Social Media Study: 3 in 4 Online Women Are Active Social Media Users; Blogs, Message Boards and Social Networks Now Daily Destinations for Many

Women Turn to Social Media to Share Opinions, Seek Recommendations Before Product Purchases

BELMONT, Calif. & NEW YORK--()--The BlogHer-iVillage 2010 Social Media Matters Study, co-sponsored by Ketchum and the Nielsen Company, indicates that 73% of online women are now active social media users, engaging weekly or more often with top social media platforms. Social media is playing an increasingly important role in the everyday lives of Americans, particularly when it comes to getting advice on consumer products, according to the new survey released today, with many consulting blogs or message boards before making purchases.

Key findings from the study include:

  • Blogs are second only to Internet search as the preferred media source for product purchasing information for BlogHer Network users
  • Blogs dominate the attention of BlogHer Network users (96% read blogs weekly or more often)
  • BlogHer users are significantly more active with all three top social media platforms vs the average woman online (Blogs, Facebook, Twitter)
  • Message boards/forums are second only to conversations with friends and family as the preferred source of product purchasing information for iVillage community users
  • Among the iVillage community, 73% say that they are sharing topics on message boards/forums that they would not share on social networks. Of those, Relationships (61%), Health (45%) and Work-related (39%) issues were the top topics they would not share on social networks
  • Over one third (33.6%) of iVillage community members post on message boards/forums every day

The study shows that women rely heavily on both blogs and message boards when seeking advice and recommendations (Blogs: 21% of the total U.S. online population, 63% of the BlogHer Network; Message Boards/Forums: 38% of the total U.S. online population, and 92% of the iVillage community), particularly when looking for information to help guide purchases of new products (Blogs: 22% of the total U.S. online population, and 59% of the BlogHer Network).

BlogHer and iVillage, the largest interactive communities of women online, partnered on the 2010 Social Media Matters Study, along with survey co-sponsors Ketchum and The Nielsen Company. The objective of the study was to quantify and compare media usage patterns across different segments, including gender, generational use, blogging focus, and media channel preference. It also explored how different types of media influence purchasing behavior, comparing online to offline, but also different types of online media channels.

"The twenty million users who visit the BlogHer Network favor blogs over every other media source for reasons both personal and pragmatic,” said Elisa Camahort Page, BlogHer co-founder and COO. "Even as the scale of overall social media usage continues to grow, blogs continue to be a highly reliable resource for all women online as they exert their control over the household purse strings."

“The study confirms that social networks are a key place to capture women's attention on the path to purchase,” said Jodi Kahn, Executive Vice President, iVillage. “The days of relying on one source for information are over. Online peer-to-peer advice on message boards has increasingly become one of the most valuable sources for product recommendations. Marketers cannot afford to overlook this captive audience."

“Social media is a top priority for our marketing clients and the Social Media Matters study provides valuable insights that will benefit marketers. We are proud to co-sponsor this research. The findings validate our focus on social media and we look forward to applying the information on behalf of our clients in the future,” noted Kelley Skoloda, Partner/Director, Global brand Marketing Practice, Ketchum, which co-sponsored the study.

The Executive Summary of the 2010 Social Media Matters Study can be found here: http://www.blogher.com/files/Social_Media_Matters_2010.pdf

About the Survey

The 2010 Social Media Matters Study compares two user samples:

  • A general U.S. population sample was fielded from a Nielsen Company panel. The results were weighted by age to be representative of U.S. online characteristics. There were 1,373 female and 379 male respondents. The margin of error at 95% confidence is +/- 2.9%.
  • A BlogHer Network sample, fielded across an audience of 20 million users, consisted of a BlogHer web network intercept sample of 1,782 female and 94 male respondents. The margin of error at 95% confidence is +/- 2.9%.
  • An iVillage Community sample, consisting of iVillage website intercept sample of 502 respondents. The margin of error at 95% confidence = +/- 3.9%
  • Third party research firm CustomerImpact consulted on survey design, methodology and analysis.
  • All portions of the study were conducted in March 2010. The data is comparative. Responses from the three samples were not combined.

About BlogHer

Reaching more than 20 million women each month (Nielsen Site Census, March 2010), BlogHer is the leading participatory news, entertainment and information network for women online. Founded in February 2005 by Elisa Camahort Page, Jory Des Jardins and Lisa Stone, BlogHer’s mission is to create opportunities for women who blog to pursue exposure, education, community and economic empowerment. Today BlogHer creates opportunities for members via a community hub (www.blogher.com), annual conferences and a publishing network of more than 2,500 qualified, contextually targeted blog affiliates. BlogHer provides the highest quality content on a range of topics, with all blogs continually edited to meet strict editorial standards, including content quality, category relevance and blog frequency. BlogHer enjoys a strategic partnership with iVillage, part of Women@NBCU. BlogHer’s investors are Venrock, GE/NBC Universal's Peacock Equity Fund, and Azure Capital Partners.

About iVillage

With approximately 34 million unique visitors per month (comScore, March 2010), iVillage is the largest content-driven community for women on the web, where they can find the most meaningful content, real-life conversations and the tools they need for their busy lives. The site focuses on categories that best serve women’s needs, including Food, Health, Entertainment, Pregnancy & Parenting and Beauty & Style. Additional businesses and brand extensions within the iVillage Network include iVillage UK, NBC Digital Health Network, Astrology.com and GardenWeb. In addition, iVillage enjoys a strategic partnership with BlogHer, the leading participatory news, entertainment and information network for women online. iVillage Inc., acquired by NBC Universal, Inc. in May 2006, is based in New York City, and is part of the NBC Universal Women & Lifestyle Entertainment Networks Group. Join iVillage’s Facebook group at www.facebook.com/ivillage and follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ivillage.

About Ketchum

A communications innovator, Ketchum ranks among the largest global communications consultancies and leads the industry in the U.K. and continental Europe as Ketchum Pleon. With five global practices – Brand Marketing, Corporate, Healthcare, Food and Nutrition, and Technology – and specialty capabilities that include Access Communications (high- and consumer-tech PR), Concentric Communications (experiential marketing, events and meetings), MMG (clinical trial recruitment), Ketchum Global Research Network, Ketchum Sports and Entertainment Marketing, and Ketchum Pleon Change (change management and workplace communications), Ketchum leverages its marketing and corporate communication expertise to build brands and reputations for clients. For more information on Ketchum, a unit of Omnicom Group Inc. (NYSE:OMC), visit www.ketchum.com/digital.

About The Nielsen Company

The Nielsen Company is a global information and media company with leading market positions in marketing and consumer information, television and other media measurement, online intelligence, mobile measurement, trade shows and related properties. The privately held company is active in approximately 100 countries, with headquarters in New York, USA. For more information, please visit www.nielsen.com.

Contacts

BlogHer, Inc.
Elaine Wu, 650-551-1364, x 245
elaine.wu@blogher.com
or
Ketchum Public Relations
Marie Wiltz, 646-935-4056
marie.wiltz@ketchum.com
or
iVillage
Mary Ellen Mooney, 212-651-5198
Maryellen.mooney@nbcuni.com

Release Summary

The BlogHer-iVillage 2010 Social Media Matters Study, co-sponsored by Ketchum and the Nielsen Company, indicates that 73% of online women are now active social media users.

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Contacts

BlogHer, Inc.
Elaine Wu, 650-551-1364, x 245
elaine.wu@blogher.com
or
Ketchum Public Relations
Marie Wiltz, 646-935-4056
marie.wiltz@ketchum.com
or
iVillage
Mary Ellen Mooney, 212-651-5198
Maryellen.mooney@nbcuni.com