Corporate Eye

Social Media Trends Among Female Consumers in 2012

Women trust the information and opinions they read on blogs and social media sites, and they make purchase decisions based on that information. That’s what a February 2012 study by BlogHer and Vision Critical found in a survey of bloggers in the BlogHer community and the broader U.S. online population. Since research shows again and again that women make the majority of purchase decisions, this is data brands need to pay attention to.

According to the study results, women trust the information and advice they get from social media sources with the following breakdown for some of the most popular social media sites:

  • % that trust Blogs = 98% of the BlogHer population; 81% of the U.S. online population
  • % that trust Facebook = 86% of the BlogHer population; 67% of the U.S. online population
  • % that trust Twitter = 85% of the BlogHer population; 73% of the U.S. online population
  • % that trust Pinterest = 85% of the BlogHer population; 81% of the U.S. online population

Now, you might be wondering how that trust translates into sales. According to the study, blogs and other social media sites do drive conversions:

  • Made a purchase based on a recommendation from Blogs = 87% of the BlogHer population; 61% of the U.S. online population
  • Made a purchase based on a recommendation from Facebook = 54% of the BlogHer population; 33% of the U.S. online population
  • Made a purchase based on a recommendation from Twitter = 30% of the BlogHer population; 31% of the U.S. online population
  • Made a purchase based on a recommendation from Pinterest = 53% of the BlogHer population; 47% of the U.S. online population

It’s important to note that this study also found that 41% of the general U.S. online population does not turn to blogs, social media sites, or online information at all when making purchase decisions. There is still a lot of room for growth, and the proliferation of mobile devices will undoubtedly drive that 41% up in the near future. Not surprisingly, when asked “what’s simmering” in media usage, the general U.S. online population showed the most interest in online coupons and deals (e.g., Groupon) and mobile apps.

Building brand trust is critical to brand success, and social media gives companies the ability to do exactly that. It’s an opportunity that can also drive sales that still has room to grow. Brand managers should focus on creating diverse content that’s useful, trustworthy, transparent, and visual in order to appeal to both experienced bloggers and online audience members as well as online and mobile newcomers. BlogHer reports the following as key takeaways for marketers from the study:

“With social media gone mainstream, our motivations to use different tools are diverse. Content helps deliver value, not distraction. Content assets deliver long-term value. Online media is delivering inspiration, not just information. Deeper trust drives better conversion into action.”

What do you think? Leave a comment and share your thoughts on the trustworthiness of social media content and how it affects female purchase decisions.

Image: Green Olive

The following two tabs change content below.
Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.

Hi Sue – As Fara Warner, author of The Power of the Purse, points out, when you recognise that women are not just the majority but actually the vast majority of consumers, and that their power is only going to increase, it completely changes the commercial urgency of getting to grips with women buyers.

I quote from your post above here (hope you don’t mind)

Comments are closed.