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WeberShandwick-Female-SocNet-Defectors-March2013A new “Digital Women Influencer Study” [pdf] from Weber Shandwick, in partnership with KRC Research, reveals that while women are highly active and influential on social media, many report having decreased or completely cut off usage of at least one social network in the past 6 months. Among the 86% of North American women surveyed online who have a social media account, 38% are dubbed “defectors,” who have stopped (16%) and/or decreased (28%) using at least one social network. What’s more, these “defectors” are more likely to be young: 24% are aged 18-24, compared to 14% of the sample population.

Keeping these “defectors” engaged is particularly important given how influential women are on social media. According to the study, female social networkers report liking or recommending products or services online an average of more than 10 times a month, compared to less than 6 for the average North American woman online. Additionally, they’re more likely, during the average month, to tell someone in person by phone or by email about products and services, to post comments or write reviews about products or services online, and to post pictures or images online of products.

It’s not surprising to see that women are heavily invested in social media, as that has been demonstrated numerous times (such as in this example). But the extent to which these social networkers report gaining enjoyment out of their online activities is fairly surprising. According to the Weber Shandwick study, the women surveyed say they enjoy using social networks like Facebook almost as much as hanging out with friends or other social activities, and more than dating or spending time with a partner.

About the Data: The data is based on an online survey of 2,000 North American women.

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