7 Surprising Differences Between Male and Female Millennials: Webinar Recap

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If you missed our webinar last week on the 7 surprising differences between millennial men and women and their social media usage, we’re here to give you a debrief. Using data from Global Web Index, we were able to uncover several ways in which millennials use social media differently and how that impacts brands in the space. Read on to determine if your social media marketing strategy should shift to reach these two varying audiences. (Note: For the purpose of these statistics, we’ve defined millennials as 18-32 year olds.)

1. Their Channel Preferences are Different

When we look at the channels that female and male millennials visit regularly, we see that the male audience is much more likely to visit the “micro-social networks” and/or messaging applications, such as LinkedIn, Reddit, WhatsApp, We Chat, Vine, and Yammer, than their female counterparts. The female audience is more highly concentrated on the larger, more prominent players, such as Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram. And while they both use Snapchat in a large way, millennial women do report more usage than men.

HOW BRANDS CAN USE THIS INFORMATION: Don’t assume your brand needs an account on WhatsApp to reach the millennial male. If they’re your target, consider using influencers on those networks to reach them where they’re spending a large chunk of their time.

2. Their Social Media Motivations are Different

Male and female millennials may tend to use different channels for social media because their motivations for using social media seem to vary. While both groups report using it to fill up their spare time, stay up to date with news and current events and to entertain themselves, there were some differences that really stood out. When asked what their main reasons are for using social networking services, the top response from surveyed millennial women said it was to stay in touch with what their friends are doing, and 26% said it was to share details of what they’re doing in their daily life. More than a quarter of millennial men said it was to meet new people, and 20% reported that it was to network for work.

HOW BRANDS CAN USE THIS INFORMATION: Particularly if you’re a B2B business, or also a B2C with a large employee base, consider how the millennial male can become a brand advocate for your business. Empower him with information and networking opportunities that highlight the business and competitive advantages. It will fit with his motivations in the space, and benefit your company through qualified content to his networks.

3. Their Social Media Actions are Different

If you look at the actions millennials are taking in social, you may see a story that isn’t quite as surprising. Most social media marketers have always kind of assumed that female millennials are more likely to post their day-to-day lives on social media. And the data mostly supports that fact. Female millennials over-index for what seem to be more “visible” actions, such as uploading and sharing their own videos and photos and commenting and liking friends’ content. Millennial men, on the other hand, were much more split between various forms of consumption such as reading a news story, watching a branded video and researching products and services. Millennial men were also much more likely to report using the Discover platform on Snapchat and video chatting with friends- both of which seem to be actions that aren’t as visible to their friends or networks.

HOW BRANDS CAN USE THIS INFORMATION: I don’t know about you, but I was personally surprised by the number of millennial males who reported using Snapchat Discover. If you’re a brand with a wallet big enough for a Snapchat Discover placement, consider which of the publishers you think your content would fit well with and explore targeting him using this channel. For both groups, I would recommend being sure you have appealing content that they’ll share and consume in the ways they natively act on social media channels.

4. They Interact with Brands Differently

We told you women will take those visible actions to stay in touch with their friends on social media. But when it comes to interacting with brands in social media, the millennial men are more inclined to ask questions about products they’re interested in buying- both with their friends and through direct communication with the brand. More men reported playing branded video games and interacting with brands via messaging services and branded apps. Millennial women, on the other hand, are researching brands via blogs, interacting with them on Pinterest, and clicking on sponsored and branded content in their native feeds.

HOW BRANDS CAN USE THIS INFORMATION: If you’re generally targeting millennials, know that both groups are actively looking for branded content. They desire to interact with your brands. Men just may want to do it in a more 1-1 basis with a customer service representative, whereas women may want to have lots of available content to consume and digest on her own. She also may be more willing to share, so don’t forget to give her the option to inadvertently become a brand ambassador.

5. Brand Advocacy in Social Media is Different

Speaking of brand advocacy, if you want millennials to become vocal brand advocates, then you should pay attention to reviews, as they tend to play a large part in the brand selection process for both groups. Female millennials, report that they’re very influenced by loyalty rewards and points, freebies and discounts and coupons. Male millennials report wanting exclusive access to a brand and having their opinions be noticed and incorporated by brands.

HOW BRANDS CAN USE THIS INFORMATION: Surprise and delight your female millennials. They’re very likely to share those interactions both because it makes them feel special, but also (remember the last point), they’re just more likely to share. Let the male millennial be a part of the brand process or give him behind the scenes look at your business. Better option: give him the option to do so socially. That could be the magic bullet in getting him to share your branded content to his networks.

6. Social Media Buying Behaviors are Different

Millennial men were nearly twice as likely to report that they’ve utilized a social “buying” functionality. Female millennials activities and considerations for purchase seem to rely much more on endorsements from friends and they seem to collect potential items for purchase on sites like Pinterest, making more of a consideration prior to purchase.

HOW BRANDS CAN USE THIS INFORMATION: Execute A/B tests with your millennial audience based on this data, and also make immediate buying and “collection” options available to your consumers. Does your social content with a “buy now” option perform well for the male millennials? Push Pin-worthy content to your female millennials, and expect them not to buy on the same day that they pin.

7. They Express Displeasure Different

Twenty-three percent of female millennials report unfollowing a branded social media page in the past month. Male millennials index quite high for posting a negative comment about a product or brand. And we already told you that the male millennial were much more likely to engage with a brand via a messaging app or live chat functionality.

HOW BRANDS CAN USE THIS INFORMATION: Customer service is an increasingly important part of social media marketing. While all customers expect branded social media presences, it’s possible the female millennial may be leaving your network before the dust has even settled on her customer experience. Be sure you’re inviting her back once you’ve made her a happy customer once again.

To check out the full webinar click here.

Source: globalwebindex.net ///


Questions: Thinking about when you use Facebook, can you please tell us if you have done any of the following within the last month? / What are your main reasons for using social networking services? / Which of the following types of people or organizations do you prefer to follow online via social media services? / Which of the following online sources do you mainly use when you are actively looking for more information about brands, products or services? / When shopping online, which of the following things would increase your likelihood of buying a product? / Which of the following brand-related actions have you done online in the past month? / What would most motivate you to promote your favorite brand online? /

Base: US Internet Users Aged 18-32 ///

Dates: Q1 2016

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