Understanding the Social Media Landscape

BlogHer Original Post

Struggling to keep on top of how best to market in the constantly shifting social media landscape? BlogHer Inc. recently published our fifth annual study of women and social media, conducted with Vision Critical, a market research and analysis firm. The results provide marketers who seek to grow audiences of women online a key window into the opinions and purchase behavior of women who use blogs, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social tools.

This survey of 2,000 U.S. women online makes a clear case that blogs are the single best use of marketing and advertising dollars by brands that want to affect purchases by women online.

This statement is certainly great news for BlogHer, with our audience of 37 million women, but you’ll soon see that the results, even from the sample of general population women fielded by an independent third party, speak for themselves -– and reveal interesting nuances for marketers on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest as well.

What we learned:

1. More women buy based on recommendations from blogs than from Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest

2. Blog readership is a key indicator that a woman uses social media to find product info when she is about to buy

3. Majority of women trust social media -- but women trust blogs most.

Drilling down a bit into these learnings...

1. More women buy based on recommendations from blogs than from Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.

  • More than 61 percent of active blog readers in the U.S. say they have made purchases based on a blog recommendation, almost double the rate of Facebook’s and Twitter’s active users (33% and 31% respectively).
  • In the BlogHer community, the number of readers who converted blog recommendations into purchases soars to 87 percent. This is up from 80% when we asked this question last year. A whopping 10% increase!

2. Blog readership is a key indicator that a woman uses social media to find product info when she is about to buy 

  • 59% of the women in the U.S. general population who actively use social media report that they turn to online or to social media as part of their purchase process. Which means that 41 percent do not!
  • But when you look at women in the general population who read blogs daily, the number who turn online to drive their purchasing rises to 81%. And in the BlogHer community? 92% turn to online and social to inform their purchasing. 
  • So with all the advertising dollars pouring into social media, how can marketers aim those dollars effectively? By aiming for women who read blogs, and trying to catch them early in the process. Only 23 percent of general population women overall go online or to social media as the very first step of their purchasing process, but that leaps to 35 percent among women in the general population who read blogs daily -- and to 49 percent or half of BlogHer's community.

3. Majority of women trust social media -- but we trust blogs most. Why?

In the past year, on surveys ranging from Beauty to Consumer Electronics, we have consistently found that blogs drive purchase intent. We believe this action is being driven by the high level of trust within the community, which is reinforced by the length and depth of the conversational format available on blogs and in blog comments.

So to marketers and advertisers seeking the powerful audience of women online, we ask this: Do you want more confidence that your relevant messages will actually convert into action? If so, we recommend you work with bloggers to reach their communities.

The complete study is below. I welcome and look forward to your thoughts.

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Best, 

Mary Beth Gonzalez

Senior Vice President, Sales Marketing

BlogHer, Inc.

Recent Posts by Mary Beth Gonzalez

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