There is no doubt that digital marketing, marketing online, social media marketing, whatever name you give it, is now firmly established as an essential ingredient in a business’ marketing mix.
Among the well-known social media platforms Facebook continues to dominate both globally and nationally with over 1.6 billion active monthly users.
The relative stats report Twitter having 320 million active users and LinkedIn having 420 million users.
But while regular surveys, from Pew Research, Statista.com and even the UK’s Ofcom have over the years consistently shown that more women than men use and interact with Facebook regularly, the platform has successfully moved itself from being primarily about social interaction to being increasingly a place that businesses ignore at their peril.
The age group most active on Facebook is 25-34 year olds (26% of users) yet, again, women by far outnumber men when it comes to interactions, not only with friends and family but also on business pages.
In its most recent analysis of reasons for interacting with companies on Facebook rosemcgrory.co.uk cites the two top reasons from a chart compiled by Statistica as “to receive offers/competitions” (69%)and “to keep up to date with the latest news about them” (68%).
So why do so few men in the most active demographic interact?
While there is no hard evidence, there could be a number of explanations. They could range from “no time” to a misperception that Facebook is primarily for social use.
Yet for the CEO or senior management of a SME, especially one whose primary sphere of operation is local or regional, Facebook can be a rich source of information about potential customers and clients.
Among the standard features on a business page are the opportunities for customers to post reviews as well as comments, both providing valuable sources of information for the business as well as helping to promote the brand.
Page Insights enable a business to find information about their customers’ profiles such as when they are most active, what posts they have been most attracted to engage with either by liking or commenting.
This information will enable a business’ marketing team with the knowledge to interpret the statistics to refine its digital marketing to better target its ideal customers.
But if a business is not primarily aimed at women in preference to men, all the statistical information available is likely to be somewhat skewed if there is a gender imbalance in viewers’ interaction.
Of course, that might imply that marketing should be adjusted to include information that will appeal to both genders, but it also suggests that perhaps men visiting a page should be more prepared to get involved and give feedback.