Social media usage: Boys V Girls

According to a recent study by Rutgers University, women make up 58% of all social media users, incentivising networking sites to reach out to a more male audience.

There are new social networking platforms popping up every day which are geared towards the male population, focusing on sports and other stereotypical ‘male’ activities rather than personal feelings.

Lead author of the report, Keith Hampton, believes that because women are the networkers in relationships, they are much more likely to use social media as a form of expression.

But does it really all come down to emotions? Is the answer really as simple as saying women are more in touch with their feelings than men?


Our Study

To help us find out, we conducted a fun little study of our own, asking an equal number of males and females in the office about their social media usage.

Firstly, we wanted to find out whether the results found by Rutgers University reflected the usage in our office, and secondly, we wanted to find out whether the males and females in our office used social media platforms for different things.

Finding this out could determine what the social media platforms need to focus on to attract a male audience.

Which social media platforms do you currently use?

Male:

The social platforms Branded3 males use

Female:

The social platforms Branded3 females use

As you can see, female usage was confined to five social media platforms, whereas the Branded3 males utilised every platform choice given.

With both, the main platforms used were Facebook and Twitter, no surprise there. However, all males asked used both platforms, whereas some females only used one and not the other.

Next, we wanted to find out whether the amount of connections within each platform differed between males and females, perhaps this would show how seriously each sex utilised the platforms.

How many friends / followers / connections do you have on each platform?

How many social media followers do you have?

What this graph shows is that the Branded3 males have more connections on most platforms. Could this be because they spend more time on social media than women? Or do they just generally have more friends?

Secondly, the graph shows that women have more friends on Facebook then men. If we were to believe in Keith Hampton’s theory, then this could be because Facebook is more of an emotionally-based immersive networking platform.

So our next question aimed to find out just how often each sex used their accounts. Did the males collect plenty of friends but hardly ever interact with them? Do the females have a smaller amount of connections but devote more time to establish each?

How often do you use your most used account?

How often do you use your account?

Clearly, the Branded3 guys are using their social accounts frequently throughout the day, whilst the girls limit their use to twice a day.

This suggests a correlation between number of friends / followers, and frequency of use; a natural connection.

But what are the Branded3 guys doing on their social media accounts every hour? Do they actually use them to interact or do they just use them as a window to the world. Our next question aimed to find out.

What do you use your social media accounts for?

Male:

What do the Branded3 males use their accounts for?

Female:

What do the Branded3 females use their accounts for?

Something that both sexes share is that the overriding use of their social accounts is to keep in contact with friends. Apart from a slight lean towards work and SEO uses for the males, what these results show is that the Branded3 guys and gals use social media for the same thing.

Conclusions:

So our little experiment seems to have found that men use more social media accounts than women, they use them more often than women, and therefore have larger numbers of connections than women.

Of course, we all work in an innovative Digital agency where we’re constantly surrounded by new social platforms and new ways to interact with each other, so the Branded3 males will be much more in-tune with social media than most.

And let’s not forget our study was only made up of a small number of people, a larger survey would yield much more telling results.

What we can conclude then; is that social media is unpredictable, and that no study can ever be conclusive, but they make good talking points anyway.

By Felicity Crouch. at 11:18AM on Tuesday, 10 Apr 2012

Felicity is Branded3’s Marketing Manager and develops and executes a creative marketing strategy for the agency to encourage new business. With a background in journalism and digital project management, Felicity manages a large number of marketing channels effectively to raise Branded3’s profile and facilitate the growth of the company. Follow Felicity Crouch on Twitter.

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