Women are nearly twice as likely to use blogs than social networking sites as a source of information (64%), advice and recommendations (43%),? and opinion-sharing (55%), while they are 50% more likely use social networks to keep in touch with friends and family (75%), reports BlogHer .
Results from the 2009 Women in Social Media Study (pdf) from by BlogHer, iVillage and Compass Partners, found that while women who use social media platforms share a strong desire to connect and to entertain themselves, their motivations for using various tools differ.
Women Turn to Social Media in Greater Numbers
Since the release of last year’s Benchmark Study of Women and Social Media, the research found that women are turning in even greater numbers to blogs (55%), social networks (75%) and online status updating (20%) as primary sources of community interaction, entertainment and information:
Because they are regarded as trusted sources of information, blogs now wield considerable influence on consumers’ purchasing habits, BlogHer said, noting that 45% of survey respondents decided to purchase an item after reading about it on a blog.
The second annual study measured the habits and attitudes of women who participate in any social media activity weekly or more often, and revealed that approximately half of the survey respondents participate daily. Of the 42 million women engaged in social media weekly, 55% of women participate in some form of blogging activity; 75% participate in social networks such as Facebook or MySpace and 20% use Twitter.
The survey also reveals that the primary reasons for women to publish blogs are for fun (76%), to express themselves (73%) with others (59%).? Nearly one-fifth (17%) of women who publish blogs say they do it to earn money:
Declines in Traditional Media
As a result of this increased activity, the 2009 study found that women online are spending increasingly less time engaging in traditional media activities such as watching TV (30%), listening to the radio (31%), and reading magazines (36%) or the newspaper (39%).
“The scale of social media usage among US women continues to grow, and blogs remain the go-to resource for those who want to gather information, share ideas and get reliable advice,” said Elisa Camahort Page, BlogHer co-founder and COO. “At a time when the economy is top-of-mind for more than 70% of these active social media participants, women who blog are turning to online resources, including blogs, to help them make their day-to-day purchasing decisions.”
About the study: The 2009 Women in Social Media Study is the second-annual survey of its kind by BlogHer, iVillage and Compass Partners. It compares two user samples: 1) A general population sample consisting of a sample size of 2,821 US women ages 18-77, weighted by key age breaks to be representative. Of this group, 1,505 women qualified as “active” social media participants who participated weekly or more often. 2) A BlogHer Network sample, consisting of a BlogHer web network intercept sample of 1,008 respondents. Both portions of the study were conducted in March 2009. The data is comparative. Responses from the two samples were not combined.