SheKnows and Harris Interactive Reveal Women’s True Selves through Social Media Habits

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Women in Social Are Content Producers and Brand Promoters; 56% Share Product Recommendations, Though Majority Are “Creeped Out” by Targeted Ads; 41% of Millennials Regularly Post “Selfies”; 88% of Generation X’ers Feel Validation by the “Like Cycle” of Social Feedback

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Today, SheKnows ( announced the release of “Content Producers and Brand Promoters,” a study designed to understand how women use technology and social networks to build their relationships and personal identities. The study, conducted online by Harris Interactive in July-August, among over 1,000 U.S. women ages 18-65 who have consumed digital content, showed that women have learned to develop trust and virtual intimacy with their online social circles based on shared interests, experiences and values.

“We are committed to understanding women’s online behaviors to ensure that we are able to meet and exceed their needs in consuming, creating, and sharing lifestyle content,” said Philippe Guelton, CEO of SheKnows. “Based on our findings, we hope to inspire a whole new generation of contributors.”

“Content Producers and Brand Promoters” explores the differences between age and lifestyle segments and reveals how demographics drive many social behaviors.

Key Findings

  •     Over four in 10 of these women update their profiles with new job status or failed relationship within a week (42% and 45% respectively).
  •     Millennial Women are defining themselves through consumer brands, following 22 brands on average on social media; both Generation X’ers and Baby Boomers follow less (16 and 8 respectively).
  •     72% of Millennial Women have or want a mentor.
  •     Majority of women (79%) feel that feedback on their social content is important.
  •     Millennial Moms are actively checking for feedback in social networks after sharing a piece of content, with 11% checking every few minutes and 29% checking at least every hour.
  •     Twenty-five percent of Millennial Moms feel inadequate as they witness their friends’ social feeds; 20% of their Generation X counterparts share this sentiment.
  •     Forty-four percent of these women are more likely to go to a brand’s social media page to log a customer service issue than to call the company on the phone.
  •     Women trust content produced by their peers; they trust peers 4X more (63%) than they trust editors’ recommendations, and they trust editors significantly more than bloggers (15% versus 5% respectively).

Women as Content Creators and Social Connectors
The study showed women ages 18 to 64 represent their lifestyles through social activity – producing and sharing their evolving identities with friends and familiars alike. While they love to share epic vacations, most of their daily social activities focus on everyday life. Food, family, pets, and friends dominate their feeds.    

These behaviors change when these women become mothers. Not surprisingly, kids are a key identity driver for moms on social networks. Most maternal segments, particularly Generation X moms, cite pictures of kids as the number-one thing they share on social media. Different segments of mothers also exhibit distinct behaviors and priorities. The study showed, for example, that Working Moms are extremely reliant upon their mobile devices to balance their lives, and would rather give up sex (22%) than their smartphones (15%). The smallest percentage of Stay-at-Home-Moms said they’d rather relinquish sex (15%), compared to dessert (35%), TV (22%) and their smartphones (21%).

The Selfie Generation
It is often suggested that the Millennial generation has grown up with an expectation that every mundane personal experience is worth sharing. What better way to communicate an individual’s identity than the “selfie”? The study found that self-documentation is really the province of Millennials. Forty-one percent of Millennials regularly post self-portraits to social media, 42% for Millennial Moms, compared to 30% of Generation X Women. Similarly, 13% more Millennials are posting images of food they made themselves than Generation X Women (35% versus 22%). The food documenting generation gap only widens with motherhood. While 40% of Millennial Moms regularly share home-made food to social outlets, only 18% of Generation X Moms share images of their exploits in food. Intriguingly, Working Moms also like to share images of food they made to social media (35%).

In addition to documenting themselves and their sandwiches, the study showed Millennials are very committed to showcasing their friends. At 67%, friends rank highest among Millennial Women’s social content sharing. Vacations come in second for both Millennial Moms and Millennials alike, at 60% and 58% respectively.

Spreading Like-ability
While 80% of women ages 18 to 65 cite “liking content” as a social media activity, 45% of Generation X Women are also commenting on others’ content. It is possible that their propensity to like others’ work is driven in part by their own desire to receive likes. Eighty-eight percent of Generation X Women feel validation by others liking, commenting or sharing their content. The majority of all women surveyed feel it is both important and validating to receive such feedback.

While Generation X’ers appear more impacted by positive social feedback, Millennials are more impacted by negative social feedback. Millennial women were the most likely to allow such feedback to make them think twice about what they share in the future.

Wielding Their Influence with Discretion
In addition to producing content at record speed, women are exerting influence over millions of consumers they have never met. Fifty-six percent of women share product recommendations through social media. Thirty-five percent of Millennials recommend products on social media at least once a month and 44% use social networks to “window shop” for products they want to buy.

While Working Moms are least likely to like, comment, upload and share photos, at 33% they are most likely to upload videos. Working Moms also have large networks of followers across various social media platforms, potentially allowing them to exert influence. That’s because 63% of women ages 18 to 65 consider a friend on social media far more trustworthy than a blogger, a celebrity, or a website editor. Predictably, Working Moms lead on LinkedIn; however they also dominate across most other networks with 36% more Facebook friends than their Stay-at-Home counterparts and more than twice the Twitter followers, four times the Instagram followers and nearly 15 times the Google+ contacts.

Due to the influx of brand advertising on social networks, users can now decide to “follow” brands in an ongoing fashion. Millennials follow an average of 22 brands, the highest number of any segment. The number-one reason for 65% of moms to visit a brand’s social media page is to find a deal, with Stay-at-Home Moms reporting the greatest majority at 71%.

For more insights on women and social media from this study, download the whitepaper, “Marketing to the ‘Likeable’ Mom: A Report on How Family, Brands, and Technology Influence Her Social Identity” at


The SheKnows and Harris Interactive study took the form of an online survey fielded between July 31 and August 15, 2013. The overall sample was comprised of 1,007 women between the ages of 18 and 65, living in the United States. All qualifying respondents indicated prior usage of an electronic device and having consumed digital content, as well as not currently working in a sensitive industry.

About SheKnows

SheKnows, LLC is an award-winning women’s media platform and a top lifestyle site with a network of more than 40 million unique visitors per month (comScore 2013). The SheKnows family of sites ranges from entertainment and parenting to beauty and food. Our mission is to connect women’s interests in real-time and in real voices, celebrating the everyday “experts among us.” We enable brands to distribute authentic content and integrated advertising at scale to influence preferences and drive purchases. SheKnows is headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, with offices in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. The company also operates internationally, with sites in Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.



Jennifer Ottum
Corporate Public Relations Manager

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