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Last year, two guys at FinancesOnline.com compiled 2013 social media data from the Pew Research Center, Burst Media and Nielsen. What they found is that women use social media more than men AND they use those sites in more ways. Women also interact with brands more often and share news more often than men.
Why is this important?
For one, if you’re looking for transactional dentistry (drill, fill and bill), moms run households and make dentistry decisions for their families. If you’re looking for transformational dentistry (big case, elective, cosmetics and implants), women are fantastic prospects, especially as they get into their 40s, 50s and beyond.
Let’s look at the details of the data:
First, more women than men use Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram and Twitter. Only LinkedIn, the professional social media site, has more male users than female users. Here are some amazing stats that could affect your dental marketing:
- 76 percent of women use Facebook compared to 66 percent of men
- 54 percent of women are on Tumblr compared to 46 percent of men
- Only 18 percent of women and 17 percent of men are on Twitter
What does this mean?
You do not find new patients on social media, but dentists can use it to engage existing patients to get them to stay, pay and refer. So these percentages seem to be a pretty good guide on how to spend your resources: Facebook yes, Twitter no.
Second set of data: 30 percent of women and 26 percent of men check social media several times a day. My takeaway is don’t waste a bunch of time posting multiple Facebook messages, blogs, Tumblr updates or Tweets in a day.
Third: Women are more likely than men to interact with brands on social media.
Now, this probably applies more to big brands like P&G, Nike, etc., but it still gives you an idea of the reach of social media. Here are the stats:
- 54 percent of women show support for brands vs. 44 percent of men. That means you can expect to get Facebook likes, Twitter followers and the like from women, but less likely from men.
- 53 percent of women access offers vs 36 percent of men. That means you can run specials like free consults or whitening specials on your Facebook and Twitter and have a good likelihood women will respond, but less likely from men.
- 39 percent of women stay current vs 33 percent of men. Now we’re getting into diminishing returns. Fewer than 4 in 10 men or women will regularly visit your social media to get up-to-date on what you’re doing.
- 28 percent of women comment vs 25 percent of men. This means you can’t use comments to judge whether your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or blog posts are effective. This shows that just because people aren’t commenting doesn’t mean they aren’t viewing.
The fourth finding is about how often men and women get their news from social media. The results are:
- 58 percent of women and 42 percent of men read news from a social media site
- 58 percent of women on Facebook read news compared to 42 percent of men
- 52 percent of women on Google+ read news compared to 48 percent of men
If you have new study results or see a current event that could affect your patients, posting it on Facebook or Google will reach more than half of the women. If those “news” items convince them to get their kids in for a checkup or that they should replace that missing tooth, then that is a good thing for you.
The fifth finding is that women are leading the trend toward mobile devices.
- 46 percent of women and 43 percent of men used Smartphones most often to access social media
- 32 percent of women and 20 percent of men used tablets to access social media
Those numbers are probably even higher now. As you try to drive potential patients to your website via social media, you want to make sure your website is optimized for mobile devices. Almost half of the women could be coming from one.
Finally, the sixth finding is that women are driving growth on social media. Tumblr, Pinterest and Instagram are the fastest growing social media sites. If you want to really target women, post before-and-after photos of some of your patients on these three sites, or encourage your patients to do so with your hashtag.
If you are going to devote your resources to social media marketing, use these statistics to do so wisely.