We’ve all heard the old saying that men are from Mars, and women are from Venus. There was even a book written about it.
2013 data from Pew Research and Nielsen adds some validity to this old saying. Our friends over at FinancesOnline.com recently took this data, and put together a nice little infographic breaking down some of the behavioral differences between males and females on social networks.
Let’s apply this data towards political campaigning in order to find some tricks on how to communicate better with the various sexes online.
How To Communicate With Female Voters On Social Networks
Female Voters Use Social Media To Foster Relationships
65% of women report that their top reason for using social media to stay in touch with family and friends. As a political campaign you should focus on building relationships with women when interacting on social networks. On Twitter this means retweeting appropriate content, replying to mentions, and sending a customized direct messages from time to time.
Photos Work Better With Female Voters
28% of women report that their top reason for using social networks is for blogging, and photo sharing. Political campaigns should look to use photos, and blogging to connect with female voters.
On Twitter this means attaching a picture to your tweets. We’ve found that by doing this you’ll increase clicks on your tweets by 144%.
Another interesting point to add is that ads used online that are targeting female voters should be visually stimulating.
Female Voters Use Social Media For Entertainment
48% of female social media users report that their primary reason for using social media is for entertainment. This means that political campaigns looking to reach out to female voters will do well producing online content that entertaining.
On Twitter you may consider taking pictures that are fun. Check out this example from Terry Goddard. Terry is running for Secretary of State in Arizona.
Entertaining content needs to be amusing or enjoyable. I find this photo amusing because Terry has put a campaign hat on a random statue.
Female Voters Like “How To” Content
37% of females who use social media reported that their primary reason for using it was for “how to” information. How to articles are great because they provide valuable information for people. Female voters will respond to “how to” content better than male voters.
When constructing “how to” content try to put yourself in the shoes of your listeners. Ask yourself this…what kind of information does my audience need?
One suggestion is a blog post on “How To Vote”, or maybe a post on “Voting Locations”. Information like this would be helpful to anyone trying to vote, and female voters will be especially receptive to this type of content.
Top Reasons Female Voters Use Facebook
The above image illustrates the top reasons females use Facebook. This data could be especially helpful if you’re looking to construct meaningful Facebook ads for targeting female voters.
For example…ads on Facebook that are targeting female voters should be visually appealing, entertaining, and helpful.
For example, an ad with smiling voters at a voting booth that offers information on where to vote. When a Facebook user clicks on the ad it takes them to a web page or blog post explaining where they can vote, and it provides background information on how you stand on issues versus your competitors.
Female Voters Are Less Likely To Click On Paid Ads
48% of female social media users reported that they ignore social media ads. Campaigns should look outside of just ads when trying to communicate with female voters.
For example…you may consider spending more time on social networks that have a lot of female users…like Pinterest. With the social networks that you don’t invest a lot of time in you could focus your resources towards advertisements.
Facebook would be an excellent social network to spend less time creating content for, and more time creating ads considering that Facebook recently announced that you’ll have to pay for exposure if you want your fans to see your posts.
On the flip side….social network ads will work better with male voters.
How To Communicate With Male Voters On Social Networks
Male Voters Are More Likely To Scan QR Codes
A QR code is a printed or digital bar code that directs a person to a specific webpage when it’s scanned by a smart phone. You can make free QR codes at www.qrstuff.com. I haven’t personally used this site, but there are a lot of other company’s that offer free QR code generation. Just do a Google search for it.
When I was selling print ads back in 2008 we would use QR codes to drive customers from a print ad to a webpage. This was really helpful because it gave us a way to measure the impact of our print ads, and it helped us drive customers towards a webpage with additional information.
The fact that 56% of males are more likely to scan QR codes to obtain information is huge for campaigns. For example, if you’re doing a mailer targeting male voters you should include a QR code to drive male voters to specific webpages.
Mailers have a limited amount of print space…so getting voters to go to a webpage allows you to provide them with a lot more information.
You could even have a QR code printed for your stance on every issue. Doing this would allow you to drive voters only to the issues that they’re concerned about. Taking this approach would make your print advertisements more effective.
One word of warning…if you are planning on using QR codes to track the effectiveness of print ads there are a few issue you should be aware of.
A voter may open your mailer, and not scan the QR code. If you were tracking scans then you may assume that the voter didn’t even open the mailer.
If you want to accurately track scans from your QR code then you need to have a strong call to action in your ad encouraging them to scan it.
In advertising we accomplished this by entering people into a drawing for something…like a free iPad. You may consider a paid dinner with the candidate, or a celebrity who has endorsed your campaign.
You also need to be aware that the user will be viewing the webpage from a smart phone. If your webpage does not work very well on a smartphone then the voter will be less likely to read the content on the webpage. All webpages that are discovered through a QR scan needs to be mobile optimized.
One option is to build your QR code webpages with Twitter Bootstrap. Webpages built using Twitter Bootstrap are automatically mobile optimized, and there are a lot of free and paid webpage templates for making this really easy to do.
Ad Targeting For Male And Female Voters
When constructing online advertisements be mindful of the types of content that work well with the sex you’re targeting. For example, an ad showing your commitment to your family will work better with female audiences relative to males.
What differences have you noticed? Feel free to comment below.
(Photo Credit: Flickr via Sara)