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The Power of Social Networking For Women Research Study
Copyright © 2009 ShesConnected Multimedia Corp. July 2009
Not long ago social networking was still in the early stages of the innovation adoption curve, primarily used by teenagers and young adults. Now Social Networking has been woven into the fabric of everyday life and beyond the purview of of young. It has gained enough momentum to 2009 The Powerthe Social Networking For Women Study - Julymove further along the curve into new segments of users. We would like to share with you our exploration into how pervasive Social Networking has become for women.

Connecting women to your brand through social media

Connecting women to your brand through social media

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Contents
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The Power of Social Networking for Women: A compilation of primary and
secondary research

About ShesConnected Purpose of study Methodology used Executive summary Overview of Social Networks Women and Social Media Results of primary research Demographic profile of respondents
• Age • Ethnicity • Relationship status • Number of children • Work status • Education

Social Marketing to Women
Volume 1 July 2009

Research Topics
• • • • Overview of Social Networking Importance of women in Social Networks Implications for advertisers and agencies Evaluating social marketing research

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Attitudes and behaviors of women on Social Networks
• Hours spent online • Number of Social Networks you belong to • Features used online • Frequency of using features • Importance of online activities • Social Networks they have joined • Frequency of using Social Networks • How they found about the Social Network they joined • Why they joined • Number of groups they have joined or started • Types of groups they have joined or started • Number of friends or connections • Concerns about Social Networks • Most important tools or features on a Social Network • How long they have been using Social Networks • How proficient they are on Social Networks • Comfort with various means of Social Network revenue

Who the report is written for:
• Online Advertisers • Brand Managers • Agencies

Benefits of this report:
• Provides an overview of the social media landscape • Provides insights and recommendations to advertisers and agencies that market or are considering marketing on Social Networks • Provide a perspective on market research used for social media decisions

Key findings Footnotes 34 Harvesting insights from social media 35 Brief market research tutorial 36 Authors
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Who we are
ShesConnected Multimedia Corp. - connecting women to our client’s brands
ShesConnected Multimedia is a unique social media agency designed to leverage the power of Social Networking and social media to engage women in meaningful and relevant ways. ShesConnected combines agency expertise with an online community of women to deliver gender-smart marketing. ShesConnected is made up of the following capabilities: • Social Media Agency (www.shesconnectedmultimedia.com) • Social Network for Women (www.shesconnected.com) • Women Bloggers and Twitter Network (www.shesconnectednetwork.com) We use market research, analytics, and modeling to craft highly viral social media strategies and programs targeted to women. This unique approach is the reason why leading organizations turn to ShesConnected for their social media solutions. Our team of strategists, account directors, community managers, analyst, designers, writers, and developers are highly trained and experienced in social media as well as marketing to women. Whether you are looking for a social media strategy, or how to integrate social media into your marketing mix; ShesConnected has the expertise you need for creating vibrant online communities.

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to provide key insights that will allow advertisers and agencies to develop more effective social media marketing strategies, campaigns and programs. Marketers often find conflicting information in published research when evaluating opportunities in social media. This paper is a compilation of primary research, published secondary data, and insights from our experienced staff and advisors who specialize in marketing to women through Social Networks. Social media includes social media sites, blogs, and social media applications/widgets.

Methodology
We conducted an online research study among women and tapped into the knowledge of the ShesConnected Multimedia Corporate staff. We have also drawn from numerous secondary research resources such as the US Census Bureau data, Forrester, and other published third-party research to explore what types of women are using Social Networks, how and why they use them, and which features are important to them. We used a viral approach to recruitment and, where possible, have compared the results against published research data that utilized traditional sampling techniques intended to yield results projectable to the total female population.

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ShesConnected Multimedia designed and fielded this research study in April/May 2009. The research consisted of an online survey completed by 711 women, recruited through a combination of e-mail invitations to ShesConnected registered members, links posted on Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups (related to marketing and/or women), and Twitter. The survey invitation encouraged the recipient to recruit female friends, colleagues, and/or significant others to complete the survey. No incentive was offered.

Executive Summary
Time spent on Social Networks is increasing as consumers spend less time on leisure activities that cost money1. Three-quarters of US online adults use social technologies and adoption is expected to further increase during the recession2. Women are engaging with Social Media and Social Networks faster than any other demographic. They have discovered the power of Social Media and Social Network as: • a way of promoting their businesses • a way of connecting with other women with similar interests and passions • the new way to organize their activities, manages groups, and stay in touch with friends As the classic slogan for Oldsmobile goes, “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile”, the juxtaposition for today is, “This is not your teenager’s Social Network”. 53% of online women use Social Networks at least weekly and the rate of Social Network adoption in the past year has been especially strong among older women. So what are the implications for advertisers, marketers, and social networks? In a word; OPPORTUNITY! Women are one of the most important demographics to advertisers. Advertisers know that in order to be successful, you have to follow the money. And the money is in the purses of the women who are spending their time on Social Networks. Women control up to 85% of all household expenditures. They outnumber men online, and are spending a significant amount of time on Social Networks. Is this opportunity being taken advantage of? In our opinion it isn’t. According to IAB’s 2008 Internet Advertising Report, U.S advertisers spend $23.4 billion in online advertising in 2008. Their report did not break out advertising spend on Social Networks. However, eMarketer estimates that $1.56 billion was spent on Social Networks in 2008. That represents 6.7% of online advertising spent. While the amount of advertising spend on Social Networks grew an estimated 70% from 2007, it still disproportionately small when you look at the reach and engagement levels that Social Networks enjoy. We believe the primary reason that Advertisers are under-spending on Social Networks can best be explained by looking at the context of what has happened with Social Networks over the last few years. MySpace launched as an online data storage and sharing site in August 2003, morphing into a true Social Networking site in 2004. Facebook launched in February 2004 at Harvard University. Both sites focused exclusively on the youth market for the first few years building up critical mass before moving to an older demographic.

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In the early years Advertisers had several problems with Social Networks; • it was unproven marketing medium • given the nature of user-generated content and a focus on a younger demographic, many advertisers were leery of advertising on the sites • there were concerns from both the Social Networks and the Advertisers on the use and receptivity of advertising on these sites • there was little in the way of true infrastructure to support targeted or behavioral based advertising • there were concerns about the effectiveness of traditional display advertising on Social Networks, and • traditional performance metrics such as monthly uniques, page views, and click-through rates are not comprehensive enough to measure the true effectiveness of social media Many of these problems have been or are being resolved. We believe that Advertisers, Marketers, and Social Networks are working aggressively to find the right formula for engaging consumers through social media. The result will be increased spending and new innovative approaches to marketing on Social Networks.

Overview of Social Networks
News about the explosive growth of social media is everywhere. Marketers are struggling to understand how best to leverage social media tools in achieving their marketing objectives. They question how they will measure ROI in order to justify expenditures, how to evaluate and/or conduct market research on Social Networks, and what the potential impact would be of directly engaging with consumers in dialogue. A longitudinal study of the use of social media in corporations indicates its usage with the Inc. 500 nearly doubled over a 12-month period3. An estimated 53% of marketers expect to increase spending on social media, with expenditures on Social Networking components slated as the area most likely to be increased4. Undoubtedly we will see further increase in usage by consumers in 2009. Since social media provides an opportunity to engage in Social Network communities, it also allows the marketer to build relationships by adding value to those communities. For this to be accomplished, marketers need to identify and evaluate the unique characteristics of each Social Network community in order to gauge fit.

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Usage By Type of Social Media Message/Bulletin Boards Social Networking Online Video Blogging Wikis Don’t Use Any Podcasting

2007
33% 27% 24% 19% 17% 43% 11%

2008
35% 49% 45% 39% 27% 23% 21%

As for any other element in the marketing mix, marketers want to have the ability to track and measure the effectiveness of social media. As recent as May 2009, the IAB released a white paper with Social Media in the Inc. 500: The First recommendations on social media ad metrics, but up to now there Longitudinal Study. has been no standardization of metrics to track effectiveness of social media or across social media. Currently there is no standardization of user IDs. This hampers the ability to track and measure social media as well as frustrates consumers who must log into each individual site. Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo! are working together on a shared identity system called OpenID6. Concerns about data privacy and security are also significant factors in the evolution of OpenID. The ability to measure ROI will continue to evolve as technology evolves.

“We have invested heavily in social media at our company. We believe in the power of online communities to help uncover insights; generate and validate new product, service, and business-model concepts; and most important, create the necessar conversations that spark a new idea we can develop and introduce across the globe.” 5

Social media is also evolving from just being a place to socialize with friends and family. It’s becoming a hub for sharing information and providing personal opinions and perspectives. Netpop Research reported that 76% of US broadband users (105 million) are active contributors to social media7. The typical Social Networker in the U.S. can be identified as a single employed woman between the age 18-39 who: • Connects weekly with an average of 18 people one-on-one and 110 people one-to many • Spends a significant amount of time on Social Networking sites (U.S. Social Networking sites minutes per session has almost doubled over the past year (83% in April 2009 versus April 2008)8 • Uses multiple modes to communicate and stay in touch (IMs, texts, blogs and micro blogs) • Is more likely to shop and spend more online than their non-contributing peers ($101/mo vs. $80/mo) • Chooses to shop with retailers that allow for customer care experiences to be shared online at nearly 75%9

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Women and Social Media
Women outnumber men on most Social Networks.10 There is a disparity between the genders in terms of their attitudes, behaviors, and needs. Published research from Rapleaf, a company that collects and analyzes publicly available data from the Internet, reports that although men spend as much or more time online overall, women far outpace the men on usage of social media (The Social Media Gender Gap BusinessWeek May 19, 2008). Studies have also found significant differences in the online activity patterns between men and women11. Men have a greater tendency to use the internet for functional tasks (get information or download) whereas women use the internet in a ‘richer and more engaging way’ (employ Social Networks for information, maintain/ strengthen family connections, sharing news)12. According to a recent university study, the success of a Facebook application depends upon whether the social network member is male or female. Applications are passed to friends only if there is a perceived value. Although both genders want novelty and rarity, women seek applications to faciliate self-expression whereas men seek those that facilitate competition.13 In addition to Social Network sites, blogs are a powerful source of purchase influence for women. Women who read and/or post to blogs are far more motivated by the desire to get information and seek advice/recommendations than are female social networkers in general. They are also significantly more likely to make a purchase decision based on customer experiences reported on blogs. 14 In a blog written by Liana Evans (http://www.semclubhouse.com), she observes that “there is a definite difference in how men and women utilize, share, communicate and move around in social media. Women converse and share more. They want to talk about their experiences or express their feelings – whether they are raving about a product or pissed off about the service they receive. Men are less expressive. It’s rare you see a man gushing about the brand new suit he picked up.”

Results of Primary Research
The following are the results of the primary research conducted by ShesConnected. In addition to gathering information on women involved in social media, the research also gave us the opportunity to explore the implications of recruiting respondents for a market research survey using viral techniques as compared to standard recruiting using a nationally representative online panel (when possible). Using the viral recruitment technique (versus a random sample of online users) resulted in older, more highly educated respondents versus female Social Network network users in general. The survey results for the ShesConnected research more closely resemble those of heavy or core Social Network users.

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DEMOGRAPHIC PROFILE OF RESPONDENTS

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Age of the core female Social Networker

advertising on the sites, 3) there were concerns from both the Social Networks and the advertisers on the use receptivity of advertising on these sites, and finally 4) there was little in the way of true infrastructure to support targeted or behavioral based advertising. Very few would debate the viability of Social Networks today. Through critical mass, Social Networks have gone mainstream and have resonated with an important demographic -- those who control the household purse strings. Women control over 85% of household spending. Advertisers know they must engage this powerful target demographic in a way that is relevant, meaningful, insightful – served up to her when and where she wants it. Marketers continue to struggle with a media vehicle that lacks conventional media metrics, a well-defined ROI, and reduced “control” over how and where their brand is portrayed. That said, they know it is an increasingly important part of the internet and will increase their marketing expenditures on these sites.

Age: Please tell us your age… Key findings/insights
As the classic slogan for Oldsmobile goes, “This is not your father’s Oldsmobile”, the juxtaposition for today is, “This is not your teenager’s Social Network”. The rate of Social Network adoption in the past year has been especially strong among older women. We found that women over 40 years of age accounted for 53% of female core users. In a recent study, Facebook found one of their fastest growing segments are women over 55, up 175% in the last 120 days. Women comprise 56% of Facebook’s audience, up from 54% late last year.15

Ethnicity

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
Advertisers have struggled with how to effectively advertise on Social Networks. Looking at the evolution of Social Networks, this makes sense. MySpace launched as an online data storage and sharing site in August 2003, morphing into a true Social Networking site in 2004. Facebook launched in February 2004. Both sites focused exclusively on the youth market for the first few years building up critical mass before moving to an older demographic. In the early years advertisers had several problems with Social Networks, 1) it was unproven, 2) given the nature of user-generated content and a focus on a younger demographic, many advertisers were leery of

Ethnicity: Please tell us which best describes you… Key insights/finding
There was an over-representation of white/caucasians among the core Social Network users as compared to the general online population (85% vs. 72%)16 and the US population at large (66%)17 . Black/African American respondents represented 4% of

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our core user respondents, well below incidence among online users (11%)18 and the US population (13%)19 . Asian women represented 5% of our core user respondents, similar to incidence among online users overall (6%)20 and in the total U.S. population (4%)7. Self-identified Hispanics were the most under-represented among core Social Network users. Only 2% reported using Social Networking sites, significantly below incidence among online users overall (11%)21 and the U.S. population (15%)22 .

Number of children

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
Caucasion women were over-represented among core social media users. We would expect ethnicity to realign to more closely reflect the online population at large as adoption of Social Networking continues to grow. A benefit of social media is the ability to target specific social communities based on their member profiles and interests. As Social Networks expand and become more diverse, niche targeting will become more prevalent and effective.

Children: Do you have children? Key insights/findings
Over half (55%) of core Social Network users have children. The average core user has two children in the household, comparable to the U.S. population.

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
Marital status and presence of children in the household will impact the interests and needs of the target core user. While these are strong influencers, marketers should consider other profile characteristics that attracted members to join a Social Network and determine whether the network provides the optimal environment for the brand.

Relationship Status

Relationship Status: Please tell us your
relationship status…

Key insights/findings
The majority of core Social Network users are married (59%). Single women represented 29% of core users and 12% are divorced. Single core users skewed heavily toward those aged 21-25 (81% vs. 29% for all age groups).

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Work Status

Education

Work Status: Please tell us your work status... Key insights/findings
Almost half (47%) of core users reported working full time for someone else, and over a third (36%) reported being self employed. Self employed core users skewed heavily towards those aged 41-45.

Education Status: Please tell us your level of
education level achieved.

Key insights/findings
Core Social Network users tend to be highly educated, with 23% having earned a Masters, PhD, or other advanced degree (vs. 8%24 nationally). Also over-represented versus the U.S. population are those with a Bachelor’s degree (41% vs.15% U.S. pop)25.

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
According to the Small Business Administration study on Women’s Business Ownership, “Women entrepreneurs are among the fastest growing groups of business owners”. These women tend to be older and better educated than wage and salary-earning working women23. Through qualitative research we conducted on Social Networks, women use Social Networks to promote their businesses, to build business relationships through networking, and to promote their personal brand. Women are using Blogs, micro-blogs (such as Twitter), and Social Networking sites to build PR for their businesses and themselves. For example, Visa launched The Visa Business Network on Facebook to connect small business users and to help them promote their businesses to a larger community. (http://mashable.com/2008/07/23/corporate-social-media/)

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
Highly educated women will likely have low tolerance for poorly designed or executed marketing campaigns. It is vital that marketers communicate and interact with these core user/influencers in an intelligent, respectful manner. The use of social applications designed specifically for this target audience should increase engagement.

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ATTITUDES AND BEHAVIOR OF WOMEN ON SOCIAL NETWORKS

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Numbers of hours spent on the Internet per day

Question: On average, how many hours per day do you spend on the internet for personal use and for work or
business?

Key insights/findings
Half (49%) of core Social Network users average 1-2 hours per day on the internet for personal reasons; a third (33%) report spending more than 3 hours per day. Almost half (48%) report being online for 5 or more hours per day for business. When looking at internet use for work or business, 20% are online 3-4 hours per day. Almost half of female core users who use the Internet for business are considered heavy users, online for 5 or more hours a day.

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
Women are spending a significant amount of time online each day. A deeper look at their activities reveals that the line between “work” and “personal use” is blurring. When spending time on Social Networking sites, women easily co-mingle work and personal activities. “Self employed” women tend to spend more time online than other women for both “work” and “personal use”. This may be in part due to the lack of constraints to access Social Networks during working hours.

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Number of Social Networks you belong to?

Question: How many Social Networks have you joined/belong to? Key insights/findings
Over two-thirds (67%) of core Social Network users belong to 3 networks; half belong to 4 or more. Based on previous focus groups conducted by ShesConnected, the predominant reason given for joining multiple sites was “no one site meets all of my needs or interests”. Women perceive the broad categories of Social Networks to be: • • • • Business or professionally-oriented sites Sites for reconnecting with old friends and staying in touch with current friends Sites that cater to special interests or hobbies Sites that keep me updated (there is a distinction made between sites having professional editorial versus consumer-generated content, with a preference for the latter)

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
As the number of Social Network sites proliferate and people become overwhelmed with the number of choices and time required for upkeep, Social Networks with the greatest number of members will thrive. This consolidation will mean smaller networks will be unable to remain viable unless they offer a unique value proposition. Marketers should maintain a presence in the largest networks, but should consider leveraging the power of niche Social Network sites. Smaller niche sites provide an opportunity to have a greater presence and to tailor communications to the specific needs of the member base. Any marketing tactics customized to the site should support the overall brand position. One example of how an advertiser utilized social media is Fujifilm. They launched a Social Network to build a community of photo enthusiasts around its newest camera. (http://mashable.com/2008/07/23/corporate-social-media/)

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Features Used Online

Question: Which of the following activities have you done online? Key insights/findings
Core Social Network users are engaged in a greater variety of Social Network activities than other network users. The incidence of starting a blog was exceedingly high, likely a reflection of the education level and social media involvement of these core users. Although incidence was lower for RSS feed subscriptions and downloading podcasts, these may be excellent vehicles to reach early adopters or influencers.

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
Women seem to be very proficient at using most of the features of a Social Network. Advertisers and marketers have an opportunity to integrate marketing tactics into the fabric of the features giving them many more opportunities to engage women than they have through traditional display advertising. We believe that many of these activities will lend themselves to promotional-based tactics for the advertiser. Advertisers would be well served to not make such tactics intrusive and should closely monitor engagement levels and continually gauge consumer receptivity.

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Frequency of Using Features

Question: How frequently do you do the following activities? Key insights/findings
Frequent and deep engagement is the core theme here. The top four activities on a daily/weekly basis are: Viewing profiles – 81% Reading blogs – 71% Watching video – 65% Leaving comments – 51%

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
By having a presence in the most popular activities on Social Networks, marketers have an opportunity to increase both the number and quality of consumer touch points. It is important that marketing tactics and communications fit contextually with what the viewer is doing. There are many potential approaches to leveraging the popularity of certain features. Some examples of marketing tactics: 1. 2. 3. 4. Viewing profiles: sponsor voting widget to highlight the best profiles Reading blogs: nurture relationships with influential bloggers to promote your products or services Watching video: sponsor contest for best video produced that features product Leaving comments: opportunity to become part of the conversation – not to overtly promote your product, but to provide value to the Social Network community.

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For example, Starbucks started MyStarbucksIdea so that customers can submit ideas for the company which are then voted on by other users, the best of which will be implemented by the company. (http://mashable.com/2008/07/23/corporate-social-media/)

“It’s funny I didn’t even know what social networks were two years ago. Now I can’t imagine not using my networks. I use them for everything”

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Importance of Various Online Activities

Question: How important are the following activities to you? Key insights/findings
The following activities are considered to be “somewhat” or “very” important: The ability to create and edit a profile – 82% Uploading pictures – 80% Reading blogs – 76% Viewing profiles – 74% Frequency is closely related to the importance of the activity, with some notable (and understandable) exceptions: the ability to create/edit a profile and writing blogs.

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
Advertisers and marketers have an opportunity to partner with Social Networks to develop campaigns that follow and are integrated into the core users’ most prevalent/important activities. One should not underestimate the power of brand presence. According to Bill Moran in the classic marketing article Brand Presence and the Perceptual Frame,26 presence is ‘the lubricator which simply facilitates sales by reducing the mental friction in the consumer’s decision-making process.’ The most successful tactics will be promotional in nature as these can be far more effective than a banner ad in creating brand presence. Although creating and editing a profile is not a frequent activity, its importance gives the marketer an opportunity to add value in a memorable way.

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An example would be to sponsor tools, backgrounds, images, features, and widgets to enhance the profiler’s creativity or status. This promotion could be further extended to include sponsored voting for favorite profiles and publicity to highlight the winners. For example, Dell leverages a variety of social media platforms for customer engagement, including an island in the virtual world of Second Life. (http://mashable.com/2008/07/23/corporate-social-media/)

“Social Networks are the most efficient way for me to stay in touch with what is going on. I use them to promote my business, stay in touch with friends and keep up to date with what is important”

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Membership in Specific Social Networks

Question: Which of the following Social Networks do you belong to? Key insights/findings
Out of the top 20 sites listed in our survey, Facebook dominated with 83% core user members, followed closely by LinkedIn with 73%. Incidence of Twitter membership was exceedingly high (55% vs. 5% as reported by Harris Interactive). High incidence of membership across Social Networks is a reflection of the level of core user involvement and the method of recruitment used.

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
Social media requires more thoughtfulness. Marketers cannot just push out their message. They need to think of the context in which users experience marketing tactics. Once large Social Networking sites hit critical mass, the members fragment into special interest groups. This provides the marketers with the opportunity to focus efforts on the popular groups and tailor the messaging and tactics to match each group’s focus. The most effective marketing campaigns for adaptation to social media are those broad enough to fit the particulars of different sites. For example, the Dove campaign ‘The Many Faces of Beauty’ could have included a ‘Put your best face forward’ profile contest on a business-focused network around the idea of the importance of first impressions. Winner would get a make-over for themselves as well as for their website. On personal-focused networks, the campaign would be adapted to a community cause such as helping under-privileged kids develop a positive self image.

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Frequency of Visiting a Social Networks

Question: How frequently do you visit a Social Network site? Key insights/findings
About 6 in 10 of these core users are visiting Social Network sites multiple times each day, with a total of 73% visiting at least once daily. Not only have these sites captured a huge number of subscribers in a relatively short period of times, they have also driven a level of unprecedented engagement. Email is the only other application that drives more frequent usage.

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
The implications are profound; users of Social Networks are finding such high utility in these sites that they are becoming a central component of their lives online. Marketers need to focus on how best to provide value to the community. A deeper look into Social Network behaviors and attitudes will help guide decisions related to the development and placement of specific marketing tactics. Email offers the opportunity for ad placement but ads are difficult to contextualize. Social networks are increasingly replacing or augmenting email communications and have the advantage of being able to customize ads that have relevance to the general context of the group. An example would be postings or inbox messages considered valuable enough to pass along to a friend. Information sent by a friend is more likely to be opened and read.

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Source of Discovering Social Networking Sites

Question: How did you find out about the Social Network site(s) you visit or belong to? Key insights/findings
At the risk of stating the obvious, Social Networks are by their very nature viral. Adoption is being accomplished primarily by word of mouth. Whether it is a friend, co-worker, or family member, women are being driven to sites predominately through people they know. In addition, with the massive amount of media attention these sites have received it is hard to imagine someone not being aware of Social Networking. Surfing the web was a leading source of discovering Social Networks (45%). We believe that a large percentage of those discovering Social Networking sites by surfing the web were initially prompted to look at the sites by something they read or heard about in the media.

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
With the great success of Social Networking sites, marketers must figure out how to integrate themselves into the social fabric of the web. This has challenged marketers on many levels but there are many potential approaches to consider: • Develop a fan page to drive engagement and collect data • Create promotions with links into the fan page to increase traffic • Integrate offline and online marketing with web addresses on packaging and advertising, contests that require codes be entered in the website or fan page • Sponsor groups or entire sections of a site • Sponsor newsletters • Create excitement and entertain with content, contests, special offers, and promotions • Post links to popular websites on fan page and request they host links to your fan page For example, Jeep connects with customers via a community page with links to photos on Flickr, the company’s MySpace and Facebook pages and a list of enthusiast groups. (http://mashable.com/2008/07/23/corporate-socialmedia/)

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Importance of visiting/belonging to a Social Networking site

Question: Why do you visit or belong to a Social Networking site, and how important are these? Key insights/findings
Whether it be for business or personal use, interactions with others is the primary motivation for participating in Social Networks. Business activities such as networking and promotions are the most highly valued benefits of Social Networks. On the personal side, keeping in touch with friends, family, and group members is an important benefit.

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
Social networks are most valued for facilitating communications. Marketers can join in the conversation if they avoid direct sales pitches and instead become a contributing member of the community. Through an understanding of community needs, marketing efforts can focus on informing and facilitating activities of the highest perceived value, such as: • • • • Helping professionals network by developing marketing tactics to help give exposure Facilitating reconnections with a widget “Whatever happened to….” Promoting businesses through sponsoring voting for best in category Facilitating communications of group activities through RSS feeds

For example, HSBC built the HSBC Business Network to connect entrepreneurs using blogs, videos and forums. (http://mashable.com/2008/07/23/corporate-social-media/)

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Number of groups joined or started

Question: How many groups have you joined or started? Key insights/findings
Even among this core Social Network user group, starting a network community group is reserved for influencers (56% of core users). The average number of groups joined is 2-5, but there are a sizeable number of core users that belong to more than 10 groups (29%).

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
Core users actively start and participate in groups. Social Network groups are a great venue to have meaningful dialogue about brands, product or service experiences, and upcoming products. Marketers should find ways to help people create and join groups by way of widgets or links. Group creators are likely to be top influencers. Careful nurturing of a respectful, mutually beneficial relationship could lead to brand advocacy and/or support of your marketing efforts. For example, Yamaha (UK) empowered their community members by providing them tools to create Social Networks within their branded environment. (http://mashable.com/2008/07/23/corporate-social-media/comments)

The Power of Social Networking For Women Study - July 2009
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Types of groups joined or started

Question: What kind of groups did you join or start? Key insights/findings
The types of groups core users join reflect the primary motivations for joining Social Networks. Core users tend to value and join business-related and community groups. These users are less focused on children and family-related discussions.

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
It is more important that the marketer choose a group best suited to the brand and product rather than to those with the greatest number of members. Quality rather than quantity is the most effective means of sincerely connecting with customers and prospects. An example would be driving fundraising efforts for a cause close to the heart of your target audience. It is especially important that fundraising activities be sincere and ongoing. People will be able to sense whether there is a true commitment to the cause.

The Power of Social Networking For Women Study - July 2009
Connecting women to your brand through social media

26

Total Number of “friends” or “connections”

Question: How many connections or friends do you have on the networks you belong to? Key insights/findings
According to a study by Rapleaf, women have an average of 62 online friends with 70% having between 1 and 50 friends. Our research skewed towards a higher number of connections, which reflects the behaviors of a core user group.

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
Those with friends and influence are attractive targets for advertisers.Their influence can best be leveraged by providing something of value for viral distribution. Caution should be taken in not attempting to overuse their influence as it could have a negative impact on both the brand and the influencer. Some bloggers use their online real estate to drive revenue at the expense of the reader. Too many advertisers on a page can lead to a loss in credibility and overpower the content. Google analytics can provide metrics on specific sites, which can be a useful tool in selecting where to focus efforts. Examples of social media metrics are unique visitors, cost per unique visitor, page views, visits, return visits, interaction rate, time spent, video install, and relevant actions taken.

The Power of Social Networking For Women Study - July 2009
Connecting women to your brand through social media

27

Concerns about using Social Networks

Question: What concerns do you have regarding Social Networks and how important are those concerns to you? Key insights/findings
Consistent with other published research, privacy is one of the top concerns about using Social Networks. The next most prevalent concern is the time one needs in order to keep up with network communications.

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
Aside from respecting the privacy and safeguarding the security of network members, marketers must be respectful of their time. Keep communications brief and ensure any requirements placed on the network members will be to their benefit. While sophisticated network members do not shy away from innovative applications with some complexity, they appreciate opportunities to save time and effort. Sponsored applications to streamline their network activities such as the ability to get screen information would likely be well received. Marketers should stay away from marketing tactics that require time-consuming involvement and focus instead on those with high value and potential for viral distribution.

The Power of Social Networking For Women Study - July 2009
Connecting women to your brand through social media

28

Most Important Tools or Features on a Social Network

Question: Which tools or features are most important on a Social Network? Key insights/findings
Tools to provide the ability to set levels of privacy and security are the most important features to core users. These features are even more important than the core functions of belonging to a Social Network, such as posting comments/photos and inviting friends to join your network.

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
Given that privacy and security are at the top of the list of core user needs, marketers must carefully gauge and monitor any communications they have with the target group. Social media efforts could potentially work against the marketer if mishandled. Marketers should carefully research the practices of Social Networks they are considering and avoid those that do not honor member confidentiality.

The Power of Social Networking For Women Study - July 2009
Connecting women to your brand through social media

29

Length of Time Have Used Social Networking Sites

Question: How long have you been using Social Networking Sites? Key insights/findings
If 45% of core Social Network users have belonged to a Social Network for less than two years, there is still significant growth on the horizon.

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
Marketers may be entering into an environment where members are familiar and comfortable with the way things are being done. On the other hand, members may be ready for novelty – an excellent opportunity for the marketer to be noticed. New activities/approaches should be pre-tested so as not to have the effort backfire and cause more harm than good.

The Power of Social Networking For Women Study - July 2009
Connecting women to your brand through social media

30

Perceptions of Proficiency with Social Networking

Question: How proficient are you at using Social Networks? Key insights/findings
Core Social Network users tend to be confident in their Social Networking abilities.

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
Marketers should find ways to help core users to stay ahead of the curve by introducing new applications and providing updated, useful information. It is best not to shy away from widgets and applications with some complexity. Users are increasingly more sophisticated and may become alienated if communications and functionality is “dumbed down.”

The Power of Social Networking For Women Study - July 2009
Connecting women to your brand through social media

31

Comfort with Various Means of Social Network Revenue

Question: Social Networks have several ways to make money. What is your comfort level for each of these
methods?

Key insights/findings
Core Social Network users understand the need for Social Networks to support themselves through advertising but are not willing to have their data sold or be charged a subscription fee to access the site.

Implications for Advertisers/Marketers and Social Networks
Social networks need to look to advertising revenue to be profitable. Potential products or services for sale on the site should be optional for members and not a requirement for site access. Advertisers should strive for engaging and useful communications on the site so that it is viewed as an enhancement to the community rather than a painful requirement.

The Power of Social Networking For Women Study - July 2009
Connecting women to your brand through social media

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Key Findings
• Women are one of the fastest growing segments on Social Networks with 53% of online women use Social Networks at least weekly. We believe this trend will continue for the foreseeable future. • The adoption of Social Networks by older women is especially strong. The largest age group in our core user survey was women over 50 years of age. • They are highly educated, with 23% of respondents having a Masters, PHD, or other advanced degree (vs. 8% Nationally). • Over a third report they are in business for themselves. They spend a significant amount of time online each day with 49% reporting they spend 1 – 2 hours per day for personal use and 48% reporting they spend 5 or more hours per day online for work. • They belong to multiple Social Networks with 48% reporting they belong to four or more Social Networks. • The top 5 reasons they belong to Social Networks are: • Network professionally • Stay up-to-date with friends • Stay up-to-date with groups they belong to • Promote their business • Research products or services • They visit Social Networks frequently with 59% visiting Social Networking sites multiple times per day, 14% reporting at least once per day, and 14% reporting several times per week. • They are highly engaged and comfortable with the technology. The most popular activities are: • Viewing video • Reading blogs • Posting photos • Writing in blogs • Posting comments • The have a lot of connections/friends with 83% reporting they have 50 or more connections or friends. • They join and/or start a large number of groups with 28% reporting they belong to more than 10 groups, with business related groups being the most popular group they join or start. • Safeguarding personal privacy is the number one concern for women using Social Networks.

The Power of Social Networking For Women Study - July 2009
Connecting women to your brand through social media

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Footnotes
1. The Center for Excellence in Service at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business “Changing Consumer Priorities in Tough Times”. Consumer Technology Pulse: Research Results (March 2009) http://www.rhsmith.umd.edu/news/releases/2009/pdfs_docs/ WhitePaperTechPulse.pdf 2. Craig McLurg, “Inside WebTrends Engage 2009” WebTrends Announcments (April 8, 2009): http://www.webanalyticsworld.net/2009_04_01_archive.html 3. Nora Ganim Barnes, Ph.D. and Eric Mattson, Social Media in the Inc. 500: The First Longitudinal Study (Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth July 11, 2008) http://www.umassd.edu/cmr/studiesresearch/blogstudy5.pdf 4. Brian Morrissey, “Social Media Outlay Still Small Forrester finds that marketers still relegate efforts to the sidelines”, 2009 http://www.adweek.com/aw/content_display/news/digital/e3ie2b23ab2b6e7cd34591a961df87dc4eb (March 16, 2009) 5. G. Michael Maddock and Raphael Louis Vitón, “Dive into Social Media Now” Business Week, May 2009 http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/may2009/ ca20090512_532970.htm (May 12, 2009) 6. David Recordon, “A Social Web Intro at the Internet Identity Workshop 2009” http://www.slideshare.net/daveman692/a-social-web-intro-at-theinternet-identity-workshop 7. Cate Riegner, “Media Shifts to Social Media” Netpop Research LLC 2009 Social Media Report, http://www.slideshare.net/Netpop/netpop-connect-media-shifts-tosocial-2009 p. 13. 8. Nielson Wire, “Time Spent on Facebook up 700%, but MySpace Still Tops for Video”, June 2, 2009 http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online_mobile/time-spent-onfacebook-up-700-but-myspace-still-tops-for-video/ 9. Raging Analytics, “Make Online Shopping a Social Experience”, October 13, 2008, http://www.raginganalytics.com/blog/tag/online-retailer/ 10. Richard MacManus, “Study: Women Outnumber Men on Most Social Networks”, July 29, 2008 http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/social_networks_women_ outnumber_men.php 11. Chris V. Thangham, “Women Outnumber Men on Facebook, MySpace, Bebo and other social networks”, Digital Journal, July 30, 2008 http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/258009 12. Gord Hotchkiss, “Human Hardware: Men and Women” March21, 2008 http://searchengineland.com/human-hardware-men-and-women-13614 13. Rebekah Russell-Bennett and Dr Larry Neale, “What value do users derive from social networking applications?”, Queensland University of Technology, June 17, 2009 http://insciences.org/article.php?article_id=5725 14. Susan Wright and Elisa Camahort Page, “2009 Women and Social Media Study by BlogHer, iVillage and Compass Partners” May 29, 2009 p 18, and p 22 15. Justin Smith, “Fastest Growing Demographic, Women over 55” www.insidefacebook.com, February 2, 2009 http://www.insidefacebook.com/2009/02/02/fastest-growingdemographic-on-facebook-women-over-55/ 16. Kathleen Clark, Atelier Report, March 5, 2008 http://www.atelier-us.com/internet-usage/article/leveling-the-usonline-population 17. 2007 US Census Report, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html 18. Kathleen Clark, Atelier Report, March 5, 2008 http://www.atelier-us.com/internet-usage/article/leveling-the-usonline-population 19. 2007 US Census Report, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html 20. Kathleen Clark, Atelier Report, March 5, 2008 http://www.atelier-us.com/internet-usage/article/leveling-the-usonline-population 21. ComScore Press Release, “U.S. Hispanic Internet Audience Growth Outpaces Total U.S. Online Population by 50 Percent”, April 16, 2009 http://www.comscore.com/Press_Events/Press_Releases/2009/4/ U.S._Hispanic_Internet_Audience_Growth 22. 2007 US Census Report, http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/00000.html 23. Darrene Hackler, Ellen Harpel, and Heike Mayer, “Small Business Research Summary, Human Capital and Women’s Business Ownership”, April 2008 24. 2000 US Census report on Education attainment for women. http://factfinder.census.gov/servlet/QTTable?_bm=y&geo_id=01000US&-qr_name=DEC_2000_SF3_U_QTP20&ds_name=DEC_2000_SF3_U 25. IBIT 26. Journal of Advertising Research, Vol 30, No. 5, October/November 1990

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Connecting women to your brand through social media

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Harvesting Insights from Social Media
Social media provides an opportunity for marketers to gather valuable insights without formal market research. On the most basic level, monitoring posts and discussions can give you a sense of the breadth of issues related to your brand, company and category. Niche networks and forums provide an opportunity to expand beyond the most popular Social Networks and explore unique issues and needs. On www.sherpablog.com (Market Research via Social Media, Adam Sutton, 4/17/09), there are four main categories of information that can involve mining social media: 1. Brand monitoring – What consumers are saying about their companies and their competitors 2. Trend analysis – Current trends in a market and where the market is heading 3. Customer information – Information about current and potential customers as well as best language to use when communicating to customers 4. Unmet needs – Collect information about what products consumers wish they had On www.sociableblog.com, there was a blog posted (April 29, 2009) on 100 tips and tools to research the social web. The following are just a sampling of the tools, sites, alerts, and tips offered in the posting: • Set up alerts: Use various services to track industry keywords and/or other relevant information. • Set up feeds: Save time by setting up an RSS feed that will collect news for you • Sign up for Delicious (the biggest collection of bookmarks online) and Digg (highlights top news across the web) • Explore tools to monitor popularity of keywords and conduct power searches

The Power of Social Networking For Women Study - July 2009
Connecting women to your brand through social media

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Brief Market Research Tutorial
With the rapid growth of Social Networks, it is important that the marketer have the ability to evaluate market research so as not to be misinformed in making decisions. The following are key considerations in judging the quality of research on social media: incentive was offered, and how engaged the respondent is with the entire survey experience.

Considerations in analysis and reporting of data
According to The Art and Science of Interpreting Market Research (DVL Smith/JH Fletcher, 2004), there are eight broad areas one should consider in determining to what degree compensation is required when interpreting market research: • Could the context in which the research was conducted have affected responses? • Was the research design fit-to-purpose? • Was the sample representative of the target audience? • Was the most appropriate data collection method use? • How natural was the dialogue with the respondent? • Were the questions asked neutral and unbiased? • Was the study professionally executed? • Have the study results been presented (or put in the public domain) from a neutral standpoint, or in a way that might seek to advance a particular position?

Defining the population
One of the first steps in designing a market research study is to define the population you would like to generalize to. For this study, the population would be women who have joined at least one Social Network.

Creating the Sampling Frame
The design of the sample is based on the goal of getting the best representation of your population as possible. For some populations, this can be a challenge in terms of accessibility, incidence, and cost. Other considerations in designing the sample frame include the size of the sample and the level of precision desired.

Types of Sampling Methods
Probability sampling allows one to generalize the results of a survey to the population at large. There are many different types of probability or random sampling but they all share the common characteristic of giving each person in your population an equal probability of being chosen. Statistical tests (such as significance, margin of error, etc.) are only valid for results drawn from a probability sampling frame. Non-probability sampling does not involve random selection.

Creating the questionnaire
The way questions are worded in a survey can have a profound impact on the results. Data quality is also directly related to questionnaire length, the flow, the complexity of the tasks required, whether an

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Connecting women to your brand through social media

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Authors
Mark Grindeland
Co-founder & CEO

Cathy Harrison
VP, Market Research

Mark is co-founder and CEO of ShesConnected Multimedia Corp., and has been exclusively focused in Social Media since 2007. His unique skill set encompasses Advertising, Mobile, and Social Media at executive levels. With over 25 years of experience working with some of the world’s leading consumer brands he is well equipped to provide strategic leadership in the ever changing media landscape. Mark was a co-founder of m-Qube Inc. the premier provider of mobile messaging and data solutions in North America. He was also the Chief Executive Officer, Wunderman Cato Johnson - Europe, Middle East, and Africa region. Prior to that Mark was a Senior Vice President at Digitas. mark@shesconnected.com 617-674-2169 ext. 200

Cathy is responsible for leading the market research efforts for ShesConnected Multimedia Corp. She has over 20 years of experience in both quantitative and qualitative research techniques across a broad range of industries. She is dedicated to the pursuit of actionable consumer insights using cost-effective and creative research solutions. Prior to joining ShesConnected, Cathy worked at Bose Corporation, The Response Center, Wrangler, Young & Rubicam, and The Advertising Research Foundation. cathy@shesconnected.com 617-674-2169 ext 289

Contact Information
ShesConnected Multimedia Corp - Boston 2 Woodstock Drive, Framingham, MA 01701 Tel: 617-674-2169 Fax: 617-674-2469 ShesConnected Multimedia Corp - Toronto 40 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 502 Toronto, ON M4P 3A2 Tel: 416-761-4071 Fax: 416-761-4073

ShesConnected Properties
www.shesconnected.com www.shesconnectedmultimedia.com

The Power of Social Networking For Women Study - July 2009
Connecting women to your brand through social media

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