed of applications, games, tools, etc. appearing on social networks that will try to appeal to this new-comer demographic.
Just about everywhere you go these days, someone’s trying to make it easier for you to pay. Obviously, the driving force behind this is to ultimately make the sale by facilitating the consumers option to pay. And while the internet has seen it’s fair share, some successful, others not, of ways to pay, there is a constant stream of improvements to the method making their way to market everyday. But let’s face it, when it comes down to paying for something via the internet, without a direct credit card charge, my guesstimate would be that 85% of the average internet surfing/shopping consumer could name only one: PayPal.
We already know for certain that facebook has been playing with microtransactions and multiple payment platforms and options via their “Pay with Facebook” system, but as of now, we’ve got nothing but confirmations that something is being worked on. All that might come to a grinding halt if Wall Street gossips have any validity behind them. Silicon Alley Insider is reporting that said gossiper(s) may have had one too many drinks at a lower Manhattan establishment recently, and mentioned that Apple execs have dropped hints suggesting that the primarily hardware focused company is considering creating a service that would allow iTunes users (store account holders, with a valid credit card on file, or course) to use those accounts to pay for things outside the iTunes realm.
Remember, with the introduction of the iPhone OS 3.0, users are now able to spend freely on virtual and subscription goods within third party iPhone applications. In other words, the vast majority of the technology is already there, it’s just a question of opening this tech up to interface with external third-party platforms.
Now again, traditionally Apple has worked on projects that will solely drive hardware sales. iTunes certainly drove/drives iPod and iPhone sales, so why the interest in what basically boils down to a SaaS? Once you’re at the top of the pile, it’s tough to stay there. There are plenty of upcomers, as you once were, that are hungry and eager for your spot. Perhaps Apple is looking at a payment platform as a natural extension of their already easy to use iTunes Store functionality. One could make the argument that via iTunes, Apple effectively brought the microtransaction payment mechanism to the masses via iTunes, so why limit the functionality just to music? Apple has already branched out into providing video, either for rent or purchase, and again, with the OS 3.0 introduction, provided a way for application developers to monetize through in-game microtransactions.
While this is mere speculation and gossip at this point, a three way battle between eBay (parent company to PayPal), Facebook, and Apple would most certainly up the ante for all parties involved. Competition is a time tested catalyst for innovation, and any way you look at this battle, the ultimate winner is both the consumer and the vendor. Let’s see what Cupertino’s got in store (ouch…no pun intended) for us next.
In a recent report published by the Burton Group, analysts’ found that attempts to replicate social networking (facebook) and their associated tools (twitter) aren’t really taking off within the corporate structure.
The report, social networking in the enterprise is based on detailed interviews with 21 companies spanning a wide variety of industries including utilities, consumer goods, technology, and finance.
With the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Boston bearing down on us, this report from Burton couldn’t have come at a better time, as businesses are struggling to not only understand, but utilize and maximize the technologies potential. The Enterprise 2.0 Conference is a gathering of tech vendors that create social applications similar to facebook, twitter, etc., but specifically tailored for business usage. In addition to the old standbys such as IBM (Lotus Connections) and Microsoft (SharePoint), new players including Socialtext, Jive, and Six Apart are slated to be in attendance.
But according to Mike Gotta, a principal analyst with the Burton Group, it’s not a problem with vendors’ product offerings that are the stumbling stone, but rather the corporate culture itself. Gotta says that the challenge is in addressing specific generational differences, and getting them all on the same page. Specifically Baby Boomers have demonstrated that they’re not inclined to embrace social technologies in the workplace (although they’re flocking to them from a consumer perspective).
According the Burton survey, the problem may not lie with the Boomers, but rather in how their employer presenting the tools to them. Many companies have used social networking tools to share expertise, collaborate, and connect with others, especially in multi-location global enterprises.
“Some vendors are saying employees will go in and naturally fill these enterprise social networking profiles out, but I don’t think that’s necessarily true,” Gotta says. “If you’re an employee, you have questions. Why should you maintain it? What are you going to do with it? Those questions still need to answered.”
What else does Gotta see holding corporation adoption back?
- Creating a business case is difficult for people who don’t understand the technologies or have rigid ways of defining their success. Your CFO might want hard ROI, which social tools have a difficult time showing because they aren’t necessarily replacement tools. So, for instance, if people begin trading information on a wiki, that maintains a document’s changes in real-time. This is generally better than sending around reply-all e-mails with messy attachments. But while you know the wiki has helped your collaboration efforts, it might be hard to figure an exact dollar amount in savings since e-mail isn’t being replaced. “For that person that who wants blood on paper ROI , it’s a hard conversation,” Gotta says.
- Getting the proper players involved. Gotta says it’s essential to have a presence from HR in getting these technologies off the ground. If, for instance, you want to turn your corporate intranet into a social network with employee profile pages, you need to help people feel comfortable to share and know the ground rules. If people feel awkward about inputting information, it’s as good as dead. In addition, stakeholders (often department heads) must show they believe in the adoption of the technology by using it themselves and encouraging adoption. If they use it, it’s not guaranteed their employees will use it, but it’s more likely.
- Traditional corporate communications structures and etiquette. More old, conservative organizations communicate in a top-down fashion, which runs counter to social networks, where people collectively weigh in and discuss issues. Burton quoted one participant who noted the following: “We have a classic company — we communicate ‘at’ people rather than ‘with’ them.” On the upside, the proponents of enterprise social networking say that the technologies, if used effectively, can uproot that type of communications model.