The BlogHer-iVillage 2010 Social Media Matters Study has been released and indicates that 73% of online women are now active social media users, engaging weekly or more often with top social media platforms.
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).
Additional 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 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."
The Executive Summary of the 2010 Social Media Matters Study (PDF) can be found at BlogHer.