Women are increasing the amount of time they spend on social networking sites—especially platforms other than Facebook, though the social giant is still by far the most popular network.
According to research from SheKnows and Harris Interactive, which surveyed US female social network users August, 79% of women ages 25 to 54 used Facebook regularly, compared with a dramatically lower 35% who said they regularly visited YouTube, 30% who said the same of Pinterest, 22% for Twitter, and just 13% for Instagram.
But it’s platforms like Pinterest and Instagram that are garnering an ever-greater share of time from those women who do use them. Nearly half of women surveyed who visited social networks regularly said they had increased the amount of time they spent on Pinterest or blogging platforms in the past year—and more than two-thirds said the same of Instagram. A comparatively small 30% said they were using Facebook more frequently.
Facebook is still where a significant amount of the action is, however. In terms of connections and size of the social graph, it was far ahead of other platforms. Respondents had an average of 250 connections on Facebook, vs. 163 on Twitter and just 89 on Instagram.
The study found a number of generational differences between women in their social networking habits. Millennial women tended to follow more brands than their older counterparts (22, on average, vs. 16 among Gen Xers and eight among baby boomers). And these younger women were also most likely to say they cared about getting feedback on the social content they produced themselves.
“Women are really using social networks to help build their identities,” said Samantha Skey, chief revenue officer at SheKnows. “They’re looking for feedback and validation—concepts that extend from the personal to the commercial, as women post not only photos and status updates about their kids, but also questions and suggestions about products and services.”
And the social graph is still the most trusted place for such recommendations. Asked which influencers gave the most trusted recommendations, 62% of respondents cited people they knew on social media. Editors of favorite websites garnered 14% of responses, compared with 7% for bloggers.