What do women want from brands online today

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Women are increasingly engaged with brands online via mobile – what they want from brands is a better hand held experience, they want visual driven content, and most women have actively posted about a brand on social media.

In a recent survey conducted by Adweek and Influenster, we learn that brands need to move towards a mobile skew if they want to make meaningful connections with women. In the MENA region, in particular, women today, are equipped with the latest smartphones, and they are increasingly engaging with brands via mobile.

Types of Brands women engage with

The type of brands and products skew for women-to-brand interaction is pretty much what you'd expect. Without stereotyping, women follow certain types of brands closely, and that's common across the world. Beauty brands score a high 90%, and clothing a close 83%. Personal care is at 61%, online companies like Amazon are at 56%. Restaurants, Food & Beverage brands, Retailers and Jewelry follow.  Fitness wear, travel, swimwear, pets and furniture are on the top list. But it's not all Barbie doll stuff. Electronics and tech come in at 34%, gaming scores well at 19%. So does sporting goods and automotive.

How do women engage with brands?

The major take here is that around 95% actively engage with brands. 45% interact a few times a week! Around 65% have actually made an original post about a brand on social media. A brand's website is still the top ranking platform of interaction, while 40% engage on social media platforms.

Women, brands and social media

Instagram, today, is the most popular social platform for brand engagement amongst women at 81%, followed closely by Facebook at 79%. Pinterest at 59% is no surprise at all. YouTube comes in at 51%. What is clear from these metrics is that the gravitational pull of visuals is what women feel drawn to. Women prefer photos – particularly across their favorite social platforms. Compelling content – specially video and visual based seems key.

Why do women follow a brand on social media? 74% of the surveyed women said they follow a brand for news about promotions and discounts, 72% follow a grand for a early peek at new products and services, and 70% for updates on current products and services. It's the news they are after from brands.

In the Middle East, Instagram scores high with women – the demograhics show Instagram has a high 46% following. One women interviewed about why she followed brand related posts across social media responded by saying she found the visual content by brands far more inspiring than what her friends shared. What's important for brands is to listen to what women are saying on social media. And then provide solutions to what they're looking for as a brand experience. What we are learning quickly is that women are often far more open to form a on going relationship with brands (remember: 95% actively engage with brands), and brands should recognize this and not try to sell, sell, sell.

Women in the region also were inspired by influencers in social media – particularly for beauty, clothing, fashion and personal care brands. "Influencers take time to create their posts – they have an image to protect – so they produce a higher grade of visual content" said a media planner who works closely with influencers across social. People such as Dubai-based Huda Kattan, the queen of beauty, with her 11.2 million Instagram followers are leading sources of inspiration for women in the region.

Whether it reflects how women are more visually impressed by brands in the region, or globally, what's key is that their go-to source for that is their mobile device. What's important for brands is to get their mobile strategy right.

In summary, we learn from Adweek that "Digital consumption, especially of visual content, is happening at such a rapid pace on handheld devices marketers should push mobile optimization to the top of their checklists and not allow it to come as an afterthought," said Influenster president and co-founder Elizabeth Scherle. She added that even though videos and GIFs are in fashion, women still prefer social posts that involve photos. Infographic courtesy of Adweek.


What you don't mention in your really insightful post (thank you) is that women in this region are really involved in social media because it empowers them. The infographic you featured is clearly one that reflects women in another market. Yes, women are drawn to fashion, beauty and make-up brands, but a lot of their social sharing is about empowerment and self worth.Social media is window to the world for many women in this region – and that's more than just the usual beauty and care.


You are assuming that women are the same in general. Women's behaviour online varies from country to country and depends on the culture they are in. Your post generalises and therefore is almost disrespectful to cultural differences in markets. Women in the Middle East often discuss politics and religion, and you failed to mention that.


I don't think that there are assumptions being made by the writer as the previous comments say. Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus. We are different in the way we approach social media and our online behaviour is different. That's the way it is. Good article.


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