Study: Women shy on social media—except when discussing brands

That’s good news for companies, according to the study. Though there is a dangerous flipside.

Women are more active on social media than men, but with the exception of one key category, women are less willing to divulge personal information online.

The category deals with brands. In this case, women are more apt to dish—though it’s not dirt, according to a new study.

A survey of 600 adults in the U.K. by uSamp found that 78 percent of women said they would share which brands they liked compared with 74 percent of men.

Meanwhile, across all other categories—including relationship status, personal photos, and occupation—men are more open.

Gaelle Normand, the managing director of uSamp in Europe, said the survey is good news for retail brands.

“Those targeting a female audience are likely to see more success with viral campaigns, as women recommend their favorite products to friends and followers more readily,” he said in a press release. “Those brands with a male following might find it slightly harder to create a buzz through social channels.”

That’s true, and it’s advantageous for uSamp, which makes software for targeting audiences. But there’s the flipside—if women are apt to celebrate brands, it seems likely they’re also willing to trash them. Don’t start targeting women and expect them to simply “like” and follow your brand. They’re smart, savvy social media users, and they have the power to spark viral campaigns—positive and negative.

Ask ChapStick or Susan G. Komen for the Cure, two (among many) brands slammed on social media for their controversial campaigns or policies that insulted or affected women.


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